☼ (Long) Beach Babushka ☼

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ever heard of Brighton Beach? For any West Coasters like myself, the term may or may not ring a bell, but it is New York City's own "Little Russia"/Little Moscow; a strip of Brooklyn with a dense concentration of Russians. I have yet to visit, and while there are certainly some Russians in LA, we have no such place with such Russian ubiquity. 
I recently visited Long Beach, and while it has NO real Russian presence that I'm aware of, nor does it resemble Brighton Beach in the least, I'll work with what I got...right? Here's my take on the Long Beach Babushka look, in Brighton Beach fashion and brightened up SoCal ambience. 
This outfit was largely inspired by babushka (grandma) style; if you think of the stereotypical trope of an elderly Russian woman, headscarves, lace, and intricate designs likely come to mind. One day I hope to own a more extensive collection of Russian designs (in clothing, scarves, home decor, etc) but for now I'll sartorially enact any bouts of Russian inspiration that come to mind. 

Dress (circa 2008): H & M
Headscarf (also circa 2008): Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: ASOS
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
All photos courtesy of Kaelin Bohl Photography
xo  SFB

❀✌❀ Easter Sunday Revisited ❀✌❀

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hello bunnies! Easter Sunday came and went, arguably long agobut the term “bunny” is often on my mind. Since 2010, my high school friend group has used "bunny" as a term of endearment, synonymous with "friend". So I mean "hello bunnies!' whole-heartedly, even in hindsight of the special day devoted to Jesus Christ to a certain rabbit. I spent Easter 2015 with one of my favorite bunnies, Miss Kaelin (of Kaelin Bohl Photography) and her family. Her mom made some DELICIOUS treats, from banana bread to a spinach omelette to Bloody Mary's. Even better, because Kaelin's family lives in my old neighborhood, it truly felt like home sweet home. I've moved around a LOT in the past ten years, but it's always nice to be "home" around friends and familiar faces & places during the holidays.
Chainmail Sweater + Tank: Brand(s) unknown, both purchased at Urbanization, San Carlos (CA)
Skirt: Free People (old)
Sunglasses: ASOS
Purse: unknown, purchased in Japan
xo  SFB

Review: Moscow Fashion Week A/W 2015 (Неделя Моды в Москве)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Disclaimer: incoming NOOB analysis of Fashion Week

I am not one to report on fashion weeks; as much as I would one day love to attend an internationally-attended Fashion Week, for some reason I find fashion shows almost archaic. Perhaps it is the increasingly digital nature that the up-and-coming forces of fashion (the VFILES fashion show, anyone?) have taken on that has induced this type of thinking, but the runway does not exist in my mind as the golden arch of fashion (unless of course, we're talking about the "golden arches" of Moschino A/W 2014). I suppose I also find it difficult to relate to the ultra-thin models, the fact that I cannot wear something couture or avant-garde to the grocery store, etc...but I will say this much: as much as fashion is marketing, it is also art. 
I haven't blogged much about Russian fashion for a while, and with Moscow Fashion Week hot off the press, I took to...where else? The Internet.
Not surprisingly, I didn't see that much coverage, at least on English-language search engines. 
While Moscow Fashion Week is certainly not on everyone's radar-it does have political, albeit well-designed, undertones. 
Fashion Week coverage from Russian fashion vlogger & blogger Valery Dolgova
I think she is so cute & this vlog post covered personal activities, outfits, and designers throughout the week. An all-encompassing, typical fashion vlogger post.
...And coverage from the official Youtube channel for Russia's Ministry of Industry. Much more serious/political, not so "fun," as you can see.
I realize pretty much most all of you readers do not speak a word of Russian, but the modes of communication here still matter. I posted these videos because they apply to the blogging community (one is from a Russian vlogger) from the opposite poles of digital media in Russia, from the voice of free individualism to government rhetoric. In a state less democratic today than it was 2 years ago, in a state of mind/existence today where the Internet is more pervasive than it was 2 years ago---the Internet is still a bastion of freedom...and a necessary communication tool...for the Russian people. 
This is important to the current state of Russian fashion because aside from its ever-shrinking market value and freedom of creation, the international state of fashion is hugely influenced by the Internet. 
What we see in Russia is less capital, less coverage, and a less publicized, less understood (in the sense that the news is ONLY broadcast in Russian) clientele...and creative class (designers in this case)...coming out of its fashion weeks. In this sense, it's almost a subtle act of nationalism...but is it actually subtle? Not so much. 
Does anyone care? I think we SHOULD care...the creative class (in any industry) is SO important to any society...Russia has been a huge fashion influencer in recent years. Russia's current political state has not only marginalized its market value to the rest of the world; it's effectively made it communicably inaccessible and difficult to reach/understand, even via democratizing forces like the Internet.
I've found that most western and international coverage of Moscow Fashion Week A/W 2015 has not focused on the collections, but rather the street style (see Vogue, Refinery 29 and Harpers Bazaar). Street style snaps are Internet gold, but the runway still matters; designers are the arbiters of the creative class, just as much, if not more so, than fashionista and socialite attendees.
I now digress to design. The photos above are some of my favorites from Igor Gulaev's show; stylistically Russian, with luxurious fabrics, furs, and design details emblematic of Russian and Soviet history. This collection reminded me a lot of Ulyana Sergeenko; nothing groundbreaking, but nonetheless stunning.
Goga Nikabadze's collection featured rich, vibrant hues and beautiful draping. His Georgian heritage and inspiration harkened to Georgia's Golden Age and elegance. I loved his use of head gear.
 CONTRFASHION was particularly mystifying; the plays on proportions, shapes, and textures evoked a futuristic, otherworldly, occasionally grotesque and dystopian kind of feel. Sort of like Tolstoyan diction. How very Russian, right?
I loved Yulia Nikolaeva's collection; I interpreted everything from a whimsical, earthly mindset; from mushroom-like berets, to fern-esque and feathery textures, to silhouettes almost evocative of sprites and extraterrestrial goddesses; I loved it all. The color palette was also on-point.
DIMANEU was very curious...while the painted white faces allude to geishas and Far East influence, the makeup-outfit coordination was oddly inspiring. This collection almost reminded me of Kazimir Malevich. Digitally-inspired graphic design IRL. 
With a new season also hot off the silver screen medium, I felt obligated to feature Yez by Yegor Zaitsev. This screams Game of Thrones to me...right? Steampunk meets fantasy meets military. 
And last, but certainly not least is the LITERAL military collection from Leonid Alexeev in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense. Yup, you heard (and saw) that right...the government took over Fashion Week!!! The inspiration of this collection was entirely political, interpreted by military food/clothing supplier Voentorg as "the Crimean Spring." Patriotism, camaraderie, and mobility...Russia's take on athleisure?
Note: all photos courtesy of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia
xo  SFB

✌ That Seven(Getty)'s Show ✌

Thursday, April 9, 2015

 I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite museums in the world, and of course, one of LA’s finest art attractions, the J. Paul Getty Museum. Prior to this trip, the last time I visited was probably 6 years ago...boy does time fly. Speaking of, in vain of spring trends, I went with a 70s inspired look...including flare jeans. Very rarely will you ever see me sporting jeans, so I would surely call this visit a special occasion. 
With architecture and scenic views as stunning as some of the pieces in the collections themselves, the Getty Museum is an amazing place...and FREE! (Yes, parking costs $15...but if you have a van-load of people..in reference to a high school field trip...that's pretty spectacular!) 
Top: Urban Outfitters (old)
Jeans: BDG @ Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Michael Kors @ DSW (on sale!)
Sunglasses: ASOS (here)
Earrings: Free "Sample" from Whole Foods
Headband: (Detached) Urban Outfitters
Purse: (Graduation Present) Marc by Marc Jacobs
xo  SFB