Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Drugs: In and Out of Fashion

Earlier this year I was asked by a good friend of mine to write an article for his menswear fashion label / journal, MORAL. I thought I'd post the article here since I don't post anything here nowadays.

Drugs. A word dictionaries collectively define as substances used as or in medication, which affect the body physiologically, and no further. But say the word “drugs” to any sane person and there sure will rise an overpowering negative impression, far bigger than the word’s association to anything medical. Wikipedia sums it better by defining drugs as substances which have medicinal, intoxicating, and performance enhancing properties.

It’s easy enough to guess that humans had started their history with drugs since the prehistoric age and be right. From the natural to the artificial forms, drugs have been used through the ages for healing, cultural, and recreational purposes. And among the histories us humans shared with drugs, the fashion industry certainly have one of the most winding kind.

A strict industry with many unwritten rules, such as having to present garments in a scheduled manner using girls mostly booked from prestigious agencies, the current fashion industry had started its affair with drugs as early as the time of Coco Chanel. The affair ran its course in the psychedelic sixties, the funky seventies, the golden age of Studio 54 in the eighties, through the heroin chic trend in the nineties, and the size zero filled noughties. The affair is apparently deep and complicated enough to involve virtually every level of the industry, from the creative teams, the mid-teen aged models, the agents, to the glamor-sprinkled professionals in public relations.


A series of event had ignited my slumbering passion to blog again, so here goes. I don't think I'll write much in this post, for the things I'm sharing speak well for themselves.

I haven't had the time to browse the internet much, lately, not even for my daily routine of scrolling through the Tumblr dashboard. But this week I've had the pleasure of watching two short films, in which both involved my favorite musicians.

The first one is Umshini Wam, directed by Harmony Korine (who directed James Franco's Springbreakers, and after going to his Wikipedia page, apparently had a minor role in Good Will Hunting & Last Days), starring Die Antwoord's Ninja & Yo-Landi Vi$$er. The 15 minute film is a hyperbole for Ninja & Vi$$er's difficult life in South Africa before their rise to fame, and features the two of them as seemingly retarded and disabled people wearing colorful onesies. Vi$$er is obviously the motherfucking star in this film, her shrill talking and singing/rapping voice highlights all emotions portrayed, she virtually induced goosebumps.

The second one is The Knife's music video for Full of Fire, their first single of their upcoming album Shaking the Habitual. Directed by Swedish feminist porn director Marit Ă–stberg, the film is an extreme exploration of norm and gender construct, I think. Following the daily activities of several queer subjects (queer as in strange, and also as in gender-vague), the film's 9 minute run is accompanied by The Knife's new song which pretty much sound like if adrenaline was translated into sound waves. It was a strange and dizzying experience, watching this one.

Minimalist Creativity

It's not an exaggeration to say that today fashion bloggers is everywhere, people all around the world who has a wardrobe and an internet connection could easily be one. Some are good, some prove that money (or branded clothes/accessories) can't buy you style, some are painfully generic, and yet, there are few who are able to prove that style is something more than just buying and wearing fashion products.

with DIY Sliced Shades

Ivania Carpio of Love Aesthetics is most definitely one of those few fashion bloggers who has the ability to truly inspire. Her blog is a collection of her minimalist personal style, minimalist creations, and other aspects of her life, which all are pretty much minimalistic. I love how her outfits are a pleasing mix of high-end, thrift, and self-made pieces, how her hobby is turning hardware store things into jewelries, and how amazingly she transforms perspex into wearable accessories.

with DIY Leather Skirt

When I showed her blog to my sister she said, "The world needs more people like her," it's no wonder why, she's such a gifted creator and not another fashion consumer on the blogosphere.

DIY Foil Lunch Bags

The Sharing Black Hole

Sharing has been a trendy frenzy lately. It's a good thing, perhaps, that our current technology enables people to share so easily, ranging from ideas and thoughts that sprung from their minds, to a 90's movie trailer that one third of the world population had watched, or even a photograph taken by someone halfway around the world. It could be anything, anywhere, something as personal as your 3rd birthday picture scans on your Instagram, or something that totally belongs to someone else like a Lina Scheynius editorial for a Glasgow-based indie magazine on your Tumblr.

I personally love to discover, to share, and to be influential. This blog, my Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, you name it, I had shared countless of links and images in all these platforms. But honestly there is one thing that always bothers me, namely the attribution.

Attribution, crediting, or linking back, in my opinion, is a standard manner that everybody in the internet should possess whenever they re-post or write or re-blog something that's not theirs. It's not about whether they are copyrighted materials or not (although you must be more careful about posting something that has copyrights), it's simply about politeness. If your cousin bought a new Lamborghini it really isn't yours to drive around your neighborhood without saying anything, is it? It's basically tricking your neighbors to believe that it's your car.

Quotes from a Woody Allen Interview

"I live near all the museums so I go to all of them. I’m ubiquitous at the Knicks games. I watch a lot of baseball on television. I do all that stuff. I’ve got plenty of time to play with my kids-I bring them to school in the morning. I have time to do the treadmill. I have time to practice the clarinet. I have time to go on tour with my jazz band, and take walks with my wife, and still make movies because none of this stuff is rocket science. None of it is that demanding."
- on being recommended a series of activities to do besides working.

"There’s a very pleasurable feeling that comes from making stuff. You get lost in doing it and you don’t think about all the nasty things that life has planned for you."
- on creating.

"You find out that great success does not change your life in any meaningful way and failure doesn't change your life in any meaningful way. And then you find out that the reviews of your film-1,600 reviews from all over America, each one contradicting the other one-don't mean anything to you either. So finally you just give up. If you don't have fun doing the film, then the results of the film will never give you any fun. You find that your film wins some kind of award or is much extolled, but nothing happens. Your life is the same. You still get the sniffles, the toothaches, and all that. Nothing meaningful changes in your life."
- on having no interest whatsoever towards any movie he had finished making.

"There's nothing good about getting older-absolutely nothing-because the amount of wisdom and experience you gain is negligible compared to what you lose. You do gain a couple of things-you gain a little bittersweet and sour wisdom from your heartbreaks and failures and things-but what you lose is so catastrophic in every way."
- on getting older.

Read the complete interview here.


I follow a lot of blogs, more than eighty of them. It's a big number and it can overwhelm me at times, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I suppose I could not pinpoint the exact reason of why I enjoy blogs so much, more than I ever enjoy magazines (I've stopped reading magazines completely, TBH), but I think it's along the lines of that everything is fresher, and almost real-time.

Most of the blogs I follow are blogs of international magazines, also a lot of art/design/photography blogs, fashion and style blogs, some creative and writings blogs, and of course, my friends' blogs. I am somewhat addicted to discovering beautiful things, that's why I follow the blogs I follow. The same principle applies for my Tumblr, too. Below I will list some of my absolute favorites. (There's actually already a link list on my sidebar.)