Dress, boots - H&M / Glitter tights - Gap (2 years old) / Necklace - Forever 21
I may have committed a bit of a Christmas-time faux pas in buying this dress for myself. In my defense, I made a point to buy or make gifts for everyone else before I decided to treat myself. Well, I guess that's almost entirely true, as long as I continue to ignore the still unfinished photo album laying on my desk with its various disassembled components scattered about in a messy pile. Oh, and I still have to wrap all of my gifts. And design and make everyone's cards. Did I mention it's Christmas Eve? I hope no one will mind and/or notice if my gift presentation is a bit lacking this year. Perhaps my sparkly tights will distract them.


US*U.S. Boutique

On a beautiful day earlier this week, when the weather felt nothing like it should in early December, I made my way down the Philadelphia-based designer co-op US*U.S. Boutique. Located on North 4th Street next to a firehouse (and a very distinctive bust of Benjamin Franklin), US*U.S. houses the work of eight Philadelphia designers. All of the original pieces shown in-store are for sale, but most of the designers work with customers to produce one-a-kind couture garments. A majority of the work is done on site or within the city, with delicate or specialized garments such an knitwear being shipped out. One of the designers, who was in the process of drafting a pattern and fitting a sample when I stopped by, was kind enough to take me down to the sewing room in the basement level of the store. The name of this co-op is meant to illustrate its goal of supporting locally based designers. The pieces you'll find are made in America, from conceptualization to creation.

Read more about US*U.S. Boutique in this week's issue of The Triangle



Striped shirt - J. Crew via Net-A-Porter; Teal skirt - Urban Outfitters; Tote - H&M; Scarf - vintage Bill Blass; Patent ballet flats - Target; Gold necklace - Forever 21
One would think that finding a red striped shirt would be a rather simple feat, right? Six months ago when I initiated my hunt for a red and white Breton-striped top I would have agreed with the previously stated question, but such a top has proven to be quite an elusive creature. When I did find a shirt I liked it was usually out of my price range, because apparently there's a market for $100 t-shirts. I found this precious gem of a garment while browsing Net-a-Porter with no intention of purchasing a thing but instead weeping softly over the beautiful designer clothing that will sit in my virtual shopping bag and never be actually purchased. I think I've worn it every single week since I've received it, so even if I did pay over $100 for it I would have gotten my money's worth within a few months.

If you're an avid (or occasional) reader of East coast-based blogs, you're probably well aware of the heat wave we've been subjected to over the past month. I made the poor choice of donning this shirt to an outdoor barbecue on the fourth of July and within minutes of stepping out the door I ran back and changed into a sleeveless top I had stowed away in my suitcase. I used to think I was a Summer person, but I've developed a new appreciation for Fall as I've found myself longing to layer tights and sweaters and blouses and shirts under dresses and the list goes on and on. 


Fair Trade

Purple lace dress $25, rings - H&M *photos of me by Shannon
Back in May, my friend Shannon and I trekked down the the Schuylkill River trail in search of a decent location for a portrait photography assignment. I admittedly went into a bit of a state of shock as I was editing these photos and realized that not only were they taken back in May, but that nearly a month had passed since. In between classes, final projects, internship applications, over a dozen interviews, and even seemingly normal tasks like grocery shopping, I've felt extraordinarily busy. Luckily, it's been more of a manageable state of constant occupation as opposed to a more overwhelming one. Sadly, other than shooting projects for the photography class I took last term, my camera has barely seen the light of day. I've resolved to remedy that this summer, and perhaps I'll even end up enjoying myself more if I seek out activities that are worth documenting. 

My absence on here is partly due to my devotion to increase my time-management skills, my lack of which proved detrimental to my sleep schedule this past winter. I pulled far too many all-nighters because I left my work until the last minute, a habit I'm determined to change. I haven't been taking as many photos, and when I do it's either on assignment for the newspaper or as part of my photography class. I've also purchased a handful of books over the past couple of months that I have yet to touch. I've lightened my course load over the summer term, seeing as I'm already ahead of schedule, and left some time to just relax. And while I've been the worst, most inattentive blogger ever, I have been tweeting up a storm. Sometimes I manage to tweet some pretty clever things (sometimes).

My already inhumanely short summer break of one week was cut even shorter due to a number of interviews and obligations. I spent last Monday working my way through Midtown in Manhattan, and even if I don't end up working in New York come this fall, at least I'll know that I have some serious interviewing experience under my belt. I stepped into an elevator and my jaw hit the floor when I saw literally dozens of some of the most internationally recognized fashion brands listed on the wall. I was also tempted to stop on every floor and leave my resume with the receptionist and shamelessly beg for a lowly internship position. And despite experiencing a minor quarter life crisis as I anticipated the arrival of my 20th birthday at the end of last month, I've never been more confident in my choice of major, and ultimately my future career. I'd call that a fair trade.


The Great Gatsby

 Unless you're living under a rock, I'm sure you've seen the trailer for The Great Gatsby. The costumes and sets look absolutely stunning, as if we'd expect anything less from director Baz Luhrmann. But at same time I find myself hoping for something that is not too...Baz Luhrmann-y? I've always imagined the story as being depicted in a way that's more subtle, perhaps even with an air of melancholy; but perhaps that's the route that was taken with Paul Rudd's version from 2000 (I love you Paul, but this just didn't cut it). I'm also excited for the inevitable resurgence of twenties-era inspired fashion by the time this film premieres in the winter: yes, please. Join me in fawning over all of Carey Mulligan's headpieces and watch the trailer here.


Rooms Filled with Light

The Drums
Over the course of the past few months I've had the opportunity to photograph some rather spectacular bands. Unfortunately I've also submitted to overwhelming laziness and have just gotten around to editing photos that have been sitting in a folder since the beginning of March. Thank goodness I don't do this for a living, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to eat for about two and a half months. The Walkmen put on a brilliant 3 hour long set on March 4 at Union Transfer; their show here in Philadelphia was part of a series of celebratory shows that honored their 10th anniversary as a band. Washed Out played at the same venue on April 19 and Fanfarlo was here to promote their newest album on March 8. The Drums were at Union Transfer as well back on April 23, and despite it being the most difficult show I've ever had to shoot (backlighting, smoke, more backlighting, and more smoke) it was a great show to watch. Every so often I have to remember to put down my camera, stop thinking about catching the best light, and just enjoy the music.

Washed Out
The Walkmen


Sheer Genius

Sheer navy blouse, Chelsea boots - H&M / Yellow skirt, gold necklace - Forever21 / Black opaque tights - Hue / Blazer - thrifted 
I've come to realize that the title of this post it a bit misleading, because this shirt has been the biggest pain to style. All summer I was inundated with streetstyle photos of model-esque waifs rocking sheer blouses via tumblr (and just about every other corner of the internet). But once this blouse came into my possession, I realized that I lacked the confidence to ever wear it out of the house with just a bra on underneath. But I think I figured it out, and for now, or until I become a regular at the gym, I'm going to keep my undergarments hidden.


The Aim of Art

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."- Aristotle  
As a design student, I'm privileged enough to be granted free access to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I've been many times before, both alone and with friends, but my favorite visits were those which were guided by my professors; had my design professor not stopped to ask one of the museum employees for a magnifying glass, we all would have walked by Jan van Eyck's St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata without having noticed the ridiculously detailed cityscape background. Every time I leave with the notion that I've seen all there is to see, but once I had several Art History courses under my belt I began to notice and understand things I had not previously. That's all there is to it, being able to notice subtleties that would otherwise go unrecognized. 
This is a reconstruction of a cloister from an Abbey church in France.
A cast of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, which was originally a figure on The Gates of Hell.
Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It
Cy Twombly's ten-piece collection of drawings, which illustrate Homer's Iliad, is probably my favorite collection. What I like most is the reaction it elicits from most viewers.
"The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths."