One of the most underrated aspects of New York City is it’s natural beauty. Lately, on my walks I have been looking for what makes New York so naturally beautiful, especially during summer. From street sunflower plantings to Central Park to a perfectly placed sunset on Manhattan Henge, it’s easy to see why New York City is a colorful, vivid playground in the summertime. [Read more…] about New York City Summer Beauty- A Photo Blog
Any native New Yorker will tell you that there is a certain nostalgia that permeates through Brooklyn. Yes, we may reluctantly admit that hipsters have brought a certain “cool” back to BK however, for a lot of us that were raised in NY the essence of Brooklyn goes beyond a bad mustache, know it all attitude and skinny jeans. It’s where out fathers and grandmothers grew up and where our great-grandparents settled after coming through Ellis Island. Next time you take a walk through an area like DUMBO try to imagine it through the hardworking New Yorkers from all over the world that came to Brooklyn and are the original producers of BK slickness.
On a cold Wednesday last week, I ventured out to Brooklyn. Admittedly, I have not spent a lot of time there but you can see the appeal as soon as you ascend the subway station stairs. You step out into the charm and angst which make Brooklyn known the world over, even outside of it’s attachment to New York City.
I was fortunate enough to be able to have access to a rooftop looking out towards Manhattan You can see the tip of the Empire State Building and some of the glitzier high rise apartments but it might as well been a world away. These photos, some are heavily edited for a vintage effect, only begin to scratch the surface. I hope to spend more time in the upcoming year exploring and documenting the unique (dare I say quirky?) beauty of Brooklyn.
It’s officially spring, and though the weather on the east coast isn’t quite reflecting that, I figure I might as well give Mother Nature a gentle nudge in the right direction with some wishful thinking. In preparation for the inevitable coming of warm weather, I wanted to take a look at shorts in this year’s Spring collections. I’ve pulled together a list of some of the designers that caught my eye.
I’m starting with Nautica for those of you who are looking for something stylish but not too crazy (because if you’ve read any of my past articles, you know I love a little crazy). Its nautical aesthetic is totally compatible with Spring/Summer fashion and makes for some great shorts.
The Spring collection has a classic, relaxed feel but still manages to add a bit of edge with longer capri-style pants, colorful prints, and some subtle touches, like asymmetrical lines and pockets.
I really enjoyed Nicholas K’s Spring collection. It has the sort of otherworldliness that I love, as I mentioned in my Future Fashion article, and the shorts feature a long, slender cut, unconventional lines, and a muted color palette.
Versace’s Spring collection brings sophistication, elegance, and flair to its shorts with bright hues and fine fabrics. I’ve also been noticing a tendency towards shorts well above the knee this season, which I’m liking.
I’m not 100% sure that I would personally wear the shorts from Kenzo’s Spring collection, but I like what they are doing visually, and I sure would love to see someone else rock these in a creative way. This season’s shorts capture the eye with lively prints and flowing fabrics.
Dolce & Gabbana
I am loving Dolce & Gabbana’s collection this season, particularly in the shorts department. Maybe it’s their Sicilian mythology theme (I am a huge mythology nerd), or perhaps it’s the fact that the collection makes me think of flashy, European beach style of the 1970s (one of my favorite decades in music and style).
I’m also really loving the prevalence of warm hues and the sheen in the fabrics, which have me feeling like it’s already summer.
And if you have the balls (literally and figuratively) to wear these “zungas,” as we’d call them in Argentina, I fully encourage it.
Ok, now most of Sibling’s line is a little wilder than what I’d normally wear, but I love the playfulness and the energy of their work: exaggerated proportions, distorted lines, intricate knits, and pastel colors. At the end of the day, I appreciate an interesting aesthetic concept, even if I wouldn’t necessarily wear it, and I often find inspiration in work like this. I’d also live to model some of this stuff.
I was (pleasantly) surprised to find what appear to be “sweater shorts,” which are probably completely impractical but also kind of amazing, in their Fall/Winter collection. It all seems very fun and free.
I also think it’s great that they obviously encourage their models to smile. I’ve been asked to smile on the runway before, and it ain’t always easy, but it’s definitely a welcome departure from the usual pomp. In any case, the spring collection has a few pairs of shorts that I’d actually consider wearing myself.
Phillipp Plein’s Spring collection has some of my favorite shorts this season. The collection draws its inspiration from the casino world.
The German designer’s line merges elegant high fashion, sexy urban swag, and a fun, sporty functionality.
Viktor & Rolf
The Spring Lookbook for Viktor & Rolf got my attention because the collection and the model are giving me Sexy-Harry-Potter-Hogwarts-Upscale-Prep-School Realness in the best possible way. The shorts are cut longer and are designed like dress slacks with fine fabrics.
This season’s theme was “Island Paradise,” but the collection still manages to feel very urban upscale. It also features several well-fitted, high-cut shorts, which I have been fancying lately.
So think warm thoughts, make a spring wardrobe shopping list, and imagine yourself lounging on some warm beach in a pair of sexy shorts. Soon enough the seasons will actually change, and your bare legs will once again see the light of day!
As a creative artist, I am naturally drawn to other creative spirits that are unapologetically unique, nuanced in their choices, sophisticated, and undeniably fierce. Enter Kazakh model Alexey Kim. The day I met Alexey, he was wearing a slinky black tank top, a baseball cap tilted to the side, and acid washed jeans that were shredded and covered in silver spikes that I later found out he added himself. I knew immediately that we would get along famously and was surer still when I caught wind of his quirky sense of humor. Alexey not only has a truly artistic fashion sensibility but also the attitude and confidence to carry even his most avant-garde couture creations. Needless to say he’s given me some great tips on posing when I’m modeling for photo shoots and has become my fashion hero. Here’s a bit of our conversation about his career and his thoughts on fashion and style.
What excites you about fashion and style?
Personal style is what actually excites me the most. There is a certain art to putting together a great outfit. It is cool to see people getting clothes from here and there, from a luxury label and mixing it with a national retailer, to come up with their own unique way of making all the items work as a whole.
How did you get into modeling?
I was approached by a scout from Elite Models in Miami. I was sitting in Starbucks crying my ass off. I’m still thinking how awkward she must have felt when she approached me, looked into my mascara-smudged face, and asked, “Do you model?” Just kidding. I never wear mascara.
Name your three favorite new things in your wardrobe.
1. Dark purple bomber jacket from H&M. It’s short but warm, and the color is kick ass too.
2. These shiny pleather pants that I got. They are Alice & Olivia…ahem… for…men… Don’t judge! Men’s pants usually don’t fit me!
No judgment here.
I love seeing people’s reactions when I wear them, “Is that made from a garbage bag?” Haha awesome!
3. KTZ gloves. They have huge pop-out red hearts on them, are too big, and aren’t warm, but who cares? I just like them.
What designers are you really into this season?
I’m always into Balmain, Helmut Lang, and Phillip Lim. Balmain has the most impressive looking clothes while not being too over the top. Helmut Lang is luxury necessities. Clean lines, solid colors. Phillip Lim – I really like his use and combination of colors and his fabric choices.
I know that you also alter a lot of your own clothing. Where do you get your inspiration? Have you ever thought about being a designer?
Well I got my very first inspiration to alter something from…don’t you dare laugh at me…Britney. Remember at some point she was all about wearing low-rise jeans, like in that video for “I’m Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman”? You could almost see her babies come out. Well, I wanted low-rise jeans too. Do you think you could find those in Kazakhstan? No! Mom’s jeans all day every day for everyone! So I cut off the upper part of my jeans, took in the sides, and attached the loopholes lower. Now you could almost see my babies come out. I loved it. And yes, I think about designing every day.
You’re also a street style blogger. What new trends would you like to see in men’s fashion?
I would like to see more men wear slick tailored suits with nice ties and watches, a pocket-handkerchief too, perhaps. I also think long brim fedoras look sharp.
What advice do you have for guys that want to look stylish but aren’t as edgy or adventurous as you are with fashion? Where are some easy places for them to find good clothes?
Thing is, national retailers are doing the most right now. You can go to H&M and buy something from their Dark Purple Label. That’s a bit more expensive but also much more stylish and well made. Or Zara. You can come out looking like you just dropped money at an expensive department store. When I buy something I always think, “Can I wear this with most of the stuff that I already own?” It’s always best to recycle and mix an item with things that you already have.
What projects do you have going on now?
Right now I am starting my own digital design agency, and I also just had an important interview with a great fashion house. Fingers crossed.
There is nothing better than the holidays in New York City. Thanks for a great first year everyone. I would be nothing without each and everyone of you. Peace and blessings to all of you. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you New York!
The Queensboro Bridge is one of the most iconic crossings in the world. It spans the East River along side the world famous Roosevelt Island Cable Car. The bridge draws thousands of tourists and commuters per day. It also is one of the only toll-free crossings in all of New York City.
One of the best parts of the bridge is that it is available to pedestrians. Along the walkway is a chain link fence where many people leave locks with messages on them. Others are blank, leaving only the ones that have placed them to know their true meaning. It’s definitely something you have to look for but priceless when you find them.
In New York City, there is no greater divide between the haves and, quite literally, the have-nots than in Midtown Manhattan. According to reports from CBRE in 2012, rents between 49th and 59th Street on 5th Avenue were $3,000/ sq ft. Tourists line up to pay $60 for a t shirt and there are 24 hour computer stores. However, lost amongst the glitz and glamor are those who have fallen through the cracks of city society. Those whose stories are too infinite to mention and whose circumstances are too complicated to explain. They sleep on church steps and subsist on hand outs and charity.
If you have followed this journal you have seen some of these photos before. One could argue that it has been some what exploitative of me to use others destitution as “art”. I assure you that was never my intention, but only to simply showcase life as I saw it. However, I think there may be some merit to that argument. In order to rectify this I am re-presenting those same photos in this journal specifically to raise awareness to their plight.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what keeps them on the streets, be it drugs, or mental illness, or disability, or anything else; just as it doesn’t matter what you do about it, as long as you do something. Give something. Even if all you do is think about it and discuss it in polite company. I hope that by doing this journal I have done something. I hope to do more.
The people of New York City are what make it what it is. They are unique, strange, fun, powerful, humble, and hard working. All of which New York as a city most certainly is.
The East River runs through New York City separating Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan. It’s dirty and gritty and iconic; just like New York in every way.