London is a cultural hub filled with so many wonders, no amount of time is truly enough on any trip to uncover the gems within the city. Between London Fashion Week: Men's SS18 and my most recent group exhibit - I made sure to make time to truly indulge in the finest cuisine and drinks that London had to offer. Below is a list of all the places I checked out during my time in London.
When you read articles and quotes about fulfilling your destiny, sometimes, one can find themselves thinking: "what is my passion?" How can you really find one thing that can define you? It's something that I've struggled with for years, because I can't be stagnant. I can't just be one thing. I have too much to say and to share and I never want to live my life wondering "what if?"
Since I can remember, in between hobbies and career pursuits, I was always staying up late drawing or painting. Without realizing it, my passion was slowly developing over time and bringing me full circle back to the thing I spent doing the most in my free time. That's just it, isn't it? What you spend your leisure time doing tends to be the thing that makes you the happiest, no?
When I graduated high school, I went straight into art school. After a semester, I dropped out to pursue a career in music. The pursuit was successful in terms of fulfillment but alas, music was not my calling. Only a medium of expression that made sense at the time. Following suit, I attended Blanche MacDonald to study fashion marketing and merchandising. My career has since seen me blossom into a full time Fashion Stylist, Creative Director and Brand Consultant. One of which I am so proud of and have worked so hard to reach, knowing I'm only on the brink of the beginnings of an adventurous and challenging career. Through my life's trials and tribulations, one common thread always remained consistent: art. Whether sketching out design plans for events, illustrating for styling concepts or just plain doodles to pass the time; my love of art never wavered.
Fast forward to today: I can confidently call myself an artist alongside my other titles. My resurrection came about earlier this year when I hit my lowest in terms of creative ambition. I was bored, disinterested with everything I was doing; debating my return to a corporate structure because it would be "easier." I had no clients, no prospects and no desire to pursue much, so I painted to pass the time.
My friend, J, told me to share my art. I thought, no, I couldn't. It's just for me.
"Just share your art, damnit!' (His exact words, by the way.)
I will forever be grateful for those words.
As I started to share my work, there was a small amount of attention brought forward, and it only kept growing. Then the unimaginable happened, I got invited to show in a group exhibit in London. LONDON. Can you believe that? It couldn't have been real. But it was. And it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Having the chance to connect with artists from all over Europe and sharing that moment with some of my dearest friends was so rewarding. A feeling I wish I could put into words, but really, it wouldn't do it justice.
Tomorrow night, I'm hosting my first show here at home in Vancouver. I'm a little scared but really excited to show my family, friends and colleagues a new side of who I am and a part of me I've always been scared to show. My goal for this year wasn't to make more money or to land the big clients, it was to find the thing that made me happy. The euphoric feeling of content without feeling complacent. What I didn't realize was that I had it in me the entire time, I just had to take a step back and really look at my life from a different perspective. Instead of comparing myself to those around me, I've taken the time to look back at who I was five years ago. When the idea of having an art show, travelling for fashion weeks and working on major projects was only a dream.
I have no idea where things are going but I do know that styling and art is where I will continue to challenge myself and push through. I will keep creating and hope that one day, I can make an impact. For now, I'll just pass onto what J told me, in so many words:
If you want to do something, just fucking do it.
(excuse my french.)
Want to follow along my Vancouver launch of MAKEBA tomorrow night?
Hit me up on Instagram and follow our hashtag #SCmakeba.
It's sure to be a crazy night.
Every year, it’s the same thing.
I create an endless list of promises and resolutions that pile up and stare blankly at it like a pile of clothes I refuse to deal with. With the first five weeks of the year under our belt, take a moment to ask yourself this: have you made the effective changes in your habits to truly implement a seamless lifestyle?
TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR CLOTHES
I’m notorious for this. By week’s end, there is a dog pile of garments on a chair or in the corner of my room. I get "soooo busy." I come home, throw clothes wherever they may fall and let it be. Getting in the habit of hanging your clothes right after you wear them, ensures not only the longevity of the item but also, fewer wrinkles will be present the next you want to wear them, too. Get in the habit of sorting your clothes. If all that is required is a simple spot treatment, tend to it immediately. Separating colours is a no brainer, but also being aware of the fabrication of your garments that are thrown in your washer is just as important. The care tags are sewn into our clothes for a reason, follow the instructions accordingly. Be sure to budget for the pieces that require special attention like dry cleaning, and remember: you don’t need to wash your jeans every day. A simple routine will allow your favourite pieces to last much longer.
FOCUS ON FIT
Forget about everything you’ve known when it comes to the number on the size tag. Instead, focus on your body shape. Start by understanding lengths, cuts and fabrics and how they fall on your body. Take the time to try clothing items on, don’t buy something a size too small to try and fit into it later on. If you go through your closet, and have something that doesn’t fit; just let it go. Holding on to an item for a “maybe someday” takes away from owning what you have today.
A tailor can become your best friend and your ultimate secret weapon. If you can’t afford a tailor, reach out to students in fashion schools and see if they would be interested in altering your pieces for a small fee. Or, take up a local sewing class and learn to do your own adjustments.
PLAN YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE
By no means am I a morning person. Most of the time, I wake up in a panic, grab the first thing I see and run out of the door. As a stylist, I get so caught up in what everyone else is wearing that sometimes I forget about myself. Albeit, I have a uniform that I follow almost daily; it can still get overwhelming. By planning your outfit and laying it out the night before, you can wake up like you want: flawless.
In turn, this allows for more time in the morning to attend to more important matters: avocado and toast.
A new year finds our introspective self put on display with uninhibited intentions. Don’t we publicly declare our resolutions as a way to hold ourselves accountable? Maybe by sharing our goals with friends, family and well, anyone who has access to the Internet, it will push us to finally succeed at our predetermined future selfs. My list of goals, tasks and dream are growing by the day. It’s growing so rapidly, that I don’t know how to keep up with myself and my infinite scroll of wants and needs.
I’m unsure where you stand, but 2016 was a difficult year for me. Call it a quarter life crisis, if you will. I thought I knew everything and the moment that I truly faced that belief; I realized I knew nothing at all. Nothing about who I really am, what my goals are and why I have worked to put myself into the position that I currently am. What makes matter worse is that I spent more time scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reel. Thanks Instagram (it’s a love/hate relationship, but mostly love.) This journey has been far from steady and the challenges have far outweighed the successes; albeit, this year brought a lot of good moments too. It has offered me opportunities in my personal and professional life that have developed me further into being the person that I am writing this.
My pursuit is not one of happiness. You can’t find happiness. IT needs to be developed over time, over conversation, and a little bit of faith. My pursuit lies in always staying hungry. Not literally, because we all know how much I love tacos, but metaphorically speaking. Still with me? Hah.
I never want to lose the insatiable hunger to discover the world. I want to indulge in various realms through a myriad of mediums that start a meaningful connection. Whether it be through style, food, travel, art or music – I want us to talk, for real. I want to fall into the depths of the creative mind. To curate a stylized perspective amongst a collective that will not only inspire but leave a mark on this world.
Some days, I have no idea what it looks like. Other days, I’ve got floor to ceiling murals of what it could be. But the best part about it, is that with each day, my self portrait is a blank canvas.
On my last night in New York, I was walking to the subway and I saw a girl crossing the street with a t-shirt that read: “I’m here to take what’s mine.”
That sums up the energy that New York City holds for me.
This isn’t a case to argue that the grass is greener on the other side. This trip was a juxtaposition of just that. The city that offers endless opportunities is also dry and to water it, you have to go through hell and back to even get a glimpse of your potential. But that’s just it, isn’t it? We need to be challenged. As artists, creatives and entrepreneurs, we need to be thrown down the rabbit hole in order to achieve what we feel we’re worthy of.
The week saw me running around the city with friends, fashion photographer Chris Winter and influencer Meagan Faye of Living Boldly. Highlights of the week included spending some time in the Chanel showroom, hanging out in Donna Karan’s Urban Zen; as well as fashion show standouts J Crew, Scotch and Soda, The Blonds and Anniessa Hasibuan.
There’s something intoxicating about the rush that comes along with fashion week. A whirlwind of running from one end of the city to the other; laughing and screaming and trying to maintain your composure and keep your professionalism in tact.
I was lucky enough to have local friends show me around to some incredible spots. Some stand out dining experiences included drinks at Fig 19, late night bites at Sake Bar Decibel, and brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda. I went back twice for brunch, haha. If you’re looking to shop, be sure to check out What Goes Around Comes Around, Kirna Zabete, and Opening Ceremony. The best part about New York though is that you can wander the streets and stumble upon endless opportunities.
So while I work on getting the coffee stain out of my favourite oversized shirt, (see photo above) take a moment to watch the quick recap of my NYFW SS17 video below.
Until then, I’ll be in a New York State of Mind.