Love is a Roarrr: ‘Cutie and the Boxer’

By August 18, 2013 Film School

Cutie-and-the-Boxer-poster

There are films that are very good, well-composed, heartwarming even. Then there are films that are paradigm shifters, that change the way you view the world or reinforce what you’ve always known to be true. ‘Cutie and the Boxer’ a documentary film by Zachary Heinzerling is precisely the latter: heartfelt, reflective and beautiful.

‘Cutie and the Boxer’ follows the life of Ushio Shinohara, a famous Pop and performance artist from Japan living in New York since the 70s, and his strife-ridden but passionate marriage to fellow artist Noriko. Ushio, then a 41-year old sculptor prominent in the New York art scene meets 19-year-old art student Noriko. They fall in love instantly, get married and have a son Alex.

Urisho - Boxing Painting

However, life for Ushio and Noriko was not a glitzy, art affair. While Ushio’s art was prominent in Japan, it failed to sell in the U.S. and his alcoholism caused turmoil in their marriage. Having to care for her husband and child, Noriko put her own art on the back burner. The film blends the day to day life of struggling artists with archival footage from their past and animated drawings from one of Noriko’s pieces titled “Cutie & Bullie.”

Read More

What I Wore: Well Read

By June 13, 2013 Fashion, What I Wore

NY Library - Stylish Thought

Libraries are chic. You heard it here first. When I was a little girl I lived in the library. My father would drop me and my sisters off to be babysat by books (great parenting technique I might add) and we’d spend hours reading. I remember our neighborhood library being a pretty magical place. It’s where I met Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew, became a member of the Bernstein Bears family and the Babysitter’s Club and fell in love with words.

As a child raised on reading, I’ve always been studious and one of my favorite places to spend time to this day is the library. No it’s not 1OAK on a Friday night but there’s a majesty and quiet in being surrounded by books.

While I’m not a library snob (party snob yes), the New York Public Library pretty much annihilates any branch I’ve seen. The enormous stacks, the arched ceilings and giant columns and the ferocious lions out front taking guard. I imagine when the clock strikes midnight they get up from their post and gallop around the city. It’s more a castle of books than a library really.

Read More

7th & Fashion: Style Inspiration in the Fashion Capital

By June 12, 2013 Fashion

bill-cunningham-ny
Bill Cunningham shooting style on the streets of NY

It’s summer in the city and after what has felt like an eternity of bad weather (hurricanes, snowstorms and rain-fests) the sun is out and the gloves are coming off. ‘Tis the season to dress up! And from what I hear summertime in New York is when everyone puts on their Sunday (and Monday) bests.

Before moving to the city I had this grandiose idea of what fashion in New York would be like. I imagined that everyone from supermodels, designers and the regular postal worker wore designer duds and dressed to the nines. Ha! Sorry but few New Yorkers can actually afford COUTURE! And they’re probably better off for it.

To say that New York is synonymous with fashion is an understatement. It’s everywhere you look; from the giant H&M billboards of Beyonce’s hot bod to the people on the street wearing any manner of dress. New Yorkers certainly don’t shy away from making a statement. And why would they? New York is the epicenter of fashion in the western world and we have the booming billion dollar fashion industry to thank. From it’s history making fashion shows (bye bye Bryant Park) to the once-bitten magazine industry to the now thriving blogosphere, fashion in the 212 simply won’t rest.

New York Fashion-2

Style of New York @ Humans of New York

You can get anything here and shopping in New York is a competitive sport, what with sample sales, Century 21 and the latest “IT” designer pop up shop. Crowds flock as easily to buy out a Target collab as they do to make an Alexander Wang sample sale. With over 8 million people it’s a wonder it’s called the Naked City when everyone is so fashionably clothed.

Walking around the city you can’t help but notice how covetable things are. I literally stalked a woman on the Ferry when I first moved because she had a Bettie Page Clothing shopping bag. Another time a stylish Asian girl had on the cutest iridescent blue booties I’d ever seen. When I asked where she’d gotten them she replied, “In Brooklyn, but I can’t remember where.”

“I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street – just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket.” ~ Madonna

Grand-stWeb

Grand Street

While there’s every store imaginable and even some you can’t imagine (glance over a $50,000 Koi pond while you try on trousers from Japan) that’s not what makes this city so full of style. It’s in the skyline and in the DNA of everyone who wakes up in the morning and decides they’re going to show the city what they’re made of.

There are no rules and even if there were, no one would follow them. People are normal people, going about their day. From the man in the three piece Italian suit to the 6 foot 2 model in a racerback tank and moto boots to the lady in yellow tights and bright purple Fluevogs, what people wear is as individual as they are

And for a style obsessed gal like myself, there’s no better place to test drive outfits. Steampunk Saturdays? Sure! Cher Horowitz Tuesdays? Did someone say knee socks?  Sure you’ll turn heads (and the occasional tourist camera) but guess what? The city is a runway and if people are going to stare might as well give them something to look at.

“The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been, and always will be.”~  Bill Cunningham

ST_Signature

Tourist Traps & False Starts: My Journey to Nueva York

By May 27, 2013 Fajr's World

Stylish Thought- Times Square
New York is a magical place. It’s also a tough place, a busy place, a chew you up, spit out the bones kind of place. And as of October 2012 it’s been my home.

As long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to live in New York. The land of dreams, fortune and fame! Where actors come to act, musicians come to make music, writers come to write and everyone comes to make a better life.

When I was a teenager looking to take the world by storm with words, New York was where I wanted to be. I applied to university after university, completing financial aid forms and praying that my Big Apple dreams would come to fruition. I imagined traipsing through the city, seeing stars and having opportunity fall at feet. That’s not quite how things turned out and much to my dismay my New York dreams were shattered.

Life went on as usual, I stayed in Philly and started blogging. But New York always stayed in the back of my mind and from time to time I’d take the short trip up and always wonder when I’d set foot for good.

Stylish Thought_Fajr

On one particular trip to NY, I sat with a good girlfriend of mine, a New Yorker, eating lunch and talking about our future. I mentioned that I was apartment hunting in Philly and she exclaimed, “Move to New York! You belong here. You should totally move to New York!” Her enthusiasm all but bowled me over. She was right! I needed to be in New York and while I had resigned to staying put in Philly I couldn’t resist the call of the big city any longer.

I packed up my little apartment (funny how a little apartment can net nearly 20 boxes and a truck full of furniture) and my life and headed to the big city. Upon arrival I didn’t quite have a home. I stayed with my little sister in Staten Island and let me tell you, riding the Ferry is an experience; waving at Lady Liberty, looking out across the water, coming into the city right at the heart of Wall Street. It’s a trip and by trip I mean a two hour trip! (both ways!)

Stylish Thought-Times Square Steps

With a long commute, apartment hunting and work on my plate, at times I questioned my journey. I wondered “What am I doing here?”“Was this really the right decision?”  I spent a lot of time thinking about what New York could (and would) mean to me.

In the meantime, I explored. Working right next to Times Square gave me a front row seat to what everyone sees when they come here. The jumbo screens, the flashing lights, the mega stores and the Disney characters, it’s completely over the top and totally New York!

Stylish Thought-Disney Character

I strolled around the East Village, taking in the shops and vintage stores with their grungy downtown flavor. I walked through Central Park in the middle of Christmas season when the lights are in trees and it’s like a scene from Home Alone. Sat next to Tracee Ellis Ross (gadzooks!!!) at the Bowery Ballroom and rode the subway at 2am with hoards of people like it was 12 in the afternoon.

And I finally moved to Harlem, my official Manhattan address! It took nearly 6 years to get on the island and I can’t believe I’m here.

It’s funny because when you want something for so long, it starts to feel unreal, like maybe it’s just not meant for you. Or maybe it won’t   be everything you dreamt it would be. And that’s the case with New York. It’s not quite what I expected: no red carpets, noise is seriously an issue, everything costs about a gazillion dollars but then there are the times when you’re walking around and stop to marvel at where you are and suddenly you realize you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Living in New York is very different than what I imagined. It’s not a Sex and the City romp or a small town girl takes the Big Apple drama. But it can be. That’s the beauty of New York, it can be whatever you want it to. And while I’ve only just set my boots in the concrete jungle I’m excited, hopeful for what the city has to show me.

Stylish Thought-Times Square 2013

ST_Signature

Photos by Ray Spaddy

Dear Stylish Thinkers,

By March 25, 2013 Open Letter

Hop in a Taxi Cab

~ Where We Last Left Off ~ 

Things have been a little quiet around here. Okay, a lot quiet. For that I apologize.  But it’s with good reason! I wanted to reach out and let you lady loves (and fine fellas) know that Stylish Thought is under Re-construction and Re-imagining, but it’s not going anywhere.

I’m in New York now and am soaking up the energy of the city, hoping to bring you guys the style, the excitement and the pulse of the big city through the lense of Stylish Thought!

I’m writing and working on a few projects and can’t wait to share all I’m doing as well as bring you guys more of what Stylish Thought is all about: dressing on your own terms!

I hope this message finds you deep in stylish thought :) and while I’m cooking up goodness behind the scenes, please sign up for the ST newsletter to be the first to know about new Stylish Thoughts!

Stay Tuned! 

Stylishly Yours,

Fajr

Required Reading: 12.14.12

By December 14, 2012 Links

What a great picture of Lana Del Rey?!

  • Thought Catalog is pure fun! This piece on How To Be Fabulous pretty spot-on and tongue in cheek at the same time
  • Can Creativity and Productivity coexist? The Daily Muse seems to think so. Check out the article to read how
  • Man Repeller examines a culture (generation?) of irony, humble brags and guilt by association
  • Speaking of the humble brag, this article in the New York Times is too good to pass up. False humility is on the rise and social media is aiding its spread!
  • Curvy is the new buzz word… The Cut singles out (pun intended) why Curvy is not created equal
  • Dream big or dream small, but please dream. This piece on Clutch talks about the shaming of people’s goals. Very interesting.
  • Deb Perelman snagged a book deal (and a husband) from her blog. A case for blogging if I ever saw one.

x Have a Frolicking Friday!

 

Required Reading: 12.7.12

By December 7, 2012 Links

Josephine Baker by Andy Warhol

Last week was a whirlwind, hence the MIA Required Reading. To make up my slack, here’s a double-sized RR! Here are some great links and reads I came across this week!

[divider style="shadow"]

This site is pretty useless except to look at pretty colors. Refresh it and get a different color each time!

There has been so much talk about Willow Smith’s hair & clothing choices. Here’s her mother’s (Jada Pinkett-Smith) response 

Who doesn’t love Grace Coddington?! With her new memoir out on shelves here are her 3 Keys to Success 

I’ve been experiencing some strange energy lately. So I read Deepak Chopra’s guide to changing your energy

Last RR I posted Marie Forleo’s interview with Steven Pressfield. Here are more tips on becoming a professional from Mr. Pressfield

I love Marian Kihogo’s style and this vintage kimono too!

These DIY Boot Stuffers are a great lazy Sunday project.

This post is hilarious! Black Gay Slang explained to Suburban White People. Too good!

I had my graphic tee phase & I think it’s coming back around. Here’s how to make graphic tees grown up from XoJane.

Paper Magazine has a great guide to Holiday Pop Ups in NY. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar looks cool!

It’s OK to be a late bloomer. Writer Emma Straub explains why success takes time

Ur Pretty Haute loves her lashes and asks what beauty routine can you NOT live without?

How hot does Joan Collins look in these vintage contact sheets? Va Va Voom!

Black Girls Hack is a great organization for African-American women in Tech. They hosted their first hackathon!


Loving Andre 3000′s verse on this song! Three Stacks come back!

x Have a stylish weekend!

2013 Or Bust: Getting Ready for the New Year

By November 27, 2012 Life
New Year

We make plans and God laughs… with that said  there are 5 weeks, give or take a few days, left in 2012 and it’s around this time every year that I start to think about my plans for the coming year. I take a snapshot of where I am in life and where I would like to be. It’s not as intense as it sounds, trust me, but I do get down and dirty into the stuff of goals, achievements and dreams.

To prepare for the new year I do a few things: meditation session to clear out old spirits, retiring journals and starting new ones. It’s all a big to do to get me pumped! Cue Rocky theme music and me in the gym hitting the punching bag. It’s me against 2013.

OK, dramatic much? Yes. But in all seriousness, it pays to be prepared, organized and ready to have a great year. And why wait until the ball drops to get a clear idea on what you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. In the past few years I’ve done many of these things to get ready for a new year and while no one knows what the year will bring these are all tried and true traditions to get your mind right and your heart in the right place to take on 2013.

BUY A NEW PLANNER

New planners are a blank slate. You’re leaving behind all of the plans, appointments and to-dos of the last year and moving into the new year with a fresh start. My favorites are Moleskine, Anne Taintor.   I’m coveting a mega-planner from Erin Condren.

PLAN NEXT YEAR’S VACATION(S)

It’s never too early to plan a vacay, the sooner the better actually. If there’s a destination you’ve been dying to see now is the time to map out a plan to get there. Start your research, find cool boutique hotels, request time off and start your savings plans to make your vacation dreams come true. Wanderfly is a great travel wishlist and helps plan affordable vacations.

MAKE A VISION BOARD

Vision boards have exploded! They are having their moment in the cultural zeitgeist and with good reason. Having all of your dreams, goals and visions in front of you keeps them top of mind and studies have shown they help order your steps to be able to accomplish them. Plus creating vision boards is such a fun exercise. Invite a few friends over, pull out the old magazines and photos and collage your way to your dreams.

REDEFINE YOUR CAREER GOALS

Every year I outline where I would like to be, career-wise, by the end of the year. Am I fancying a promotion? What certifications do I want to have? How much freelance work can I handle? While some of your career plans are out of your control (hiring, raises, etc…) your plan for your career totally is. By having a plan you can make better career decisions to get you to your dream job.

REASSESS YOUR WARDROBE

September may be the start of the fashion new year, but every new year I take time to assess my style and what looks I need to retire and styles I’d like to try. This year I’ve been heavy on the black and bringing back the color (and the sexy) is high on my style priority list.  This is also a great time to retire old pieces that are not working. Donate them or give them away to friends. Let the clutter go!

CLEAN HOUSE. No Literally, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE

Spring cleaning has nothing on new year cleaning. Break out the Pledge and go to town on your baseboards, carpets and laundry. Start 2013 with a fresh feeling and scent. Growing up my mother always spent the first day of the New Year cooking black eyed peas and cleaning house.

START YOUR BLOG’S 2013 CALENDAR

With about a month left in 2012, it’s a good time to start working on your blog/site/business plans for 2013. Get ahead of monthly holidays, trends and map out your standard/evergreen content. Remember to create a cushion for breaking news and life events. No need to plan out a stringent plan but a loose layout will put you ahead of the game.

CONTEMPLATE A NEW HAIRSTYLE

Every year I say I’m going to cut my hair. And maybe 2013 will be the year I actually do it. Who knows? But it sure is fun to contemplate a new hairstyle, revamping my look and thinking about what life would be like with a pixie cut. Maybe this will the year you try bangs or go red!

These are just a few ways to get ready for the New Year’s arrival. Aside from decking your halls, stocking up on confetti and noisemakers, what other things are you doing to prepare for the new year? 

Do share!

Images (3, 6, 7, 8)