When Life Plays Mind Games

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Have you ever been so sure of the path you're on and then one little thing comes along and BAM! you're suddenly re-evaluating your entire existence?

La di da di da, skipping through life all happy and stuff.

"My life is so solid, I'm finally comfortable with where I am and everything's falling in to place."

And then, out of nowhere, a freaking tsunami (metaphorical, of course) sends you flying into uncharted territory.

"Holy cow!  Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

Nope, no, I'm not in Kansas anymore.  I thought I had things all sorted; me and my OCD compartmentalization techniques had it all planned out but nowwwww... who even am I anymore?!

When I'm old and grey I won't even remember this one of many existential crises, and in the off chance that I do, I'll probably just laugh it off.  But right now, it's freaking terrifying!

I was talking to a good friend of mine just the other day about this and he, being the modern Einstein that he is, told me that our generation's technological advancements suggest that one's life expectancy could increase to 116 within our lifetime.  So, as he put it, what's a little road block?  If the next couple years are sub par, you have a bucket load more coming your way, barring any extremely traumatic screw-ups.

In telling you all of this, I'm in part reassuring myself that everything's going to be okay.  Actually, better than okay.  Because chances are, if you're reading this, you've been born into a good family in a fortunate country where all of our daily tragedies are merely superficial dramas in the grand scheme of things.

But we all have struggles - big and small - and that's what flotation devices are for.  Or inner tubes, to make the ride more enjoyable.

Spring Flowers

Friday, 20 March 2015

March snow brings showers brings flowers.  

Yeah, that's it.

Top Reads of the Past 365 Days

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Pretty straightforward.

What's the point, you ask?  Well, because I've read some darn good books this year and I want you to read them too.

But no pressure.

10. The Truth About Forever
9. Queen of Palmyra
8. Wild
7. The Secret Garden
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
5. The Forgotten Garden
4. Orphan Train
3. The Secret Keeper
2. The Winter Rose
1. The Tea Rose

Old Bag, New Tricks?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A modern take on the timeless Birkin bag

     Hermés’s Birkin bag, inspired by British supermodel and muse Jane Birkin, has acquired a reputation of the highest honour over the past thirty years since it’s birth.  Most anybody who knows anything about Hermés’s Birkin bag would say that just holding one will boost your status tenfold.   Hermés’s feature product demands attention by remaining exclusive and shrouded in mystery.  Rumours of waitlists and selected clientele continuously add value and intrigue to a handcrafted tote, which ultimately, is not worth the hype it receives.  It’s the story that sells.

     Although most of society can only imagine ever touching a Birkin bag with white-gloved fingers, many of the fashion icons who actually own one - or two - say otherwise.  It seems almost cringe-worthy that this piece of art, with a starting price of no less than a small $8,500 fortune, has stooped to the level of Kate Moss’s diaper bag and a Kardashian sister’s game tote; however, the bag is made to be used.  After all, the idea came to designer Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas on an Air France flight, when Jane Birkin’s purse inconveniently dumped all of her possessions on the floor.  Dumas responded to the traditional confines of the Kelly bag by creating a functional fashion statement that still embodies the classic aesthetic of the brand.  And his product, the Birkin bag, has proven itself to this day.  

     It’s clear that Birkin bags are retaining and even gaining value unlike anything else in the world of handbags.  Even the top fashion houses cannot logically compete with the outrageous prices that Birkin bags are fetching.  There is only a very very small niche of people who are willing to pay up to $150,000 for a single purse.  It is entirely a league of its own.  But the interesting thing is that although Hermès attracts a relatively small market, the Birkin bag retains massive influence over the fashion world, including all of those who do not - and will never - own one.  

     Slightly dormant in recent years, perhaps due to the recent inflection point in fashion away from classic conservatism and towards an edgier, provocative aesthetic, the Birkin bag has re-emerged on the scene with a new face.  So what is up with the new trend of defacing Birkin bags?  
The ‘trend’ of “defacing” bags refers to the act of intentionally painting and artistically expressing oneself on the handbag with various media.  Have Kanye West and Lady Gaga started a new movement in luxury handbags?

     The last time I formally heard of this idea was in Candace Bushnell’s The Carrie Diaries, a series of novels preceding Sex and the City, where Carrie Bradshaw takes an accident and turns it into the new feature piece for Interview magazine.  Carrie Bradshaw took the magazine by storm, taking individualism in fashion to the next level but she didn’t need a Birkin bag to do it.  

     Louis Vuitton has somewhat emulated “the Carrie bag” with its vibrant seasonal collections, including the Graffiti collection and the Roses collection to name a few for a much lower price than it would take to achieve the same result with an Hermès.  Louis Vuitton’s funky patterns are big sellers and will indeed increase in value with time, since their production is, by nature, limited to a brief era.  However, one could argue that this trend of defacing Hermès bags in particular is more about making a statement than anything else.  The act comes across as a way of turning one’s nose up at the fashion label, implicitly proclaiming that although the bag is worth a small fortune, its owner does not feel that it is really worth much in its original state and that if throwing paint on it doesn’t produce an attractive outcome, a new bag can easily replace it.  

Louis Vuitton Roses Neverfull
Louis Vuitton Graffiti Neverfull

     The whole topic can spark provocative conversations.  Perspective is such a major component to this debate.  Is it as stated?  Is it really a low blow at the Birkin bag?  Or is the trend of defacing a fashion label’s work simply a contemporary form of individual expressionism?

     Whatever form the Birkin bag appears in, it will always retain the structure that made it so famous in 1984.  The bones of the idea will forever be the same and will forever grow in value regardless of the material or the colour or the print.  But with time, its place in the context of society is bound to transform.  Without a doubt, Hermès has created a story that contains many chapters and many chapters are yet to come.  

The Mirrored Runway

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Dries Van Noten
Women’s Ready-to-Wear 
A/W 2015



Imagine going back in time - hundreds of years - as a merchant navigating the labyrinth of fabric stalls at a souk or a market.  Smell the dirt; caress the fibres and the textures; absorb the earthy tones with your eyes.  You are swimming in the luxuries of the world; linens, jacquards, furs and hairs.  Organza; brocade; whatever you like.  You want silk?  This stall alone  is piled high with aubergine, khaki, navy, and copper - like butter to the touch - among the most glamorous patterns from the Orient and the Far East.

     Now, travel back into the present, the year 2015, bringing all of these sensations with you.  Here they are, and here you are, sitting front and centre at the Dries Van Noten runway show in Paris.  With each passing second, the memories of the souk are fading; the mind is scrambling to hold on to those visions of the past, but as the first model steps onto the catwalk in Van Noten’s autumn winter collection, there is no struggle to remember the souk.  Everything from the past - every fabric, every pattern, every colour - is right there in front of you in Dries Van Noten’s ready-to-wear collection.  It is artisanal, luxurious, rich, and down-to-earth all at once.  The entire venue is enraptured by the surreal, fairy-tale ambiance of the show that this Belgian designer has expressed through his chosen fabrics, lighting, and colours.  He has clearly drawn on, as fairytales do, enchanting fragments of history to create a new modern aesthetic and a sense of nostalgia.



     Indeed, the ebb and flow of history being reinvented in Van Noten’s latest collection is palpable even across a computer screen, through which the majority of the world is admiring from afar.  For this particular reason, it is sensible to conclude that the most successful runway collections, in the eyes of the general population, are the ones that are the most visually intriguing and interactive in their digital forms since only a small percentage of viewers will in fact be seeing the runway show live.  

     That being said, should we be questioning the monetary output currently required to put a physical runway show together?  Yes, the live runway show itself still plays a significant role in the promotion and artistic expression of a fashion label, however; after booking the extravagant venue, hiring the celebrity models, and creating a visually attractive show, the designer is financially in the ground.  So as the world becomes more heavily dependent on Internet media, does it not make sense to focus a greater percentage of the budget on broadcasting the show to the world and less of a percentage on appealing to the niche audience in attendance?  Much of the creative world would argue that a runway show is the greatest form of artistic expression for a designer, therefore all aspects of the show are necessary regardless of the expense, but the digital age is forcing us to consider this dilemma.  The question that must be answered is how much importance designers should place on the digital streaming of their runway shows in the future.


Taking Care of the Animals

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Hi Internet Friends-

I feel bad doing this but I know it's for an excellent cause.  

Please go check out my GoFundMe page to donate to the Oakville Milton Humane Society which really really needs help.  I have been supporting them for most of my life but they are always struggling to make it through the year, especially with the local community growing so quickly and the lack of funding to help them keep up with all these responsibilities.

I don't want to pressure you, but I would greatly appreciate it if you even had 5 cents to give to the animals at OMHS.  I know they would appreciate it too!

Love you and live good.

xo B

Career Breakthrough

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Every time I start writing a post, I just feeling like saying ALOHA SPRINKLERINOS! but of course I'm not that snazzy.

Snaps to Louise.

Well, today was a big day for me and I want to tell you all about it ~ please forgive me for being excited!  I'd love to hear your rants and raves as well if you ever get the urge to share :)

So the big news is that four of my paintings went up for sale this afternoon!  It's crazy; insanity.  I had to decide what I thought would be a good price, which was really really tough because I paint for fun, so I never imagined of making any profit whatsoever.  The fact that I could potentially make even ten cents from my work is an incredible sensation!  It's honestly so weird and amazing and humbling at the same time.

Today is definitely a milestone that I have to write down somewhere.  I noticed that for the first time, people asked me about my work and told me it was good because they were genuinely interested.  Strangers even!  It's so not the same as my mom telling me she thinks its good.

These photos are from my snapchat account and my instragram; feel free to checkout the links to my social media on the homepage!  I'll be posting more photos as they come.

Love you and live good.

xo B
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