Wednesday, April 11, 2018

1.  Open letter to Pinterest for former Polyvore users




To whom it may concern: I was a former Polyvore user for 6+ years (insert your own amount of time here) with the username @SharpLilTeeth (insert your own username here). I styled and designed outfits as an independent creative thinker for Polyvore which expressed my own unique viewpoint and ideas. On April 5, 2018, Polyvore was acquired by the luxury e-commerce retailer SSENSE and without warning, I was shut off from my personal Polyvore webpage which showcased my styling portfolio and linked to 50K (insert your amount of followers here) followers. Although I've opted out of the SSENSE data transfer from Polyvore, I'm still seeing the outfits and looks I put together used to promote their site through links which now directly link my creations to their e-commerce platform.

This was all done without my consent as a user and in my opinion, is a gross misuse of my user-generated content which was never created with the intent or knowledge of promoting SSENSE or ANY website or entity other than my own creative ideas through my former personal Polyvore webpage. I've searched Pinterest using my former Polyvore username and have found countless sets showcasing my styling work that I never gave permission for SSENSE to use to link back to their site. Unfortunately, because SSENSE shut down Polyvore, I have no way to send you a link to my online portfolio which was formerly a part of Polyvore and has since been effectively destroyed. I would like you to please remove all of my images which now link my work to SSENSE as I never intended to promote them, their company, or anything they stand for. I sincerely appreciate your time and attention to this matter, as this issue is sure to have an impact on hundreds of thousands of users who now, without your help in removing our content, have no choice but to promote SSENSE. Thank you very much.


2.  Open letter to SSENSE for former Polyvore users




I’m a former Polyvore user with the username @SharpLilTeeth (insert you username here). After the Polyvore website was sold to SSENSE, I opted out. However, I am still seeing outfits and sets I’ve created redirecting to SSENSE and being used by the website to promote your products and services. This includes my content pinned to Pinterest by other users/individuals and/or blogs or other saved images of my styling work from other websites. I would appreciate a prompt resolution of this issue as well as removal of ALL my styling work from your site as I never agreed to design sets to promote products offered through SSENSE, the company itself, nor the values it stands for.  This is a gross misuse of my user-generated Polyvore content which was never created to promote or link back to your website via my content. Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this matter.








Thursday, July 3, 2014

personal style - 'cloak and dagger'

Back in May, I won second prize in one of the Asos Fashion Finder competitions, and the prize was pretty sweet...a gift certificate from Boticca, one of the coolest jewelry and accessory stores on the 'net.

The only problem was I couldn't figure out what to get, the site is really impressive and they showcase designers from all over the world.  After much deliberation, asking my friends, etc., I finally narrowed it down to this dagger piece from LeiVanKash (from the "Damocles" Collection).  It had the perfect balance of elegance and bad-ass-ery that I was looking for, and I wear rings all the time, so it won't end up sitting on my dresser in the necklace and bracelet graveyard....



I decided to style it with some equally elegant/badass tattoos from Sprit Ink...being afraid of going under the needles, it's my only option.  But I've actually received compliments on my faux ink before, and a waitress asked to photograph my sacred heart "tattoo" to show to her tattooist...



And finally, the nail polish is "Ripley" from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, which is perfectly described as a "blackened antique olive-gold metallic"...


 I really love this piece, and feel very lucky to own it.  I feel like it's going to become a staple, it's such a nice extra touch.  My hands are probably my favorite body part so I like to accessorize and pay a lot of attention to styling them...from nails to rings to body art.  What do you think? Let me know and as always, thanks for reading
x

Saturday, June 28, 2014

conscious style - righteous fur & pest control.

Environmental causes have always been near and dear to my heart.  Growing up with an awareness of the plants and animals around me, and an environmentally-conscious mom, I've always paid attention to the landscape and our impact on it.

I've been noticing a ton of "invasive species" lately where I live, non-native plants are taking over the landscape, choking out the native wildflowers.  The Japanese knotweed in my yard is terrible.  Chemicals are the only sure fire way to get rid of it, and since it's very close to the water, I am hesitant to do so. A tough, resilient, bamboo-like plant, I keep cutting it down, but it keeps growing back.  I've been thinking about hiring a herd of goats to come in and mow it down....
invasive Japanese knotweed, taking over the landscape.
native milkweed, which becomes a habitat for butterflies like the monarch. it used to grow in abundance along the landscape, but is slowly being choked out or destroyed by over-zealous landscaping.
Recently, I read about the organization "Righteous Fur", which deals with the nutria, an invasive beaver-like mammal destroying the wetlands of Louisiana,  in a unique and interesting way....

image, righteousfur.com
Yep. You guessed it.  Nutria tooth pendants, furs, and hats....

righteousfur.com

French accessory designer, Monika Jarosz, also takes a similar approach with a highly poisonous invasive species of toad, introduced to Oceania from South America.  A "non-protected species", animal advocates have recommended it be controlled and eliminated.  The designer has recycled its skin into bags, bracelets, even belts...talk about a "conversation piece!"

http://www.kobja.com/


http://www.kobja.com/
Wearing fur or using animal products for fashion has always been considered something of a taboo in the past.  It caused the extinction or near-extinction of species, from beavers to birds, all for the sake of being fashionable and looking good.

It's interesting to me to see it now being used in the complete opposite of ways. It raises awareness of human impact on the ecosystem.  It shows how we cause great damage and harm to native plants and animals by mistakenly introducing non-native species into the environment. What do you think of this new trend? Ready to wear it or completely against it? I'd be curious to know.

Want to learn more about invasive plants? http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml
Check out Righteous Fur's Design and Jewelry Collective here: http://www.righteousfur.com/
Learn more about Monika Jarosz and her work here: http://www.kobja.com/histoire-ethique

Monday, June 2, 2014

photography: Jim Jocoy's Punk Rock

Recently I found out about this book: "We're Desperate: The Punk Rock Photography of Jim Jocoy SF/LA 1978 -1980", which chronicles the styles of the burgeoning Bay Area rock/punk scene at that time. What fascinates me was that this was a time of transition. Hippie-flower-child style was turning into black leather and combat boots, there was a real change in the culture at the time, reflected in music and fashion. 






Needless to say, I really identify with the fashion and personal style of the era. I like the in-your-face boldness of it, how it feels like personal armor, the rebelliousness and messy imperfection of it. There was a kind of originality and a " do - it - yourself " spirit (and one that wasn't packaged, branded, and sold in stores like Urban Outfitters). A lot of fashion today really takes inspiration from these roots.  But I find such an authenticity in these images that I rarely see in fashion and personal style today...

If you're interested, you can find the book Here. I think it's a must for the fashion & photography library!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Inspiration - Carolin Holzhuber & Surrealism.

When I first saw the work of designer Carolin Holzhuber, I had to know more. A pair of shoes fused with another pair of shoes? Wait, what?!  Can those actually be worn either way? I'm still not sure of the answer, but my guess is "yes."

photography, Thuy Pham
photography, Thuy Pham

I did some "research" (read: google) Carolin Holzhuber and found that that the Vienna and London-based designer "takes something that normally creates aversions and transforms it into aesthetical objects" according to notjustalabel.com, a website that supports "pioneers in contemporary fashion."  If you haven't ever explored this site, I strongly suggest you check it out.  It's a wealth of information and a great gateway to discover emerging talent.

photography, Thuy Pham

These pieces remind me of another favorite Surrealist/Dadaist artist and sculptor, Meret Oppenheim.  The artist presents with un-usable, impossible objects full of internal contradictions.  Many of her works incorporate found objects wrapped, bound, or fused with conflicting materials.





The concept of blurring the line between style and art is very dear to my heart. I love when things are out of balance, exaggerated, and cause you to look twice.  Carolin Holzhuber takes her inspiration from "mirroring, reflection, and conjoined twins."  It is quietly in-your-face, subtle yet powerful, and can't be ignored.

http://carolin.holzhuber.at/carolin_holzhuber.html

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jewelry Lust, and Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! (and Happy Easter, if you celebrate it :). The flowers are just starting to come up, I did some yard work today clearing away dead leaves.  I was motivated to get out and shoot some photos, despite the air still having a distinct chill.


Spring/summer is a perfect time for showcasing your favorite pieces of jewelry.  The bulkiness of gloves, scarves, piles of fabric, coats isn't there to impede your multi-chain necklace or cause your rings and bracelets to fall off when removing a glove.  Spring/summer clothes are more basic, with thinner fabrics and simpler cuts...what better way to add interest to a look?

I thought I'd share some of my recent favorites with you...

UK based Tessa Metcalfe's post-apocalypitic-inspired pigeon claw rings were just something that when I saw them, I knew I had to have one.  She also does necklaces, earrings, and bespoke engagement pieces with a variety of stones.  My only complaint is that every time she creates something new, I want it.  Everything she makes is so well-crafted.  Also, she has an amazing Instagram account which I highly recommend everyone follow!  Snap up a piece by this designer asap, as her work is growing in popularity!




Gabriel Urist has a showroom in a neighborhood where I used to to live, and that is near and dear to my heart, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  If you've ever been there, it is a really cool mix of artists, designers, musicians, teachers, dog-lovers, and creative people of all types.  I like that his style is a mix of pop and classic designs, there is almost something baroque about some of the lettering styles and pieces...(all images below, http://gabrieluristjewelry.com)  Also there's an emphasis on the handcrafted, personal touch.  I really like the bold calligraphy and the positive yet in-your-face feeling the pieces have.



Wendy Brandes is another NYC designer who just makes everything cool.  She creates pieces at a variety of price points.  Loving her funny emoticon earrings and rings, as well as her "single" earrings in sterling silver that can be mixed and matched.  Also the statement initial pieces are stunning, and very funny.  If you've read my blog you know I love style that has a sense of humor and whimsy, which a lot of her pieces tend to have. (all photos below, http://wendybrandes.com)  They are also not for the faint at heart, bold, statement pieces that speak for themselves!


One of my most recent purchases was from Portugese designer Carolina Curado.  I absolutely fell for her worn-under-the-finger "fingernail" midi ring, I've never seen anything like it.  I'm also totally in love with her ear cuffs....so unique and beautifully crafted.




I also have a collection of plain bands that I wear as "midi" or "above the knuckle" rings.  I picked them up there and there, but mostly at arts fairs, flea markets, and craft fairs.  I just buy the smallest sizes they have and wear them on whatever finger they fit.  They're great compliments with the larger pieces or just on their own.  All photos are by me unless otherwise noted.

Thanks for reading! x

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview with ThreadWritten Textiles.

In an age of consumption, throw-away garments meant to last only a season, and thousands of products mass-produced on an immense scale, it's always a treat to find someone who acknowledges artistic heritage, and helps us to reconnect with the hands-on feeling of making something special.  If you don't know what it's about, I'd like to introduce you to the "Slow Fashion" movement, and along with that, to ThreadWritten Textiles, an accessories and home-decor company based in Oakland, California.



Owner, Designer and Creative Director Sarah Pedlow is putting emphasis not only on the handmade product, but the faces of the women artisans behind it. I caught up with Sarah in this interview, where we opened up a dialogue about fashion, heritage, and preservation in a discussion about her company's process and projects.

Q: I read on your blog that you were inspired to start ThreadWritten during your travels in eastern Europe.  What drew you to that area specifically?

A: When I studied abroad in college, Budapest, "the Paris of Central Europe", was on my list of travel destinations.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it there.  Years later, while thinking about applying for another artist residency, I stumbled upon the Hungarian Multicultural Center residency.  Through the residency, I was able to spend a month exploring and falling in love with the city.  I started photographing a series of street scenes with hand-stitched patterns.  My visit to the Ethnographic Museum changed the way I felt about textiles.  I couldn't stop thinking about the ornate costumes and the embroidery work.  I also love the mix of aesthetics in cities with a Communist history.

Q: Can you explain a little more about "slow fashion"?

A:  The Slow Fashion movement developed in 2007, based on the principles of the Slow Food movement. Its basic tenets are quality over quantity, preferring sustainable, eco-friendly materials and ethical practices, a high level of craftsmanship and experienced labor, with an emphasis on educating consumers.  Making a purchase is an investment in the product and the people making it.  Slow Fashion is about the hand-made piece that, while fashionable, is timeless.

Q: I think it's great that you put faces and names to the women behind the work.  How did they feel about that? 

A: Meeting the women and getting to know them is one of the best parts of what I do.  Many were happy to share their names and photos while a few preferred to remain anonymous.  I'm so glad the anonymous women agreed to be photographed, without being identified, and share a little about their lives and their sewing.  I love carrying my bag, remembering the woman who spent hours embroidering it with care.



Q: I was so impressed with the lace and embroidery work I saw on your blog.  About how long does it take to make one of these pieces?

A: Most pieces take several hours up to a few days broken up with time spent preparing meals, tending to family and home, and for some, their animals and gardens.



Q: Is there still a strong emphasis on teaching this craft today?

A: Fewer and fewer women practice the Kalotaszeg írásos style of embroidery.  Orsolya, a woman in her 30s, who translates for me, learned to embroider in grade school, but sewing is no longer part of the curriculum.  Women who used to teach their daughters and granddaughters no longer do.  I was surprised at how difficult it was to find this style of embroidery when I first traveled to Transylvania in 2012.  The churches hold beautiful tapestries that commemorate events or were made as gifts to the pastors, but otherwise it is hard to find them outside of museum collections.  Most women I met practice less labor-intensive forms of embroidery if they are doing any handiwork at all.

Q: You seem to join art, fashion, and travel seamlessly! (pun intended).  Do you have any tips or advice for a young, creative enterpreneur?

A: It's all about making connections and finding a thread between ideas, visual elements, patterns and places.  Don't be afraid to start putting out feelers.  Do your research, and take a leap (ideally in that order)!




Q: What's the most inspiring part of ThreadWritten?

A: As Sara Meaker, who has been coordinating work in the Kalotaszeg region, said to me last October, "Everything, all one's experience and knowledge, build upon each other, enriching each other." I've created a business where I combine my art, design, and travel experience, along with service.  Learning about culture and connecting with people to make something together is a joy and a blessing.  Getting to know the women and their traditions, and sharing that with others, is the heart of what I do.

Q: Where we can purchase your pieces?

A: A few of my first bags and phone cases are available here. For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'll have a booth at the Hungarian Heritage Festival in Belmont, CA, on May 10.

Q: What can we look forward to in the future?

A: With the help of Pastor Csilla in Damos, Sara Meaker in Huedin, and Reka Fogarasi, a filmmaker and the owner of Ide and Oda, I made a short documentary of two women demonstrating how to stitch írásos. They will keep the video as a record of the style, and are already using it as a teaching tool to help others learn the different stitches.  I hope that ThreadWritten will motivate more women to learn or re-learn the technique.

Two small, limited edition pillows will soon be available on my site.  I'm currently designing a more formal structured tote and clutch.  You can follow me here: facebook.com/ThreadWritten, for details.  I'm also @ThreadWritten on Instagram, and at pinterest.com/sarahpedlow.

(All images featured in this post, courtesy of Sarah Pedlow.  Also, check out this video!)

This post is the first part of a new series of interviews and commentaries on emerging artists, designers, and stylists.  If you would like to take part, or know someone who would, please leave me a comment below, and as always, thanks for reading.  Let's continue to grow this community and exchange our experiences and ideas :) x