I got another taste of New York Fashion Week at the Nolcha Shows at Art Beam Studio in Chelsea today. What a heaping spoonful! The Autumn/Winter 2017 couture collections from Lavanya Coodly, Acid NYC, Just in Case, Chèlbè, and Samantha Leibowitz featured a mix of everything from futuristic designs to urbane cocktail basics. More than anything, though, I loved seeing so many independent designers all in one place. As an independent artist myself, I understand how important it is to cultivate community among like-minded creative people. Heck, if nothing else, it makes your art-making endeavors more fun.
In exactly one month, my husband and I will be celebrating ten years together. I can't believe it's been nearly a decade since we confessed our feelings for each other at the library (yes, the library. Yet another reason I am a bibliophile.) We were just teenagers and we had no clue what kinds of adventures were in store for us. I'm so grateful for all of the moments we've shared together since then.
When our two-year wedding anniversary comes up in May, I hope we can celebrate with our friends in Brooklyn. Our Virginia wedding, while lovely, was small and mostly full of family. And our Brooklyn friends? They may not be our blood, but they feel like family. They complement and enrich our marriage. Whether we end up celebrating our anniversary with a bar bash in Williamsburg or a picnic in the Rockaways, I want our Brooklyn friends to be there. They're part of what has made this decade so incredible.
Once the world of New York Fashion Week was foreign to me. I could only experience it through glossy magazines and the New York Times style section. Before I lived in the Big Apple, I would wander through the grand department stores on Fifth Avenue just be near designer clothes. But those garments were from ready-to-wear collections. They were still glamorous and special, just not couture. One of my fantasies was to attend NYFW, so I could see one of a kind creations on the runway. I wanted the thrill of seeing new designs on real models in a perfectly choreographed show. Well, on Friday, I finally fulfilled that dream.
Thanks to Metropolitan Magazine, I had a press pass to Hakan Akkaya's show. I could not still my heart. It was pounding the entire time and I had to consciously remind myself to breathe. That's how excited I was. It was my first-ever New York Fashion Week event.
Akkaya unleashed a whole line of black outfits in various fabrics and silhouettes. While the clothes were elaborate, the show was fairly simple. Before the models came out, the audience sat beneath the glow of red lights. Then the lights went to white. Goth music surged as the models marched out onto the runway—which was really just the floor. That put the models at the same level as the audience. Overall, the show had a post-apocalyptic air that seemed to capture so many people's feelings about the Trump administration: The next four years will be full of doom and gloom.
After the show, I camped out in the media room to write and file my stories. I didn't have much time to peruse the booths outside of the the galleries, but I'm not too concerned about that. I'll be returning for more shows starting tomorrow. I cannot wait.
Hey, I'm back with another post. Did I mention I can't stand the snow? Luckily, we have plenty of food and working heat chez moi, so I'm quite happy to burrow deep into my bunny hole. I made darn well sure I didn't go into the office today. Though I'm slightly bummed I won't be venturing out for New York Fashion Week, I know it's going to be cricket-quiet in Manhattan today. Instead of doing the glamorous city girl thing today, you will find me writing, making art, and reading alllllll day long. Heck, I might even put away some of that laundry that hubs and I did yesterday. Folding laundry gives me an excuse to binge-watch my guilty pleasure TV shows. Like, say, Hart of Dixie (there's still some Southern gal left in me.)
But before I lose myself in housework and work-work, I wanted to share this GORGEOUS 'zine out of St. Louis, Missouri. It's called The Moon Zine and I'm honored that my poem, "Never Been Born," appears in the latest double issue, #17 & 18. The 'zine is full of weird collages, doodles, and poems that touch on the themes of Self and Other. And if that's not cool enough, the St. Louis Public Library lets these guys print the 'zine for free so they can distribute it across the city.
Here's some snow day reading for you!
Good morning from a snowy New York! Austere Magazine graced me with a new publication this morning. (See my photos here.) Stay warm, friends. It feels like a hot cocoa kind of day.
Yoo-hoo, February! What a strange time in American history this is. It's hard to believe the year has only just begun. Between attending the women's march on New York City and the rally for immigrants and refugees in Battery Park, I feel I've witnessed all of 2017 already. I am tired—and I am not the only one. Still, I'm trying to let the pain and confusion of this proverbial moment fuel me.
Last night, I attended a Motrin-sponsored press event with Blackish actress Tracee Ellis Ross and other notable female panelists. All of them discussed the power of pain. I was relieved to hear such an honest conversation take place between such a diverse group of women. You can read my account of Ross's message over on Mic.
Coincidentally, I had two very painful pieces of creative writing published today. Thanks to Public Pool and Ladybox Books for giving me another platform for my stories. Read them here if you're so inclined:
When you're headed to a Tracee Ellis Ross press event, you better fluff up those curls. Wish me luck (and good hair) tonight!
Somehow my day got even better because the latest issue of Bop Dead City arrived in the mail. And, yeah, I have a poem in it. The editors describe the 'zine as "a cheap, tawdry literary magazine," which sounds perfect to me. When I was a teenager, I thought 'zines were the coolest thing. I still do. I guess you could say I'm living that 'zine dream.
You can buy Bop Dead City here. It's just $3, plus $1 for shipping.
Moving to New York City really does change you. I don't think that's a corny or exaggerated statement. My life feels like a complete transformation from when I was living in Northern Virginia (the mostly uncool part of the Washington, D.C. metro area) and working a steady, predictable newspaper job. I had a good job with kind people and lived in a comfortable apartment in a nice, quiet building not far from my family. But everything about that life felt so snug that it was almost constricting. I needed more variety and glamour. I'm no Mother Teresa. I admire such people; I'm just not one of them. Maybe that's why I so admire them. I just need more stimulation than that kind of existence offers. Life would've been easier if I had stayed in my native NoVa, yet I am so, so happy I did not. Taking that leap was one of the best decisions of my life.
If I had stayed in NoVa, could I have ever interviewed Jane the Virgin star Jaime Camil? Probably not. Now that I'm one of those New York media folks, though, I had Mr. Camil thanking me for my time. We talked about things that mattered, too—everything from machismo in Latino cultures to being a Mexican actor working in L.A. under the Trump administration. Here are the two Mic stories that came out of our conversation:
Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph fellow poetess and magazine writer Lisa Marie Basile in her Manhattan home. That is all I will say about the witchcraft she and I got up to the other day. Because why tell when I can show? Here's a taste of some of the photo collage magic I got up to in my art cave the other night. (No, the moon wasn't full...this time.) You can find more on Quail Bell Magazine and The Huffington Post soon.
Psst...find more of my artwork at The World Of Christine Stoddard.
By day, I am Christine Stoddard, a New York-based magazine writer. By night I am the founding editor of the bewitching Quail Bell Magazine and a Brooklyn bohème who adores art, magic, and revolution. Really, those two personas are not all that different—at least if you're paying attention. This is where I dream, dabble, and muse. From time to time, you'll find me promoting the fairy punk lifestyle, too. And why not? It's addictive. Learn more about me.