Thursday, February 26, 2009

Desert Island Music.

I was tagged by the fantastic Molly to post my top five favorite albums of all time. Her list was so kick ass that mine is going to pale in comparison, but I think it's a fun thing to think about.
So, in no particular order, these are my top five stuck on a desert island and won't get to listen to any other music for years list.

1. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism.
I got this album back during sophomore year, and fell in love with every single track on it, which to me is a miracle. All thirteen songs are beautifully done, and now, six years after the album dropped, it still has not lost a place in my heart (what a corny thing to say!).


Favorite track: I only don't know if I can pick just one favorite off this album. It's a definite toss up between "Transatlanticism" (which is so beautiful and touching, and never ceases to make me cry. This is the song I want played at my funeral) and "Tiny Vessels."


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2. Ben Folds - Rockin the Suburbs.
This was Ben Folds' first album since he left the group Ben Folds Five. I absolutely LOVE Ben Folds...I mean, the man is a pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, guitarist, drummer...he's the whole package wrapped in angst and bitterness.

Favorite track: Gone. I don't know why I love this song so much, but I keep coming back to it. I love the sound of the piano in it, I love the lyrics...I just love it.

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3. Billy Joel - The Stranger.
This was the breakthrough album for my boy Billy Joel. I honestly don't think I could ever get tired of listening to ANY of his music...the man has some serious talent. My parents bought me this CD when I was seven, and I knew all the words very shortly after.

Favorite track: Another VERY tough call, but I'm going to have to say "Only the Good Die Young." Badass...I mean, "You Catholic girls start much too late," an obvious sexual reference, and of course the fact that "Virginia" who is constantly reference is really a pun for "virgin" this song is describe by Billy Joel himself as "not anti-Catholic, but pro-lust." Hottt.

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4. The Postal Service - Give Up.
Wow, I'm not really to up on the current, I guess. This was the debut album by The Postal Service, and the only studio album produced by them. I'm still holding out for a new album, but it's been six years, so I don't know when I'm going to let go of my hopes for something new. Most of my friends and I are very into The Postal Service, and we often say that there are not many bands who can still be so widely played and loved with only having one studio album. It's fantastic though, it really is.

Favorite track: I really want to say "Such Great Heights," because it's the cutest freaking song ever. I mean, if someone ever said to me "I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned," I would swoon. BUT, as much as I adore that song, I think my favorite on the album is "Brand New Colony." It's still a cute loveish song (while mixed with cynicism), is less popular, and has a really fun beat to it, which equals winner in my mind.

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5. Sigur Rós - Takk.
I absolutely go crazy for Sigur Rós... I don't care that I don't have a freaking clue what any of the songs mean (though, thanks to my trusty Wikipedia I do know that Takk means thanks), I love the soothing vocals and beautiful instrumentals. I often listen to Sigur Rós when I need time to reflect and relax, or when I go on a hike or spend time in nature. My parents love the music too, whih leads to less bitching about what we're listening to when I drive my car when we all go out.

Favorite track: Without even a question in my mind, it is definitely Sæglópur. A lot of the song is in Icelandic, and then another bit is in this gibberish language, but it doesn't matter - the vocals are gorgeous, and the instrumentals are fantastic.

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RUNNERS UP:

The Beatles - Abbey Road.
So typical that I would pick The Beatles, I know. But this album is seriously fantastic. My parents used to play all The Beatles records growing up, so I have had a lifelong love of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Actually, my mom was listening to "Come Together" the first time she felt me kick when she was preggers with me.

Favorite track: Not just because of the kicking thing, but "Come Together" is my favorite track on this album. Do I know what it means? No. Do I love it? Yes yes yes yes. I remember singing this song kareoke at a benefit we went to, and my mom saying how proud she was of me, and that I did The Beatles proud. It's such a catchy, fun song.

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Death Cab for Cutie - Plans.
Another amazing Death Cab album...this is another where I can't stop listening to it. It's fun and the beats are all super catchy. Some songs are sad, others are so beautiful I can't stand it.

Favorite track: Yeah right, like I could just pick one. Definitely "Soul Meets Body." That song just makes me happy. I also really like "Brothers on a Hotel Bed." It's so sad, about two people growing tired of each other and losing interest, but the phrasing of the lyrics is so deep and fantastic. I love it.

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MGMT - Oracular Spectacular.
I adore MGMT. I was lucky enough to get to see them in Brooklyn over the summer and they were SICK. I adore their electronica style and their fun outfits that are probably all from American Apparel. It's for sure my go to album when I'm feeling down.

Favorite track: Kids
Sick, sick, sick, sick. Definitely a winner.

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*~*
I'm going to tag ALL of my readers - I'd really love to hear what you guys consider your favorite albums! I think music is such a huge look into someone's life :) I look forward to hearing what you guys are loving!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar Sunday.

First and foremost, I want to thank you all so much for your kind words and support. It's never easy opening up and sharing something so personal and close, but all of your sweet words and best wishes (and compliments too!) made me so glad that I did. Although I know none of you personally, I think you are all remarkable people :)

So, now on to a less personal/intense subject. While I'm way behind my fellow bloggers on this, but the Oscars were tres magnifique. I loved how they had all the previous Oscar winners announce the nominees for the categories - I thought that was such a great touch!

Highlights:
*Slumdog Millionaire winning EIGHT Oscars!

*Moi correctly choosing EVERY SINGLE winner down to even the most obscure of categories.

*Heath Ledger winning the posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker
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*Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black's speeches that spoke to how important equality is. Black's speech was beautiful (he won best original screenplay for writing Milk), and made me want to get out and crusade for gay rights like my boy Harvey Milk :)

*This sketch (it was one of my favorite things of the entire evening!):


And of course, the fashion! I was pleasantly surprised by the huge number of beautiful gowns that were chosen (with the exception of a few). These were a few of the best for me:

My girl Kate Winslet in Yves St. Laurent. I swear, I think she is one of the classiest, most beautiful women in Hollywood. She's perfection.
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The gorgeous Freida Pinto in John Galliano...Lindsay at La Belle Vie said it best when she mentioned that Freida Pinto is her girl crush. I completely agree - she's gorgeous and has been picking the most fantastic dresses for all the awards shows :)
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Marissa Tomei, it is about effing time, girl! Her other choices for the award shows have been heinous, so I was so pleased with this gorgeous Atelier Versace gown she wore. Work it, girl!
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The Slumdog Millionaire team looking very sharp - Christian Coulson, Danny Boyle (in Louis Vuitton) and Simon Beaufoy:
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Best supporting actress winner Penelope Cruz in vintage Balmain. Gorgeous!
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Robin Wright Penn in Monique Lhullier and Sean Penn in Giorgio Armani:
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Natalie Portman in Rodarte (who apparently hooked up with that guy who is Edward Cullen in those Twilight movies at an Oscar party later that night!). I loooove the color of this dress. She looks like she's channeling Audrey Hepburn.
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The perfect couple - Brad Pitt in Tom Ford and Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab. I loved Angelina's simple choice of jewelry. Absolutely gorgeous.
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Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab Couture...she looks like she is a big bitch, but it's still a gorgeous dress!:
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Amy Adams in Carolina Herrera:
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I LOVED Sarah Jessica Parker's Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. It was beautiful, made her boobs look MASSIVE, and she still looks refined and classy.
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Taraji P. Henson dazzled in Roberto Cavalli. She is absolutely beautiful.
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Was I bummed that James Franco brought his new stupid girlfriend to the Oscars? Obvi. But they're both still hot. (And hello, I sound 14 again).
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Yay Emile Hirsch for being so freaking hot (in Armani) and for wearing the white knot - which is symbolic of the belief in equality in marriage. Yum.
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Leslie Mann looked gorgeous in this cap sleeved Pamella Roland dress.
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NO NO NO NO:
Jessica Biel, what the eff are you thinking in this Prada dress? Oh, honey. So wrong on so many levels.
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Miley Cyrus is gross, not age appropriate, and she's tacky and annoying.
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P.S. Ever since the Oscars ended (with thoughts of Slumdog Millionaire still in my head) I have become obsessed with this Oscar winning (!) song, and my roommate and I are trying our hardest to learn the dance to it...seriously, it's beautiful:



Who were your favorites of the evening?! (And least favorites for that matter!)

All images from Style.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Something a Little Different...

So, this blog is going to be way different from what I've been posting lately, so if you want to just skip on past it, I completely understand. I've been debating back and forth now for an hour on whether or not to post it...it's just something so, so personal about myself that it makes me so vulnerable to post.

February 22-28th is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and when I found out the date, I thought that it was such an important topic and part of my life that I couldn't just ignore it and post about the usual things I love to blog about.

Growing up, I lived a pretty privileged life - which was a double- edged sword. Because my mom is a surgeon and my father is a pretty big businessman, it meant that for a long time, I didn't really have either parent in my life. My mom was constantly in the city working, and my dad was always overseas on business trips. My brother and I were raised by a stream of au pairs and nannies, until my mom finally resigned from her position at the hospital. My dad was home maybe once or twice every two weeks before jetting off to Europe or Japan to "seal that last deal," which was a phrase I knew all too well by that point.

While my mom was home now, she and I didn't have a close relationship where I could really confide in her about things. We don't have much in common, and it became this huge wall between us, so as I continued getting older and becoming more self conscious, I felt like I had absolutely no one to turn to and confide in.

Our elementary school ended in fourth grade, so as fifth graders, we moved on to the middle school, which was so terrifying. It was at that point when girls started getting boyfriends and popularity was becoming more and more important. I had a good group of friends, but totally longed to belong to the popular crowd, which was comprised of all the "beautiful girls" (which honestly, who really is gorgeous in middle school?!). I was SUCH an ugly duckling back then - awkward, big glasses, bad hair (in the in between stages of growing out my bangs), bad skin - and was just trying to fit in any way I could. I would come home from school just feeling so ugly and so gross about myself every single day. Also during that time, my parents were constantly at each others' throats - my mom was pissed that my dad was never home, my dad was stressed out about negotiations and had no time to listen to my mom, and neither of them were getting along.

It felt like my life was completely spinning out of control so fast, and there was nothing I could do to make it any better or easier. I woke up every morning and was still the same, awkward girl that I always had been, my parents still fought (when my dad was actually home, which was rare), and I was still unpopular. Honestly, I don't even remember when during fifth grade it began, but I do remember that every day during lunch, I would throw away my sandwich that my mom had packed for me. That began the slippery slope it took to get me into full blown anorexia. Before I knew it, food had started to completely control my life - but it was "good" because I actually had the control. I decided when I could and couldn't eat - what I put into my body, everything. For a confused pre-teen girl with no control over any other aspect of my life, it was pretty comforting. I won't go into specifics of how I hid it for so long, because I know how triggering that can be, but let's just say I was very, very sneaky.

This continued through the years, progressing immensely. At the end of sixth grade, my parents yanked me from public school and put me in a private school, which just made the problems worse, because now I was torn from my familiar environment and thrown into something completely new. My new friends at private school didn't understand why I never ate lunch, avoided bagels at "bagel break," and wouldn't come out to dinner with them... I began isolating myself further and further, sinking more into my depression than ever. Since my dad was rarely home, he never wanted to spend any of the actual time he was there to pick fights with me over eating habits, and my mom was too oblivious to really notice a problem. Gradually though, they began to notice and take note of my eating habits. They confronted me constantly, and I always shot them down and said that they were never around, so how would they have a clue what I ate when they weren't home. One thing about having an eating disorder - you become a brilliant liar, probably because you have to constantly convince yourself that you're okay and you're doing nothing wrong to your body.

It wasn't until the summer before ninth grade, when at 5'5 1/2" I weighed 84 lbs. that my parents knew that no matter how hard I protested that something was wrong, they needed to intervene. I was checked into a program for girls with anorexia, and spent the entire summer in the program, learning "coping mechanisms" and the cold hard facts about the disease. I came out of it with a completely new perspective, new diet plan, and a fifteen pound weight gain. My progress lasted about a month, until another family issue came up, and I reverted back again - but this time not to anorexia, which my parents knew the signs for, but bulimia.

Bulimia is much harder to pinpoint, because the weight does not have a dramatic loss - rather weight just stays the same. For another year, I spent a good percentage every day throwing up anything I had eaten - it got so bad that I could no longer use my swollen/bruised knuckles to force things up, and moved on to swallowing medicine to help me throw up. When my parents found out what I had been doing (especially since prolonged use of this particular medicine leads to heart failure), they sent me to another rehab facility - and this one was no picnic. Someone had to be with me every minute of the day - I had to eat whatever was served to me, someone followed me to the bathroom, no magazines, books, or tv was allowed except for approved materials, which were all anti eating disorder films and books. It was the worst experience of my life, and it lasted for two and a half intense, intense months. When I came out though, I had new ways of coping, numbers to call if I was triggered, and had to see a therapist three times a week - all which were in a contract I had to sign upon my release.

I was "cured" in the fact that I maintained a healthy weight, kept gaining weight and made enormous progress with the therapist, who got to the bottom of what was going on with me. At the same time, even now, five years later, I struggle with food every single day. Every day is a fight to stay on the same page, to know when I'm overdoing it or under doing it, and it's really scary. I also have health problems which result from this, that may or may not come back to haunt me later in life.

Moi, looking terrible, two weeks after my second rehab stint (thank God my parents did not let me get a tattoo at that point!):
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I now try and tell my story whenever I can, because although it was one of the most painful times in my life, there is definitely no telling how many other people are going through something similar. It's so important to be on the lookout, especially with your friends - after I got help, so many people said to me, "Well, it was obvious there was something wrong with you, but we didn't want to upset you by accusing you of anything." While each case is obviously very different and the reasons behind it are so numerous, but I know that with me, I was looking for people to care about me and help me. There are often so many warning signs that are served as a means of reaching out.

If you want to talk more about this subject, feel free to ask me for my email address!

Anyway, I'm sorry to get soo personal with you all, thank you for letting me indulge. I love you all, you're fantastic, and pleaseee enjoy your weekends!
xo

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tim Walker.

I am in love with photography. It's a pretty recent obsession, probably only within the last two or three years, or so. My dad has always been a genius and carefully documents every aspect of life with his trusty Nikon camera. I never fully appreciated the beauty of my dad's photography until a few years ago, but since then, I have become fascinated by all aspects of photography. I highly appreciate all aspects - from Ansel Adams's stunning nature photography to various fashion photographers, and everything in between.

In the sense of fashion photography, I truly believe that Tim Walker (who did the photography which is now my new banner!) is one of my number one favorites. Tim Walker is absolutely unbelievable. I have been obsessed with his whimsy style of photography, for a few years now, and keep getting blown away every time I see new work of his. My parents, knowing my obsession, gifted me with his book Tim Walker Pictures for Christmas this past year, and I treasure looking through all his photographs and gaining inspiration through them (I also have his fantastic calendar).

Tim Walker, who is based out of London has done a lot of work I'm sure a lot of you would recognize - he has appeared countless times in Vanity Fair, W, and British and Italian Vogue. To put it simply, I really think the man is a complete and total genius.
So much of his work seems to draw from fairy tales, his use of color and texture is beautiful, and his eye for design and concept is just brilliant. Any photographer that uses a sense of sarcasm, fantasy, magic, and surrealism is good in my book :)


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This is one of my favorites:
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Love it or hate it?
All images copyrighted Tim Walker.

You can check out more of Walker's portfolio here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fashion Melting Pot - DVF.

I am absolutely gutted that due to my stupid education (just kidding), I have missed/will be missing Fashion Week in NYC (especially since my aunt scored some fantastic tickets, and got to meet Chace Crawford!).
I was only able to quench my fashion thirst by looking at photos of the ready to wear collections of Victoria Beckham, Diane von Furstenberg, Tuleh, Reem Acra, and Jeremy Laing, via style.com, and know that there are so many more fantastic collections to come.

Diane von Furstenberg's "Nomad" collection was absolutely beautiful. There was such an array of color, textue, pattern and style - a fashion melting pot of fabrics and trends. I was thrilled to see her collection of leggings (especially the leather ones - I'm glad they're here to stay for at least another season!), and big comfy caridgans, which are a few of my favorite fashion trends. I also really enjoyed the diversity of the models - I think that a huge percentage of nationalities/looks were represented in this show which was awesome to see!

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What did you all think of the collection?

P.S. OMG, I'm watching The Bachelor right now...whaaat is going on?! (I won't go into specifics because I know you all might not have watched yet...and by you all I mean the darling Molly and Jessica).

And congrats to the lovely Jessica on her ENGAGEMENT! Yayy.


All images via style.com