Caught Up in the Embrace (Fashion Films of 2010)


Friday, February 26, 2010

I am a self-attested film buff, an expert of sorts (aren’t we all). Hollywood churns out the fare, and I am one of the first to go out and consume it. Be it a product of my environment or my genuine love of the art form, seeing a great film is a real joy for me.
I have been in a long-time love affair with the films of Pedro Almodóvar. As my “film lover”, he still does not disappoint. I am caught up in the embrace of “Broken Embraces”, his latest offering starring his muse, Penelope Cruz, is now my new favorite. I have screened it five times now. It takes me forward and back to the very reason I fell under his rapture by being a film within a film and a film about making films, by a true film maker.

What I am not going to offer here is a film review, more of an observation of the points of the film and its style that caught me and swept me off my cinematic (and fashion) feet.

First, you cannot escape the allure and power of the use of Red. It is the prevalent color, symbolizing “sangre”/blood, passion, fire, and Love. The color and its use to me are very Spanish. Red punctuates, accents, drives, and signifies scenes, characters and situations in the film. Sonia Grande, the film's costume designer, used red fashions from the likes of Christian Louboutin, Dior, John Galliano, and Valentino, among others, to dress and style many of the characters in the film.

Second, the film within the film, called “Chicas y Maletas” is actually "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". This movie is still my most favorite one by Almodóvar. It is pure comic zaniness and delight, and is a must-see upon entering significantly in my life (you will have a movie night with me and this is what we will be watching!). In “Embraces”, we get a glimpse of the “making” of the movie, or rather, its artistic rendering. Red is also a prominent theme in that film.

Third, with lines such as "The last sensation she took from this world was the taste of your mouth", “Embraces” has it ALL: film noir, suspense, melodrama, comedy, heart, passion, and perfect writing (if that line alone is not something inspirational then…).

Lastly, “Embraces” shows us a modern and complex Spain, mirrored in a greater world view. It is a story that could really take place anywhere but one that is firmly planted in Spain, firmly ground in artistry, and purely Almodóvar.  This film is a blood red kiss to the loving heart of film making for Almodóvar and to those who have shaped and colored his visual world. And for me, I am entering it as a contender for my top five fashion films of 2010. Go out and get caught in the embrace of "Broken Embraces". May it's sensation last for you as well.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I invite u 2 come 2 formspring and ask me anything. Who knows, your question could result in a post..!

A "Valentine": Masculine vs. Feminine


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The following was originally written in 2005 in my personal digital journal in response to a conversation I was having over dinner with a group of young like-minded professionals who lived in my apartment building at the time. It appeared in a different form in its original entry, directed more in regards to the wider spectrum of our conversation and with some direction aimed at persons at the dinner.  What came from the entry was a letter of heart to myself, and all of its stirrings. I have held on to it with the intention of revising it and writing is as a "valentine" to myself. I began reading it again recently and decided to "finish" it and set it with a new heart and a mind. What follows is that "valentine" in its true form...
Enjoy and, as always, Love One Another.

Masculine vs Feminine (Remixed + Revisited)

I am naturally androgynous and EASILY blur the gender lines. And yes, that extends 2 my mannerisms and the way that I speak. I am effeminate. I am 500% natural about it. I have always been this way and can't even think of how I would be if I were outwardly masculine; it wouldn't suit me. My feminine nature is the pre-dominate one yet this does not mean that I do not have a masculine nature as well. I am a human being, which means I am a being of balance. My masculine nature is one I know just as well as my feminine nature; he is quiet, contemplative, and analytical where my feminine is outgoing, willfully strong, assertive. Together they are conscious, thoughtful, caring, and wise.
In a social context where butch/fem roles play their part, the question (not one I ask of myself but one asked of me) is where do I fit in? What does my peculiar nature dictate where I stand in the social context? It has been asked of me because of my dual-nature, does it make me a fem with butch characteristics or a butch who is outwardly fem? Transgender (another topic entirely)? Am I a “gay dinosaur”, an extinct representation of the gay community of yesterday? Am I social freak, one that lives on the outer edges of society, outcast from the central core of the context or in a rock musical fantasy?

Having a strong feminine nature, I know it to be natural that I am attracted to masculine men. This comes about for me as an act of balance, in direct contrast to me physically, emotionally, socially, etc.  It is not easy, especially currently where the socially acceptable way for a gay man to be is masculine/butch (affected or natural, face it men that is what our gay social structure is dictating to the population). I understand the desire to be with a masculine man in contrasting and comparative relationship pairings (because that is what I AM attracted to) and I understand the nature of an effeminate man (because that is what I AM). I feel that it is an inherent masculine/feminine balance that connects male homosexuals: the feel, look, shape, smell, etc of a man's body, his tactile and strong way of loving to his quiet yet deep way of emoting and how he nurtures himself and his world that is directly opposite to the female. Isn't that a bit of what defines us as homosexual men?
In direct contrast are our society’s negative feelings about feminine qualities in men. Could it just be that we have been, and continue to be, socialized to place a negative view on effeminacy? I think and feel this to be so. I think the male machismo kicks in and rises up this fear of a feminine man, saying that he is “less-than”, stating that he is not “man” enough. If it is so bad then why do women find the gay feminine archetype more acceptable! All of this negative socializing has to stop. We cannot continue to raise future generations with these beliefs. The more this happens, the more difficult it becomes for society to accept those that are different and, to ultimately, evolve into a higher consciousness, a better understanding of our collective Love.
In my experiences in the gay dating circle, I have received the instant shutdown because of my effeminate nature. I see many examples of gay male couples and they are comprised of both masculine/”butch” guys. I often wonder how that pairing works: where is the masculine/feminine balance (or is it opposing examples)? Since I am not seeing these distinct markers, I surmise that they must be in place, perhaps just hidden from my view...? In the collective dating pool, why then is there such a quickness to tear down any possibility of connecting with a feminine man (oh, how I loathe the "no femmes" tagline)? I feel this may have stemmed from our early socialization and the factors placed then in how the gay community has come to accept them and how they view themselves. Our queerness dictates that we are unique; why don't we celebrate it instead of feeding it with negativity? How can we be a community when we don't even want to commune with each other? If these are to be the few (and only) choices in the gay community, then I am choosing to be a member of another community, one where the understanding of Self is more evolved and rooted in Equal and Unconditional Love.

I hear each and every day something about my effeminate self (mostly positive) from people I know and from people I don’t (at times). These positive remarks remind me that I am being honest and true to my Self first, and who I really am in this world and in my self, reminding me of my worth and value. As a balance, I hear on rare occasion something not so positive about my effeminate nature. I have grown to not let these non-positive remarks affect me and instead let them build my strength and inner resolve to continue to just be myself more and more.

I have always been and always will be exactly who I am: Me. Beautiful, attractive, androgynous, effeminate Me. I don’t see this to change into something else ever. Nor do I want it to; I have come to know and truly Love who I am, cultivating a Love that exceeds my own physical limits in this body. It permeates into the stratosphere, granting a welcoming touch to all of us, no matter the difference. It celebrates our individual uniqueness and admires the diversity. In truth, I may appear different but I am the same as anyone else: Human.
 For the modern, evolved homosexual man that I choose to share my life with and whom I love, this understanding will be easy and clear. He will share the same qualities and ideas as I do. He will be a member of the Human community. Yes, he will be masculine in balance to my feminine but he and I will be the Same, we will be One.  And isn’t that what Love really is? Yes, I know it and believe it to be so.  This masculine, charming, loving man of mine, for you I am here and I can ensure this: you are in for a wonderful treat: Love.


Nostalgia- A Desire for the Lost


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I was reading this article on nostalgia and it got me thinking about it and how it is a constant reference in fashion. Nostalgia is a true desire for the lost, and fashion is a business and an industry and an art form based heavily on it. If nostalgia stirs up the depths of loss in our hearts (and minds), and has broken many people to the point of sickness and madness, then how can it be the root and the evolution of fashion?
The fashion business is fickle. It is constantly changing and evolving into something new, fresh, and bright. However, if it is based on nostalgia, is it changing?
We always hear references like “70’s chic”, “reminiscent of early 80’s power dressing”, “Girl Power”, “Minimalist”, and countless others. These references and the like become burned in our fashion brains because collections build not only on themselves but also on the trends they reference. This is constant. It happens every season at the shows and every month in the editorials. When fashion is innovative and new, it speeds forward ahead into the lexicon. The exciting new designer now gets a chance on the fashion stage, full of prospect and promise. If they maintain their ingenuity, they have a firm platform on which to build. I have seen this happening more rarely but when it does, it is amazing. The nostalgic reference disappears; what is found is the future.
When a trailblazer is taken away from our fashion lexicon and the industry too soon, we truly experience real loss. In my lifetime, this has happened only twice (in my opinion): Gianni Versace and, most recently, Alexander McQueen. Let us take these two geniuses of design and of their art, and appreciate them for their contribution and allow nostalgia to set in. For here is a real desire for the Lost.

(photo credit: WesFeld gown made from plastic, from, Alexander McQueen Fall 2009 Collection chain mail and snakeskin dress, from

A Valentine 2 U


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today is a day that was set aside to remind us of our inherent and divine gift: Love.
Love is the essence of all things; without it there would be nothing except nothing. It is the color with which we paint our world. It is the heart with which we feel. It is the eyes with which we see. It fuels the mind with which we come to understand. It comes from a place of knowing.

Go out today, and every day as a matter of truth and fact, and cultivate, create, share, express, live, and be Love.

Enjoy it...the feelgood of Love.

I Love You (yes, you) for many things: especially because u take care in looking, feeling, and being good, with your own personal style and flair and energy. Thank u.

Loving Friends: Commuter Guy


I spotted these two guys recently in the Sunset Strip area. They caught my attention because: the guy on the left was wearing the coolest vintage moccasin boots (I've always wanted a pair of these but wasn't sure how I'd pull them off) with his decidedly "LA Rocker look", the guy on the right's very 90's colored denim (and in my accent color of late, red), and most importantly, because they were so attentive and involved in their conversation and (under the blue denim jacket in their lap) they were holding hands. It struck me to be sweet and private, yet bold and public. It was definitely heartwarming and it put a smile on my face...

The Beam Shines On/"EnergyWaveofLove"


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Beam Shines On

it doesn't matter the time, incident, or place because Love will always be present and will always heal.
time is irrelevant and has no bearing when it comes to loss or pain or strife because Love will come in and will always heal. life ebbs and flows and continues on because Love will always be present and will always heal. it is a gun with a beam of Divine Lovelight and it shines on. Forever.

I point it at you, at me, at the world, at the Universe. I point the Beam of Love.


The following is an entry written in my personal digital journal on September 2, 2005 in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. After reading it again recently, I felt its message still resonating, in light of the recent events in Haiti, and it also inspired the post above. I hope this will enact your own energy wave of Love and that you shine it in your life continuously.



I was listening 2 NPR last evening, of all the reports of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and it pains me 2 hear about the loss, the violence, the displacement, the sadness, the destruction of property and personal lives. All the news of violence and pillaging and turmoil saddens me. People should be showing good will, not ill will 2ward each other. Survivalism is one thing but egregious, malicious violence and harm is another and has no place in the Gulf Region right now. Fear and loss is bringing out the darkness in many people down there.
I began 2 cry. I cried because I could feel, empathically, all the emotions coming from that region and the affect this act of nature has on the people there, and, all of us. I could smell the wretch of death that is permeating the cavernous streets of
New Orleans. I could see in my mind's eye corpses strewn along the streets and floating in waist high water. I could feel the sickness swimming in the contaminated waters that fill the city like a bowl of rot soup. I can hear the cries of help, the cries 4 food and baby formula, 4 loss children and beloved animals. I can sense the urgency 2 escape and go somewhere else, somewhere that feels safe. I cried tears that begged 2 be released, salty, singing tears that signaled change and progress 2ward compassion and sympathy and, above all things love.
Hurricane Katrina was a signal from Mother Earth 2 begin 2 love each other right here, now, from the heart, unconditioned. Love each other on the same level, the same wavelength, with the same/equal passion and fullness.
Love is needed now.
In your meditations and prayers, send a vibrant energywave of love 2 those who need it there in the Gulf region. Send a bright beam of love 2 foster healing, 2 create a place that can once again be called Home.

Thank you for allowing me to share and shine my wave with you. That's good...

A New String...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Further on the discussion on Generation S, I found a very interesting article right here which gives insightful information and commentary on one of my favorite fashion topics of late. I found the comments to be of particular interest, as they come from luxury brands and designers and voices their ideas about this growing front in the industry.

My position seems to be evolving even more. I still feel that what is ecological and sustainable stems from both the kind/quality/grade of raw material used in production and how that material is manufactured and under what conditions. Could it be said that if you only cared about one aspect my statement above that you are in fact being eco-conscious or do both factors have to indeed be in play? Is it Gen S to be into just organics and not care about how its made or vice versa? Is it also Gen S to just patron organic shops/grocers/products and not have to be completely aware of their ethics and practices?
I paid a visit to one of my new favorite local shops, Whole Foods Lifestyle to check out their newest merchandise and peruse the sale racks. I like that this store is focused on eco-fashion and eco-lifestyle goods and that they have researched who they stock, making sure the companies and brands they market and sell are practicing holistically ecological and sustainable motives. I can rest easier knowing that what I'm  buying fits within my own personal guidelines of being Gen S, and fits within the guidelines of the larger Gen S community.
On the flip side, I came across this article on mega-retail giant Forever 21. I was appalled and frankly ashamed at having ever stepped in to that store and indulged my quick trendy fix there; it was like sticking a knife into my Gen S heart and pulling it out slowly. I had to share this with a good friend of mine who has come to make quite a statement in doing high-low outfits using mainly Forever 21 items (and very good at it too btw). She was also very appalled and flabbergasted at their actions.
She and I will be picketing area Forever 21's and boycotting them until their practices change. Feel free to join us, coming soon...
We'll be there, all in the name of Gen S, creating a new feeling good.


L.O.V.E./"Love Below"


Monday, February 8, 2010

In the spirit of the month of February (and the Happiness Project, which I am participating in), I will be posting on subjects that focus on the things, ideas, people, etc that I love. This whole blog is a discussion on these things I love of course, but I will be pointing some of the more silent (or obvious) of them.

So to start off, here is a poem of mine (which I never share publicly so enjoy it, this may become a regular trend), written under the guise and in the name of L.O.V.E. I hope you enjoy.

Love Below

Venture below
that's where you'll find
a love that flows like a river through time
and feels with a heart aching with truth
Seek my love below and allow it
to comfort and soothe
a solace only known when embraced and intertwined
fixed together as one
bound in unity of bodies and of minds 

(poem is copyrighted and cannot be used, copied, edited, or linked without permission of the author)

Commuter Chic: Red Riding Hood


Friday, February 5, 2010

Little lovely red riding hoodie! This hip indie chick was spotted in Silverlake, and she caught my fashion eye because of 1) the fingerless gloves which I just love for the "edge" it gives (and you have to have the edge in the first place to rock 'em), 2) her red hoodie sweater which is simple and casual but she gives it an edge, and 3) she is meditating: edgy and grounded! Totes tickled by it!

Personality: Pleasing or Not?


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here is an article I received in my email inbox and had to share it. Please read and then see my comment afterward:

"Do You Have a Pleasing Personality?"  

by Peter Ragnar

In early 
Greek and Roman theater, actors were often called upon to play several parts in a single performance.  In order to accomplish this, they would wear a different mask to portray each character.  The mask, in Latin, was called a persona.  Today, many of us, while we wear no masks of theater, still play roles and recite scripts written by others.

"As we seek recognition, often the words of parents and peers echo in our ears: 'Be somebody!'"

Does that mean we should just pick a persona and play the prescribed role - or should we learn to be ourselves?  Ah!  Herein lies the problem.  There are just so many layers of learned falsity to strip away, and each one has become as dear to us as our own skin.  Hence, a great fear arises - who will I find behind the final mask?

Those invisible masks are constructed by a collection of emotional and behavioral traits that are considered to characterize the person.  That's generally how we define the term personality.

It's said we have a different face for everyone; while this may be true in some examples, who of us likes to be called "two-faced?"  No one that I know likes to be thought of as duplicitous.  Duplicity is the disguising of true intentions by deceptive words or actions.

"Politicians and religious leaders stand most accused by public polls of being 'two-faced.'" 

Oh, and let's not leave out sports heroes and celebrities.  Why do we seem to get so upset concerning double standards?  Is it possibly a reaction to our own duplicity that we try hard to bury beneath our masks?  Why is it so difficult to be ourselves?  Arguably, because we're so used to taking our cues from others.  We sit on command, wag our tails, and beg for approval instead of discovering we're most loved for being genuine. 

"To be authentic means one is free from hypocrisy or pretense." 

It means actually possessing the reputed or apparent qualities of character.  It means your persona is completely transparent or non-existent.  If you find something funny, you laugh.  If you find something sad, you cry.  If you feel love swelling your heart, you express it.  You're never embarrassed by being yourself authentically.

Since the authentic person wears no masks, there is no fear of exposure, nothing to defend; when one does not feel threatened, one feels no anger.  The authentic person needs no approval or endorsement; they have become more than enough to themselves.  They're autonomous, free, and independent.  They have no grievances, thus they're pleasant to be around. 

An attractive personality is a genuinely agreeable personality.  They attract other people to them by being attracted to others.  And please remember, we only attract people and conditions to us that, by the 
law of attraction, are magnetized by what we are.

"If you feel no need to impress others, you've created the space to be impressed by them." 

There is no more pleasing personality than one who is genuinely interested in another.  It becomes obvious by the look in your eye, the smile on your face, and the warmth of your hand.  The pleasing personality has a palpable electromagnetic vibration that can't be faked. Charm, allure, enchantment, or charisma can't be faked.  You can smile broadly, pump someone's hand enthusiastically, and turn the recipient cold because the falsity of the mask is obvious and the magnetism is missing. 

"A pleasing personality is made of soft words and warm hearts."

Two stoves may be identical, but it's only the stove with a fire stoked that radiates warmth, that person whose heart is aflame with a passion and love of life. The one with a sincere interest in others, free of flattery and falsity, is the one with a pleasing personality.

To you I extend warm hands and an open heart,


How many faces do you show to the world? What personality is the one that you show? It is interesting to me that the world we live in has become geared to showing many different "faces" at different times and to different people. When you choose to show just one face at all times to all things and to all people, it becomes more clear of the difference. I chose a very long time ago to live my life authentically. I chose to just show one face and my true personality. This choice has afforded me the ability to see the world more clearly and to share this insight and outlook with many people. I have always felt that by being authentic and being a pleasing person(ality), Life will be more rewarding and fulfilling. I have always subscribed to the "good" of this world, of the true optimism that exists. Do you feel the same way? Do you do the same thing? I hope after reading this, you will consider (or strengthen) your approach and do the "pleasing" thing. 
It's good, real good.


The Happiness Project


Monday, February 1, 2010

I am loving this book and its subsequent project, "The Happiness Project". Check out the site for more information and click on the button here on the blog to start your own now. It is a great way to get the new year and decade off to a personally valuable start:

Happiness Project

"If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad"...

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