Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Unfettered Ferocity of Florals

Sometimes, I crack myself up with post titles. Anyways, it seems that I've seen more flowers on clothing this season than I've seen actual flowers in my whole entire lifetime. While that is slightly troubling, it was a trend I readily embraced this summer and it's nice to know it hasn't died out. Well, to be honest, I am awfully picky with my floral prints... too easily can they come to look gaudy or as my mother likes to joke, "like something a country hick's daughter would wear." Sometimes you'll love a floral print from far away, but close up you'll see that it's wrong, wrong, absolutely wrong. It's a tricky life, guys, but we have to live it.

Anyways, if there's one thing I can say about Diana (with conviction), it's that she loves florals. Not only does she own this floral shirt, but also floral wedges, floral denim shorts, and I'm sure there are more hiding in her closet that she is saving for a particularly sunny day. I passed by her today and took an outfit shot because her floral blouse was great. It was eye-catching and not one of those "dusty rose on white" affairs that I've come to gloss over. Also, her loafers were fantastic. And I continue to have a unrequited love affair with her bag.

Fare Thee Well,

Jenn

Food and Fellowship!

Yesterday I had the fortune of eating lunch with a high school friend, Helen. She, one of the few friends at Vandy I've actually told about the blog, was kind of curious and supportive about it, which gave me warm fuzzy feelings. Anyways, after we descended from the upper parts of Rand, she introduced me to Imani, president of the Vanderbilt Public Relations Society. That was also pretty neat, seeing as VPR puts on a fashion show every year called Scene and Heard, so look forward to more about that later. It's also really nice to know that there is indeed a budding fashion scene here in Nashville.

Imani herself is a sweetheart and I loved her flowy blouse and shorts, so I took an outfit shot of her. Plus, she sure knows how to strike a pose with confidence!



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Things and Lovely People

Yesterday I walked home barefoot because I had gone to class wearing shoes a size too small. I sent them in for an exchange today and hopefully what comes back does not do to me what the glass slipper did to Cinderella's sisters... No matter how beautiful a prince or pair of Oxfords, I will not cut my toes or heels off. Also, I learned the hard way that Vandy loves to pave their roads with teensy bits of shrapnel and am immensely grateful that I got my Tetanus shot renewed last summer.

Speaking of shoes, I love seeing the shoes that Vandy kids wear in the summer heat. I've probably witnessed at least a thousand different versions of the gladiator sandal and compelling as those are, it's always nice to see something a little different, a little wacky. Toms is, of course, another favorite of my classmates (and probably other young folks too, I'm not too sure) but I absolutely loved this girl's Toms. Their lovely paisley print just electrified my heart. Haha. And the girl was very nice too, I unfortunately forgot to ask her name... but there you have it.


Keep Working

No photo-taking yesterday meant I had to come back with vengeance today. I snapped shots of about five people, followed by a brief bout of actual class-attending. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration for me to dare to ask to photograph people and I need to constantly motivate myself to take action and not remain passive. It's still difficult, however, but I'm learning, and today was one of my great progress days!

I ran into my friend Sarah Catherine today a few times, first in the mail room and then on library lawn. I really liked her outfit. Not only the color coordination of it (and such bright, happy colors too) but also how she balanced her basic button up and shorts with a bold scarf. And it's preppy in that classic Vandy way, yet the scarf belies that with bohemian charm. I liked it so much that after the first time I walked by her, I texted her and demanded a photoshoot in the afternoon!


Ta,
Jenn

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Steady As She Goes

The first week has passed with naught a fray in the thread (just kidding, there have been many), but Sunday dawns like a breath of fresh air. I did less today than I have all week, and am making plans to venture into Hillsboro tomorrow, which is quite exciting. I have decided to take each day at a time, because all plans for recreation are up in the air. Ahead of me I see many speed bumps and potholes and shaky bridges but only time will tell and I have high hopes for the journey. I met a girl today who works twenty hours in the Dining Department and is a Molecular and Cellular Biology Major... her introduction left me slack-jawed with astonishment. She could probably teach classes on how to manage time.

I caught dinner at The Commons and ogled all the freshmen. Luckily, it was to great avail, and I scored a great outfit shot from Emma, who rocked a bright Midi skirt like no other Vandy girl I've ever seen. Might have thoroughly creeped her out, as well, but this time I got the name AND plugged the URL. Small steps, my loves, small steps.

Many a Great Love,
Jenn

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sleep With The Light On

Do you guys ever have dreams where in them, you feel this certainty that you've been in that dream before? It could be a deja vu of real life experience or a deja vu of your dream history, but either way you get the distinct feeling that you know this place. Usually, for me, it's the strangest locations... A subway station slash parking garage that is made completely out of purple steel, driving up roads with at least a fifty degree incline, or in gothic Southern mansions with cobwebs clinging to my shoulders. The thing is, when I'm in the dream I know with conviction that I've been there before. However, when I wake up, it seems like the most bizarre thing, because I've certainly never been there in my life, or even in previous dreams. 

I remember about a third of my dreams and I've heard of people remembering even less. Maybe these flashbacks are testaments to the dreams we don't remember. It's cool to think that the subconscious picks up on such subtle details, or creates the same dream scape over and over again. Sometimes I like to pretend that they're visions of our past lives, and in our dreams our souls can finally return.

Yesterday I took some outfit photos in the poor light of my little room. Reluctant to venture outside to take better shots, I chose to keep my tenuous dignity instead. But really, posting them online... they'll still be seen. Oh well.








Friday, August 26, 2011

We Are Experiencing Technical... Issues

Sometimes, I am baffled by the mysterious workings and limitations of my camera. I know that seven times out of ten, it's my own amateur skill failing me. But there are times when despite the perfect setup and a vast amount of light, I'm still not happy with the pictures I take. Better mastery of my camera would really come in handy when I awkwardly ask people to take their photo and have a very limited amount of time to do so. But how do I master it without frequent practice? Ah, the age old dilemma. As a result, I'm sure there will be many outfits shots that I lose, and the ones that make it on the site won't necessarily be the best ensembles, just what actually looks presentable. Just today I took a street style photo of a girl with great robin's-egg-blue shoes, but since the photo quality was so blurry and poor, I couldn't justify posting it. Sad news.

Well, moving on the greener pastures. One thing that I find awesome (and occasionally hilarious) about Vandy guys is how well they dress on a regular basis. Many times have I passed boys with brighter color palettes than me. Sometimes, they look like they're in the pastel throes of Easter. Other times, they look great. Asking guys to take their photo is a little more intimidating, however. I always tend to "scope" a little before I ask and I could easily imagine somebody misinterpreting me for a stalker. Or a forlorn secret admirer. It's OK, guys. I get that a lot.

Anyhow, today I photographed Karl at the Student Organization Fair, which was quite literally a hot, sweaty mess. Somehow, he kept his cool (at least, he looked like he was cool) and took it on the chin when I asked for an outfit shot. This time I remembered to get the name but forgot to give him the URL!

Hope y'all had a great first week!

Jenn

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Out of Nine Muses

In all of my limited experience with fashion and fashion photography, I have never had my breath taken away faster than by Hedi Slimane's fashion photography. Originally, for me, it was the models (who are admittedly gorgeous and so effortlessly cool) that led me there, as I would mainly use fashion photos as fodder for figure poses. But through the years his photos have stuck with me.

My easy favorite is his editorial from September 2008 called "London British Youth." It appeared in Dazed and Confused. The photos really capture the candid, devil-may-care beauty of youth. And I, who as a little girl dreamed of London and still do, was ensnared by the charm.



 




Luff,
Jenn

Save The Best For Never


I have noticed lately that there is a precarious sort of self-denial that the world partakes in. I am no stranger to it myself. As a child, I would save my favorite dish on the dinner plate for last, eating around it delicately until only it remained. No more putting it off then. Ultimately, I would always hesitate before taking the plunge, knowing that this exquisite moment was the last before things changed irrevocably.

OK, so I'm exaggerating here. But the truth remains that I am in the habit of avoiding what I should love. For example, there are times when fear cripples me and in fear of failure, I think for a mind-numbing moment that maybe I should delete the blog, or give it up. The same avoidance applies to my art, or skating.

But in no way is this feeling limited to ambitions and the art of eating dinner. There exists a Yagan word "Mamihlapinatapei," which is untranslatable to the English language. It describes "the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initate something but are both reluctant to start." For a culture of people to dedicate a word to this phenomenon must mean that there's universality in our hesitation. I wonder how many people in this world die without having experienced the joy of dreams realized, just because they were too apprehensive to try. How cruel it is, for fear to steal us from what we love.

What do y'all love but are afraid of pursuing? How do you guys overcome these little obstacles?

Today I took another street style shot. Her pants are so vibrant and brave and look phenomenal with her sandals. I still need to work on the name thing.

  
Kiss Kiss,
Jenn

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can't Stop Won't Stop

Only my second full day back and already things are getting hectic. Ten resumes and eight cover letters later, I'm a little closer to finding a job, but a lot far away from everything else. There are meetings to be scheduled, interviewers to astound, rooms to be decorated, blogs to be maintained... Not to mention classes. The list goes on and on. I try to swallow the medicine in little gulps, and it's manageable, somewhat. One day I will master these elusive creatures called organization and time management.

The train leaves on its own schedule and I must do my best to catch it. Opportunities whisper open and slam shut, and I am left reeling in its wake. Today, I took a little leap of faith and finally did photograph a stranger. I had admired her style when I was sitting in the coffee shop, but wasn't brave enough to ask, and let her slip away. Luckily, however, I got a second chance! What I loved about her outfit was that despite the fact that the dress had a simple cut, it looked great on her and her ensemble actually stood out from all of the other outfits I have seen on campus. (Unfortunately, I didn't think to catch her name, which is something I'll need to work on in future street style posts.)



Love and Puppies,

Jenn

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Coziness of Strange Places

With each meticulous trim and fold, my room begins to feel more like a little home. It's a humble affair, seeing as the stock furniture takes up over half the space, but I tuck in treasures here and there.

Yesterday my housemates and I crowded into a dark bathroom to watch lifesaver mints spark in our mouths. I'm finally beginning to feel the summer lethargy dissipate, and the heaviness lifts, a little. I have much to look forward to and so much to learn, and the presence of others helps. However, the reality of what I will have to do to keep this blog alive hits me, as well, when my surroundings populate with unfamiliar faces. I'm quite afraid to ask strangers to take their pictures. In fact, I spent the whole day dreading the thought yet insisting to myself that I must, which resulted in a spectacular sort of inner conflict.

Luckily for me, however, I spotted my friend Ankita at Grins. What a beautiful girl! Her top really resonated with me, reminding me of the night sky and its constellations.





Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vandy Exclusive: Freshmen Shopping List

Cardboard boxes thrown aside, suitcases emptied and tucked tightly away... Ah, the new class has finally moved in. As newly minted freshmen (or transfer students), you may catch yourself wondering, "What should I wear to fit in at Vandy?" Well, that's a perfectly valid question, as dressing well to impress others is absolutely essential to being a good college student. In fact, it's probably the most important part of life. Y'all should get an early start if you want to end up anywhere, well, important.

Luckily for you, the unspoken dress code is a tad formulaic and quite simple to follow. Whether you choose to stand out or not, this go-to list should cover all the bases for any time you feel like blending right in.


1. Top by ShopRuche -- Listen up, ickle freshmen, because seersucker may just very well become the most important pattern you'll know for the rest of your days. It'll be your casual coffee date must-have and your inevitable go-to on your "fashion day off." Why so popular? Maybe it's because those blue stripes look effortless yet oh so refined. Or, perhaps they remind you of the rippling ocean seen from your daddy's yacht. We don't really know the answer to that one. All we know is, you'd best get one of everything in this pattern, because you'll need it.

2. Pink Freshwater Pearl Necklace by MuseumWayPearls.com -- Maybe it's because pearls are the gems that oysters make, and oysters come from the sea, and rich people simply love to dilly-dally on boats in the sea, that pearls have gained a sort of symbolic importance here at Vandy. Not only are they the choice jewelry of Southern Belles (and Stepford Wives), but they are also elegant and will match each and every floral dress that you inevitably throw at them. Know that with a string of these around your neck, you will fast become the apple of every Southern Gentleman's eye. Just as long as you make sure they're real. Please and thank you!

3. Reptilian Leggings by Black Milk -- Leggings may seem like the black sheep of our little Vandy fashion family, but even the Vandy girl has to keep up with modern times. Not only do these lovely leggings go so well with those neon sorority t-shirts that y'all will come to love, they're great for winter layering and really accentuate those "I-haven't-stepped-off-the-treadmill-in-three-days" results you've been dying to show off. They should come with a warning label, however: these babies tend to show off details, features, and panty lines you don't actually want the whole world to see. So if you'd like to keep your dignity, check yourself before you leave the door.

4. Tory Burch Flats -- Now that you're in college, chances are you'll be doing a lot of walking: to the bookstore, to lunch, to frat row and your friend's dorm (and occasionally class!) Heels can get tres tiring, so where does a girl go from there? It's difficult, you see, because athletic shoes are barely acceptable in public, and Converse All-Stars are exclusively for dirty hipsters. So turn to Tory Burch, because not only are these flats prim, proper, and adorable, they also cost two hundred dollars! And with the huge label at the toes, everybody will know how loaded and awesome you are, and they'll totally want to be you. Yay you!

5. Patio Party Dress by ModCloth -- Coming in last, but certainly not least, is the floral sundress. In fact, one could say with conviction this will be the most important piece in your wardrobe... Ever. You'll need multiple variations on this theme, because you'll wear them to class, football games, dinners out with friends, and even on hungover Sunday afternoons, if you really want to be a Vandy girl. But seriously, though.

Kiss Kiss,
Jenn


Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't Carry it All


The season shifts and sputters, the world tilts, and there is the shock of it. A blustering shock, and it stings at first. But then there is the settle.

And summer is withering now, along with everything that came with it--I almost taste the sweetness of freedom, before it sours into another type of bind. And just as I was sad to meet it, I am sad to leave this small town of mine, all of the people I had the fortune to meet. Where will they go from here? I always want to know. 

Sheets sit folded in their suitcase, my dresses crumpled flat, but still my boxes are empty. What are the objects that make a life? I've got color pencils and my sketchbook lining the bottom, sitting tight and ready for their day. Measuring cups, a ladle, a lamp. My longboard has already reached its destination, waiting for me with a thrill and a shiver. Yet. I face a complete unpreparedness for this impending change and feel nothing. I wonder if this is opiation. It tingles.

Last night, a cockroach the size of Madagascar hurtled out of the abyss that is my room. If you want to ascertain how big, imagine all of the cockroaches you have ever seen, their masses melded together, moving as one. Terrifying. Well, maybe you have no fear for cockroaches. Try, then, to imagine your greatest concrete fear, charging at you at three times its natural size. I don't know where it came from, but I'm willing to bet it's from the depths of Hell. My room is uninhabitable once more--I have fled.

I concluded my strange limbo in Johns Creek with a few photos on my back porch, much to the amusement of my neighbors.





Sandals from Kohls. The other pictures weren't clear enough.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer's Perished, Heralds Our Birth

Hello everyone! As the lazy summer months dwindle to a close and we all return to our respective habitats, the changing of the season marks new beginnings, revived ambitions. A new journey, at least for those of us who still follow "school year" schedule. It's hard to believe that Iris (pictured below) will be settled into her dorm room, ready for Junior Year, by the time this post hits the ground running. I mean, by the time this blog hits the ground running. Another new beginning, right here! Imagine that.

Last night, I had the fortune of eating dinner with my childhood friends before we all went our separate ways. While dinner certainly didn't feel solemn or wistful, it hit me that it might be the last time all four of us would be together. At least for a while. 

Therefore, I couldn't resist snapping a street-style photo of Iris, even though this isn't Nashville. Either way, I quite like the combination of her rustic accessories and her dress's colorful pattern.



I'll be headed to Nashville in a few weeks time, ready to face classes and friends and legions of stylish folk all waiting to be photographed. But first, Savannah!

I'm excited for all of it. Most of all, I'm excited for this blog--I want to do it justice. Hope all of you folks are enjoying your summer.

Much Love,
Jennifer