• The Sleeve Detail

    I am a student at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have learned so much. In fact, I have taken countless classes that explain the fashion industry as a business and I’ve also taken classes that study sleeves in great detail—yes, sleeves.

    Do you know how many different sleeve styles there are?

    Here’s a hint: there’s more than one. To name a few, there’s the Bell, Peasant, Puff, Bishop, Juliet, and Dolman. Yup, you’ve guessed it. The list continues.

    Sleeve details are one of my favorite trends. The trend is currently dominating fast fashion and I LOVE IT! I personally prefer wearing a great sleeve in either the spring or summer season so that it doesn’t get lost behind my jackets or coats. Bring on the warmer weather, Mother Nature! A detailed sleeve is truly an epic fashion statement.

    I generally like to think of the sleeve as an added accessory. When wearing a shirt that includes this trend, I avoid bracelets or rings to keep the focus on my top rather than my jewelry. I also try not to spend a lot of money when purchasing a shirt with this dramatic concept because I prefer to invest in staple or basic pieces. One typically wears this type of shirt a few times before it is quickly remembered by friends and family. I can only get away with wearing it so many times before I look like a serial outfit repeater. Yes, the struggles of a true fashion gal.

    If I haven’t already sold you on the sleeve detail trend I will now. A sleeve statement can be worn on a dress or a jacket too! It does not have to be strictly limited to tops.

    The dramatic sleeve is a chic look—picture yourself with a sleek updo and fitted pants, with that perfect sleeve hanging over each hand. Here are of few photos of me braving yesterday’s snowstorm wearing a Zara striped bell sleeve top!

    With Love,
    Ashley Attianese
    Image result for instagram icon@ashleyattianese

  • 10 New (Simply Amazing) Accessories for Fall

    My New Favorites

    I determined a few weeks ago that this fall and winter, accessories would be my THING.  Not only are they well-priced, they don’t require a huge wardrobe overhaul each season to stay on top of the trends. Be it silk scarves, hats, cozy scarfs, gloves, or ponchos, they officially have leading roles in my upcoming looks.

    Truth be told, my accessories craze couldn’t be timed better for my closet as I’m thrilled to reveal today that I’m the newest partner of Echo, the New York City scarf company crafting the loveliest of accessories since 1923.  Together we’re working on the #ChangeYourStripes campaign by elevating wardrobes everywhere simply by accessorizing!  From their silk scarves, to beanies, gloves, ponchos, and everything in between, the beauty of Echo’s accessories is that they allow you to change your look, your mood, or someone’s perception without ever losing yourself, the way that clothes sometimes can.  Echo harnesses this transformative power of accessories through the expert use of color, pattern, and texture in their fashion and home products.

    So with style in mind, let’s dive headfirst into my Top 10 List of New Favorite Accessories for the upcoming chillier seasons..

    1. Silk Scarves

    You know Echo’s silk scarves when you see them, the ultimate do-everything accessory.  Here we have the Enchanted Forest Silk Scarf, my favorite piece from their new line available now, styled 3 ways…

    scarf1

    Around the neck…

    scarf3

    As a bandana…

    scarf2

    Around the wrist…

    2. The Black Beanie

    The black beanie is a wardrobe staple, always in style, and totally chic when the temps drop below 50 F.  This one is luxuriously soft, wearable all day long.

    blackbeanie

    3. The Skinny Silk Scarf

    From the pages of Vogue to the necks of fashionable women everywhere, the skinny silk scarf has taken Manhattan, Paris and London by storm this season.  Check out Echo’s gorgeous version in every color imaginable.

    blackskinny1blackskinny2

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    Will be wearing this everywhere…

     4. The Blanket Wrap

    Nothing is cozier than a binkie, amirite? So every human on earth will be happy to learn that blankets are fashions now, wearable around your neck in the softest of fabrics and pretties of colors.  Meet The Blanket Wrap!

    blanketwrap

    Warm and Soft!

    5. Hats with Style

    Trust me, nobody is more excited to wear these beanies with a furry little pom on top than me.  I got this guy in 3 charming, wardrobe-ready colors but it’s available in many more.  Talk about soft and chic!

    furgloveshat2Black, Grey, and Purple Beanies with Furry Poms

    blackhat

    greyhatpurplehat

     

     

     Love in every color!

      6. The Leather Glitten

    I’m all about gloves once the temperature gets chilly.  My hands literally freeze without them, and these adorable glittens are totally IN right now.  Not only do they clip back to reveal a delightful finger glove, they are also iPhone ready with a magnetized finger!

    undoneglove1

    Fingers optional!
    undoneglove2Look at those warm digits!

    7. Everyday Ruanas

    Guys, wraps are THE thing right now.  I bet you’ve seen like 3 ladies wearing a ruana already today. They’re cozy, warm, and stylish while being totally effortless.  This black one is at the top of my list right now.

    blackblanketwrap

     

    8. The Fur Glove

    Nothing screams #ChangeYourStripes more than a glove with a touch of fur.  I love these from Echo, plus they have the built in cell phone finger that’s a must-have these days.

    furgloveshat

    9. The Bandana Scarf

    Hello, Paris Fashion Week!  The Bandana is officially BACK (or did it ever really leave?), y’all!  I’m absolutely coveting this black number with fringe, aka the Yak Triangle with Fringe.

    blacktrianglescarf

    10. The Reversible Ruana

    What’s better than 1 ruana?  2 ruanas, obviously.  This perfectly colored number is totally versatile, not to mention warm and in style.

    orangeblanketwrap


    I hope you enjoyed my top 10 picks for new accessories for fall and winter!  I’m so excited to be partnering with Echo on their #ChangeYourStripes campaign this holiday season and you can expect more fun from us soon with some great upcoming giveaways and events.  What’s your must-have accessory?  A classic silk scarf or cozy beanie?  Tell me below in the comments!


    Shop The Look

  • Blondes Have More Fun

    …and I’m Having an OK Time

    Chronicles of a Hair-Dyer

    Wednesdays are reserved for adventures.

    Hey, LoDown fam! It’s Chris again, the sad sack of garbage who brought you the juice cleanse story. I’m back because you all enjoyed reading about my agony (how dare you). On this particular adventure, I will explore the world of hair dying. Now, I won’t be talking about going to a salon or whatever people who have money and time do to get their hair professionally done because that would be too simple and too easy. I’m talkin’ about sitting on my bed while my friend, who is visiting, has no time to think of an excuse to get out of helping me. Ah, friendship.

    But first, where are my manners? Allow me to give you some backstory as to why I dyed my hair. A few months ago, I stole a MacBook from the Apple Store and ended up killing a man to get away and needed a new identity. Just kidding, although that would probably make for a much better adventure—maybe next month?

    In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to dye my hair white for so long because I just wanted to do something crazy and live on the edge. Naturally, I turn to hair dying for that rush of adrenaline. I know, I know. I’m WILD!!!! One day, I thought long and hard, which means maybe 2 minutes tops, about it and realized that it’s only hair, and as the great Drake once said, “YOLO”.

    To be honest, I went into this process like Helen Keller went up stairs—very blindly. I couldn’t have known less when I walked into Ricky’s NYC to get an buttload of hair bleach (yes, buttload is an actual form of measurement) and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. Back at my apartment, my room suddenly felt like the set of Breaking Bad because my friend Dori and I were mixing chemicals with other chemicals in a very small space.

    Here are all of the chemicals I put in my hair...science is cool!!!!

    Here are all of the chemicals I put in my hair…science is cool!!!!

    #friendshipgoals or me not giving her any other options? Basically the same thing...

    #friendshipgoals or me not giving her any other options? Basically the same thing…

    After 45 minutes and tolerating the feeling of each hair being plucked out one by one, I washed the first round of bleach out only to find that I looked like a mass-murdering Ed Sheeran to star in a redundant Marvel film coming out early next year. At this point, I was saying what my mom probably said at my birth, “WHAT THE F%$K HAVE I DONE”?

    My "Ed Sheeran just landed a role as a villain in a Marvel film" look

    My “Ed Sheeran just landed a role as a villain in a Marvel film” look

    I am a goddamn trendsetter, guys.

    I am a goddamn trendsetter, guys.

    After recuperating, we did a second round of bleach to get my hair even lighter. At this point, it felt as if every Boy Scout troop ever created was having a bonfire on top of my head. Fun! I washed that out and toned my hair with a “Pale Ash Blonde” color, which to me translated to “a bunch of adjectives all describing the same thing” but that is neither here nor there. By now, I was happy with the color, mostly because it didn’t feel super yellow blonde and because I had left behind my role in the upcoming Marvel film. Looking back on it now, with a head full of dead white hair, I hate the color “Pale Ash Blonde” created.

    Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

    The outcome of the “Pale Ash Blonde”, or as normal people call it: “Gray blonde”

    You may be asking, “But Chris! How did you get your hair white?”. Fantastic question, *insert your name here*. The secret to getting your hair as light as possible without fully killing it is using Shimmer Light’s purple shampoo and conditioner. I leave the conditioner in for 3-5 minutes. It’s crazy how well the conditioner turned my hair white/slight purple tint.

    You also may be asking, “But Chris! Was it worth it?”. Okay, first of all, you need to relax with all these questions. But yes, I couldn’t feel happier and more myself with my new hair. I look at old photos with my brown hair and I feel like that isn’t the real me. I am so much more confident and have learned to really live for myself and not worry about what other people think, which hasn’t ever really been an issue for me. My message to you would be to just do it if you’re thinking about dying your hair. It’s hair. But also, it’s really difficult hair to maintain. I was thinking I would just dye my hair and everything would be great, but it’s a lot of maintenance, which is something I absolutely despise.

    Finally! My hair is so white, it can talk back to cops (Photo by Alivia Latimer)

    Finally! My hair is so white, it can talk back to cops and get away with it (Photo by Alivia Latimer)

    I can’t believe I just wrote a whole adventure about my hair, but it’s happened and there’s no turning back now. Let me know in the comments which hair color you like better and also what color you would want to dye your hair!

    Team Brown? Team White? Team Who-Gives-A-F%$K-About-My-Hair-Color?

    Team Brown? Team White? Team Who-Gives-A-F*$K-About-My-Hair-Color?

    Blondes Have More Fun
    Thoughts on my hair color?
  • Fatass Does a Juice Cleanse

    IMG_6439

    Picking up my cleanse at Juice Press, and, as you can tell, I am the face of enthusiasm!

    I Survived

    ...but Barely

    Wednesdays are reserved for adventures.

    Hey, LoDown fam! My name is Chris. I’m the guy who takes all of the photos you see on a daily basis. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Why the eff is the photographer writing a story?” That’s a good question. Let me explain…

    While discussing possible adventures to take on in the world of food and fashion, juice cleanses came up. The team immediately shifted their focus to me, a self-proclaimed fatass. They figured it’d be funny to give the “foodie with a booty” a three-day juice cleanse. Let’s fast forward to when my story begins.

    August 24, 2015 (The Day Before the Cleanse)— The LoDown crew hits up Juice Press in the East Village where I get my three day’s worth of juices (and a lifetime’s worth of anxiety). While the whole team exchanged giggles and I eyed them with death glares, the Juice Press staff neatly lined up 18 juices, colors ranging anywhere from green to yellow to red. I received a pamphlet and felt reassured by its second bullet point. “Rest,” it read, “For best results, take a break from exercise.” I remembered thinking there was hope. Famous last thoughts.

    Day 1

    9:19 a.m. Just woke up. Took what I expected to be my last solid shit. Ridiculously anxious at the thought of no food for the next three days, which is a nightmare I have definitely had before.

    10:07 a.m. First drink down the hatch called “Love at First Sight”. If that’s what love at first sight is like, I have no problems with being single. Feeling much better about this cleanse, but still super fucking hungry and lowkey bitter that I couldn’t put a greasy bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich into my body.

    10:37 a.m. Got to work. On the way, my bag fell off my bike and I was more worried about the juices than my $3,000 MacBook. The juices are changing me. I also passed approximately 213 restaurants, and each was a kick to the babymaker.

    11:13 a.m. I already want food and coffee. I feel tired and sluggish, but that might be because I don’t have my life together… the jury’s still out on that one.

    IMG_6473

    Here is solid evidence proving how productive I was at work while being on a juice cleanse…

    12:41 p.m. Just finished my second drink. It had a thicker consistency. I don’t feel like fainting as much. To be honest, I can’t stop thinking about smelling pad Thai and French fries.

    2:04 p.m. I’m watching my coworkers eat our catered lunch…excuse me while I stab myself in the leg with a thumbtack. If you know me, there is nothing I show more enthusiasm for than free food. I am weak.

    3:06 p.m. Just finished drink number three and my mouth now tastes like a mix of my front lawn and a middle-aged man’s vegetable garden. I’m feeling good every time I drink a juice because my stomach feels fuller. This is probably what it’s like to be a model at Fashion Week—to crave food but to not be allowed to eat it.

    5:08 p.m. Trying to get through “Doctor Earth”. It is ROUGH. There’s more ginger in it than a redhead convention. My hunger hasn’t been bad, but I miss eating actual food and the idea of eating.

    5:14 p.m. I just opened a bag of chips in the office to smell them. Actually, it worked very well. I’m now getting weird looks from people in the office.

    7:37 p.m. I made the mistake of going into Whole Foods with my friend. Had a very public meltdown. The Lord is testing me. If you’re doing a juice cleanse, stay home with no food and just sleep for three days.

    9:49 p.m. I finished juice number five, and it was VERY gingery. I’m a bigger fan of Nickleback than I am of this drink. Also, I just want some fried chicken and Chipotle. I’m now staring at a bag of chips from across the room in my bed. Heavily debating whether or not to sneak one, but I have too much pride (and a really aggressive conscious).

    11:47 p.m. Finished my last drink called “Glo” and enjoyed it very much. I would definitely enjoy a Dominos pizza way more but oh well. Time to go to sleep or pass out from the lack of usual calories. We’ll see which happens first…

    Day 2

    11:12 a.m. Woke up after sleeping in because I’m worth it. I actually feel…great? I know, I’m surprised too. I don’t feel hungry or anything, but I have to unleash the Pacific Ocean from my bladder.

    12:34 p.m. I just finished the first juice of the day. Really delicious, but I’m already hungry and my apartment smells like pizza. So, there’s that.

    1:37 p.m. Finished juice number two called the “Fountain of Youth”, and I feel like Jennifer Anniston. It may be my favorite drink of the cleanse.

    4:17 p.m. I finished “Doctor Earth” and it was worse than I remembered. I thought I was going strong today, but as the day progressed, I desperately want food…and to not be an adult anymore but that’s life, Chris.

    6:47 p.m. I went to Duane Reade to get a jug of water because that’s the only other f%*&ing thing I can put into my body besides these damn juices. I’m getting frustrated with not being able to eat, as you can tell. New York gets boring real quick when you take solid food out of the equation.

    7:14 p.m. – Finished a red drink called “Lucky Seven”, and I hated it as much as I hate school.

    9:04 p.m. Just sharted my pants.

    9:09 p.m. False alarm.

    Day 3

    11:41 a.m.  I just woke up and am feeling great mostly because I’m thinking about all of the food I will be knee deep in tomorrow.

    12:14 p.m. Finished juice number one. I have so much motivation to make it through to the end of today.

    3:29 p.m. I forget how many juices I’ve finished at this point, but I can assure you that they all tasted very green and very NOT like a cheeseburger with a side of fries.

    5:47 p.m. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…or is that just a neon sign advertising 99¢ pizza? Either way, I’m very into it.

    7:01 p.m. Jamming to Justin Bieber’s new song “What Do You Mean” which was exactly what I told the Juice Press staff when they said I couldn’t eat for three days.

    9:58 p.m. I JUST FINISHED MY LAST JUICE! I would do a celebratory dance but that would require more energy that I have so let’s just use our imaginations.

    IMG_6537

    As you can see, I am GLOing with happiness that I had just finished my last juice (it’s okay, I hate myself for that pun too)

    What to expect when doing a juice cleanse: So, unless you’ve slipped into a coma at the beginning of this adventure and woke up here, at the end of the story, the point to take away is that you can’t have food unless you count a few almonds. It is possible to do but it also takes a lot of will power. The first day was the hardest for me. After that, I began to feel more and more like an asshat because the cleanse was all I talked about. Then, I got mad at my friends for eating food. Sorry, friends.

    Stock up on adult diapers. You will live in the bathroom. I’m trying my best to avoid being graphic for our sensitive reader with social graces. But anyway, let’s just say that as a guy, I didn’t have to sit down quite as much during the cleanse. When I did though, it was a runny doozy.

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    The day after the cleanse with my one true love #relationshipgoals

    All in all, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expected, but then again, I was expecting to look and feel malnourished and be well on my way to my deathbed. Would I do it again? Probably not. I love solid food far more than the average human should. However, I did feel very healthy and I did notice my skin clear up. Was it a coincidence I didn’t have a single zit either or those three days? That’s not important. Anyway, duty calls, a.k.a. a very large plate of Pad Thai!

  • Chrissy Teigen & Emily Ratajkowski Have A Sexy-Off

    Both girls look absolutely ah-mazing as they celebrated the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 with Chrissy’s husband John Legend last night. Model Chrissy, 29, was wearing a pair of *very* saucy hot pants.

    Wear it dry, and you’ve got your standard dusting of color—classic and predictable (in a good way). But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:

    Product

    First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

    Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

    For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

    Brush
    This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

    However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

    Liquid
    Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

    Photographed by Tom Newton.

  • Carey Mulligan Steals Style Tips From Sienna Miller

    Going out for me is usually a very relaxed situation. I’ve probably been out to a bar or a club maybe once in the last two years. I know what my alter ego wants to do.

    “Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

    I never go out anywhere scene-y and known.

    I never go out anywhere scene-y and known.

    My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

    I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

    [blockquote author=”” pull=”normal”]There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.[/blockquote]

    I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

    I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom.

    ITG Nikki Reed

    I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

    I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

    I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

    I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

    I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

  • Congrats! Kendall Jenner Celebrates New Calvin Klein Campaign

    The model’s friends and family were all in attendance at the launch. Cara Delevingne, Hailey Baldwin, Bella Hadid, the girls of Haim and Kylie, Kourtney, Khloe and Kris Jenner were all there to celebrate Kendall’s success.

    “Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

    rs_634x1024-131124164140-634-kendall-jenner-ama-112413My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

    I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

    [blockquote author=”” pull=”normal”]There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.[/blockquote]

    I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

    I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom.

    kendall-jenner-threatening-to-sue-waitress__oPt

    I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

    I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

    I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

    I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

    I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

  • Spring 2015 Trends: What to Expect

    Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015

    Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015

    Get Ready for Spring!

    S/S 2015 Trends -- The Round Up

    Over the last two weeks, we’ve shared two of our favorite trends for the upcoming Spring. Gingham and grid prints — what a time to be alive! If these trends are too checkered for you and you’re worried about looking like a picnic blanket (it’s okay, I’ve had these thoughts too), don’t worry because Spring 2015 trends are takin’ it back to the good ol’ days with comfort. That’s right, you didn’t read wrong. Comfort. Luxury. Wearability. It’s all about rockin’ killer outfits and feeling comfortable at the same time. Read along to find out which other trends are currently dominating the scene.

    Suede

    Chloé S/S 2015

    Chloé S/S 2015

    70s vibes anyone? The era many people know and hated is coming back with full force — this time injected with sophistication. Suede especially is making its way back to our closets with revivals from Chloé, Céline, Valentino, Givenchy and Saint Laurent. Our only warning when you incorporate this fabric into your wardrobe? Avoid inclement weather at all times.

    All White Looks

    Frame Denim S/S 2015

    Frame Denim S/S 2015

    That whole “Never wear white after labor day” rule is over. It’s not so much about wearing all white anymore as much as it is about how you wear it. Frame Denim, the LA based company that focuses on fashion essentials, showcased monochromatic looks in their most recent Spring collection evoking a crisp, 70s vibe that we can’t get enough of. With other designers like Michael Kors showcasing all white looks, you can bet TheLoDown will embrace this chic and minimal mindset.

    Shirtdresses

    Rebecca Minkoff S/S 2015

    Rebecca Minkoff S/S 2015

    From Rebecca Minkoff to Altuzarra, designers are elevating shirtdresses to a whole new level. Expect to see them in stores with all kinds of twists — asymmetric hemlines,  ankle-length, knee-length, and of course, the classic button-down.

    Flats and Sneakers

    Peter Som S/S 2015

    Peter Som S/S 2015

    Chanel with its embellished couture sneakers and Dior with its sequined sneakers should be credited for making fashionistas far and wide push their heels aside for a pair of trainers several seasons ago. Now, we have Marc Jacobs and Peter Soms reinventing flats. Fashion doesn’t always have to be pain.

    Denim

    Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015

    Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015

    Denim on denim? There was a time when this would be unacceptable, but that time is not Spring 2015. This season, the humble workwear fabric received an upgrade from Stella McCartney, Prada, Burberry Prorsum and beyond, even receiving its own special celebration with Alexa Chung’s denim collection for AG Jeans. Embellish, layer and decorate your denim any way you’d like because when it comes to denim, only one idea is clear: the fashion industry is having an indigo moment.

    What do you think? Are these trends you’ll be wearing? Let us know below!

  • Trend Watch: Graph Prints

    Photography courtesy of Cuillère à absinthe

    Photography courtesy of Cuillère à absinthe

    Get in Line

    Trend Watching: Graph Prints

    If you ever looked at your graph notebook in math class when you were young and thought, “This pattern would make a great shirt,” you are in luck. The latest trend has la crème de la crème of the fashion industry wearing shirts, pants and dresses that look like a page ripped from your notebook.

    I’m not one for trends — look at my closet and you’ll find a minimalist’s wardrobe in classic colors, but when it comes to grid prints, I’m game. This sixties meets nineties grunge trend is a bolder version of plaid and gingham, especially if you decide to go the matchy-matchy route. Grid print shirt with grid print pants? Why not?

    GridPrint

    From Elizabeth and James to Whistles and Ralph Lauren, everyone has their own version of the grid print. Match your top and bottom and look like the most coordinated person in the room or simply wear your favorite grid print with jeans. Either way, you are sure to make a statement.

    We’ve handpicked twelve of our favorite windowpane looks just for you — take a look, fall in L-O-V-E and let us know how you’ll incorporate these grid beauties this season. Sound off below!

    Shop the Post

  • Trend Watch: Gingham

    Gingham1

    Checks, please!

    Watching for Gingham

    Gingham, the checkered white and colored fabric Judy Garland famously donned in the Wizard of Oz, took over the Spring 2015 runways. From Oscar de la Renta’s oversized take of the mod fabric to Altuzarra, Michael Kors and Bottega Venetta’s use of the pattern, it looks like gingham is here to stay (well, at least for this upcoming season).

    If you’re not a fan of the retro pattern, look back to Brigitte Bardot for inspiration. The blond bombshell walked down the aisle in a pink gingham dress, a move so daring it caused a gingham shortage in France. Who could’ve guessed that could even happen?

    Left to right: Michael Kors, Bottega Venetta, Oscar de la Renta & Tsumori Chisato from their Spring/Summer 2015 Collections

    Left to right: Michael Kors, Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta & Tsumori Chisato from their Spring/Summer 2015 Collections

    Not sure how to wear our favorite picnic-inspired fabric? Let us help! From crop tops to pants, skirts and dresses, gingham is acceptable in any way, shape or form this season. Lucky enough for you, we’ve scoured the Internet and picked our favorite pieces from our favorite shops.

    Shop the Post

    Are you a gingham advocate? Let us know how you’ll be wearing the pattern this season in the comments below!

  • Next Trendy Foods

    Trending, Trending!

    Foods Worth the Hype

    Just like fashion trends, foods come and go in cycles. Some fade in and out while others completely disappear off the food map. As 2014 begins to slow down, we’re here to predict the next trendy foods.

    Meals:

    NBV: The Next Big Vegetable— 2013 was the year of kale. Kale was everywhere– salads, sandwiches, soups, you name it. Although this vegetable is going strong, we’ve noticed brussel sprouts sprouting (get it?) in menus far and wide. Once the vegetable no kids wanted to eat, these beauties are making a name for themselves. Perfectly roasted alone or with other vegetables, they are possibly one of the most delicious vegetables you will eat.

    Tacos. When I say taco, most people automatically think of hard-shell tacos topped with cheese and lettuce. Good? Yes, but not authentic. Hailing from Mexico, tacos are traditionally made with some sort of meat (although vegetables are just as delicious for you veggies), topped with fresh seasonings like cilantro, onion and a squeeze of fresh lime. For you New Yorkers and Brooklynites, our favorites are Brooklyn Taco and La Esquina on Kenmare Street.

    Ramen. Though Ramen has been in and out of the food scene for the past two years, it is most commonly associated with the inexpensive meal made by college kids on the “broke college student” budget. Perfect for winter nights, ramen is suddenly the hottest food around. Our favorite New York spots? Momofuku and Minca downtown. Ready, set, slurp!

    Desserts:

    Cupcakes– will they ever be out? Cupcakes for me are like Starbucks stores. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be a cupcake shop, and while I may not always want or need them, it is comforting to know that I can find them with ease. These treats dominated the dessert scene for several years and continue to fade in and out when the newest “It” dessert makes an appearance. Yet, they never quite disappear. Will there ever come a time when they completely fade out? Only time will tell.

    The fascination with The Cronut™ (and it’s competition). Okay, time for a confession. The first time I heard about Cronuts, I was both completely amazed and baffled. A croissant and a donut? Yes, please! I was so in awe of this dessert that waited outside of the store at 6am for Dominique Ansel’s bakery to open in the pouring rain until 8am. No shame, right? All for a day’s treat (or so I tell myself). The fascination was (and is) so great that companies all over the world have attempted to recreate the secret recipe, scalpers have sold them for upwards of hundreds of dollars and lines form around the block on Spring Street in Soho every morning. But it really comes down to you. What do you think– are they worth the hype? Rumor has it that Rubin’s City Bakery off Lower fifth is vying for the title of “Dessert King” with its pretzel croissant (pictured above). Which hybrid will win the long-fought battle?

    Photo: Niko Triantafillou

    Photo: Niko Triantafillou

    Macarons and doughnuts– a battle for attention. Before I could get my hands on a Cronut (even though I  told everyone about them), I was on the lookout for the next big dessert all by myself (If I wasn’t going to get a Cronut, I was gone to have something amazing), and the competition ultimately came down to the war between macarons and doughnuts. Though they never made it quite as big as cupcakes, macarons and doughnuts offer a variety of flavors that you simply can’t get with other desserts. Rose, orange, coffee and gumdrop macarons? Tiramisu, creme brûlée, and hibiscus donuts? I want all of the above!

    Photo: Stefan Karlstrom

    Photo: Stefan Karlstrom

    Our prediction? Churros– West Coast goes East Coast. Forget the movie stars, churros (and especially churro ice cream sandwiches) are the true stars in Los Angeles recently. Combining two amazing treats (seems like the best ones are two-in-one combos, right?), we’re going to be bold and say these delicious cinnamon-y treats will slowly make their way to the East Coast soon. Make sure to keep an eye out!

    What side are you on? Are you loyal to one trendy food? Share your favorites in the comments!

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