Liz Ash, a New York City-based Art Director, Creative Writer, and Stylist, combines her love for art, fashion, fit, and form to illuminate 'Beau Monde'...

Davis Ayer, originally from Austin (Texas), is an American fashion photographer based in California. His list of inspiration includes: all things analogue, the “recent past,” and nostalgia for the era before he was born, “which is a world that doesn’t exist anymore” he writes. His recent series titled ‘Acid Washed Dreams’ was taken from the White Sands of New Mexico.

“Shooting film forces you to be patient, and really learn what you want in the frame“, -Davis Ayer

His photos remind me of memories. Perspective and perception. Ayer rarely focuses on a model’s face, her head turned away from the camera, features lost in shadows, hair covering, or blurred out all together. In this way, the photo becomes less about her and more about us — the viewer. Our interpretation, but also our relation.

We never look at just one thing. We look at the relationships between things and ourselves. Our vision is continually active, continually moving, continually, holding things in a circle around itself constituting what is present to us as we are. -John Berger in Ways of Seeing

Maybe we are all her - standing there: alone in a deserted landscape, looking at the sky or the ground, thinking of the past or the future? And then we are her thinking of the moment when we are looking at the sky or the ground thinking of the past or the future.  

Where are you now?

What were you doing yesterday at this time?

Last week?

We never view the present in the present with the same lens, or in the same way, that we view that moment when it’s the past. This is what Ayer’s photos bring up for me. Our vision of ourselves (and the world around us) in time and space — always blurred — always changing with time…

All images from here.

Tips on Success in Corporate World

This article written by Katrina Lake is a great resource for those of us working in corporate businesses. Lake is the entrepreneur behind “Stich Fix” an online retailer that sends monthly clothing selections to its subscribers (no comment on their clothing choices—-eeek!!). THAT SAID: this article is spot-on, so helpful and really can help anyone who feels like they are in a “rut” at work.

Looking back on my own successes and failures as both an employee and employer, there are definitely things I did, didn’t do or could have done better.

Here are four of the most important tips I’ve learned along the way that can help anyone, in any job, get ahead:

  • Clearly define what success means for you. Setting short-term and quarterly career goals with your manager that will help lead you to your long term goals. It’s important to include your manager in this planning so that he or she can help you define those goals, be accountable for them, and create a shared vision of success. Make it a habit to check in with your manager on a quarterly basis to review your goals and progress, as well as receive feedback. Even if it’s not standard practice for your company to do 360-degree reviews, having your manager or a peer collect 360-degree feedback for you can be an incredibly productive way to receive constructive criticism that will help you understand your strengths and opportunity areas most thoroughly.
  • Volunteer for mini-leadership roles. Not a manager or an executive yet? It’s not too early to practice. Many companies are always looking for people to volunteer to help onboard new employees, organize sample sales, or plan the holiday party. All of these will warrant thanks from the leadership team, but more importantly, serve as opportunities to get cross-functional exposure and practice management and leadership skills.
  • Be known as a great resource. Are you an Excel genius? An expert on local restaurants? Fabulous at proofreading? Go beyond your job description by being an open resource for others in the company who could benefit from your talents. I believe that paying it forward will serve you well one way or another in the future. Helping people on your team and people on other teams doesn’t go unnoticed. Recognizing individuals who go above and beyond are a favorite topic of conversation for our management team and a great way for you to get exposure inside boardroom walls, without breaking down the doors.
  • Find a friend and a mentor. Find someone within the company who is on another team but is at a similar level or role as you to be a friend, a sounding board, and a place to go for candid feedback. Find a mentor within the company who resembles the leader you’d like grow to be. Be proactive with scheduling monthly or quarterly time to give you advice, feedback, and unbiased guidance in your long-term career goals.

Meet: Elyse Blackshaw

I am SO excited to share a new artist that I’ve just discovered. (And for those of you that know me, you know I have a sort of “sixth sense” when it comes to emerging talent.)

Meet Miss Elyse Blackshaw. I discovered her imaginative fashion illustrations while surfing the net today, and I thanked the universe for bringing me some fresh inspiration, finally ;)

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The Manchester-based artist uses hand embroidery, digital print, and illustration, to create lively croquis which navigate the space between serious fashion-designer and abstract fine artist in a novel and brilliant way. Blackshaw, whose concentration is Embroidery, graduated with honors from the Manchester School of Art just last year (2013).

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Actual photographs of models heads/face ground us in reality and yet her raw and sharp way of clipping them seems to foreshadow the whimsical, stunning world which we see from the neck down. The clothing is modern and funky with embroidered elements echoing historical ideas and patterns. Dramatic yet comedic; complicated yet simple; serious yet whimsical; realistic yet abstract; Blackshawl seems to balance stylistic polarities with the skill and finesse of a well-versed pro.  

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Within a simple framework of line drawings appears a multi-dimensional, layered presentation of living textures (from glitter to thread) creating an underlying tension in all her works. This well-defined sense of drama, depth, and passion draws us in and swallows us whole. We enter the world of Elyse Blackshaw where nothing can be taken too seriously and yet everything makes perfect sense.  

Brava, Blackshaw!!!

Images from here.

TO LIVE A CREATIVE LIFE
WE MUST LOSE OUR FEAR
OF BEING WRONG.

—joseph pearce

My current obsession: Jason Brinkerhoff.

California-born Brinkerhoff and his Untitled nudes take us into a world of surreal and convoluted beauty, where swooping lines of charcoal, fuzzy clouds of color, and distortions (cuts and substitutions of body parts) explore art’s exploration of western femininity, and western femininity itself. De Kooning’s brushwork and Klimt’s modest nymphs lie side by side with the deconstructed physiognomy of Picasso.

Before 2011, the self-taught painter from Menlo Park had never had his work on display. Nobody knows what he did, apart from collecting non-professional photographs and accumulating old fashion magazines that were displayed in 2012 at the Chelsea gallery ZieherSmith. His works take form on aged paper and pages of antique books, as if his language, that rather resembles the process of street art, were challenging history, searching for its position within it. 

“Jason obsessively reworks his images; often times producing hundreds of drawings inspired by one simple pose in a Picasso painting. It’s as if he is curating an image, drawing from historical references, or from his own point of view, allowing all of these histories to co-exist.” - Matthew Higgs (Director who discovered Brinkerhoff)

LOVE.

Photographs taken from here.

The Chromatics - Kill For Love

Floral bombers, boyish camo minis, sporty track pants, groovy tie die trousers….Once again, Massimo Giorgetti has stolen my heart. The 2014 Cruise Collection by MSGM combines bright floral patterns and belted moto jackets to illuminate an edgy-yet-feminine take on this seasons popular boho and punk themes. (A nice departure from last season’s Cruise collection which was much more sporty.) The structured printed biker jackets over flowy floral dress is a brilliant combination, and the platform sneakers are hot too! Kudos to the stylist for exceptionally executing the layering.  MSGM remains one of my favorite designer brands. 

Kenzo, the multicultural brand founded in 1970, teamed up with image-based magazine TOILETPAPER for a brilliant FW13 advertising campaign. Teaming up with Maurizio Cattelan, Micol Talso and Pierpaolo Ferrari – the creative minds behind TP, the results see male model Sean O’Pry and Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi alongside everything from a kitten and tiger-striped dog to slippery banana peels. Surrealist,  pop-arty, and heavily symbolic. I LOVE.

Novella Royale, a bohemian-couture brand based in LA, was founded on the principal “reduce/reuse/recycle” and aims to produce luxury clothing and accessories without creating waste from new materials.

Founded by Mary Myers in 2009, Novella Royale began with 5 distinct purse designs crafted from vintage leather jackets. They were an instant hit. In 2011, Myers introduced clothing to the line to include epic bells, caftans, genie pants, jumpsuits, and more, hand-made in an elaborate array of 70’s rock n’ roll prints.

I die for the Janis Bells. I love the whole gypsy-retro vibe of the brand. While it’s been done before, Novella Royale’s approach makes it stand out.  Too bad almost everything is sold out on the website, I want to order!!

Images from here.

DYLANLEX & THE ART OF STATEMENT ACCESSORIES

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ME & LEX is a sister-duo who create custom statement necklaces and other accessories. Inspired by chandeliers and ethnic tapestries, these sisters take accessorizing to a whole new level. Combining flea market finds with designer baubles, they are able to create unique looks with a rocker-edge. dylanlex.com coming soon! You can sign up now for updates, and sales by going to the site. 

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EXCESS IN MINIMALISM. Photographer Alex Wessely collaborates with one of my favorite fine artists of the moment Ashkan Hanover for London-based fashion magazine Dash, a biannually released publication that focuses on illustration. In hand-made collages, Hanovar accentuates the theme of the project, “ Excess in minimalism,” by contrasting the natural and unnatural. LOVE

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