Just a little Bite

It’s been a while. Shall I tantalize you with just a smell of all the good stuffs I’ve been holding out on? IMG_0310

It’s nature, I know, but in a place like the Swiss Alps what’s more lovely to look at? Like a constant painting, the peaks  package in the picturesque place that is Huemoz and the mountainside villages.

 

Switzerland: Day 1 1/2

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Welcome to Switzerland! Currently I’m sitting in the Cookie Cafe with my friend and room mate Ellen (shown above) in the glorious Villars. Just so you know, I’m not dead, but simply in a winter wonderland. More to follow, about traveling, nearly losing my passport in Heathrow, London, and getting lost in the Swiss Alps. All in a days work, my Loves!

The Doors

Dreaming allows us to see what could be, rather than what is, and the ability to see what could be is catalyst for change, for progression. That is why art and the creative mind is so powerful; it’s doors are wide open to dreaming and thus maintains ignition for human development.

Vapid

va·pid

adjective \ˈva-pəd, ˈvā-\

Not lively or interesting : dull or boring
1.  lacking liveliness, tang, briskness, or force : flat, dull 
“The conversation of the party was so vapid that I eventually chose to keep company with the house cat.”
va·pid·ly adverb
va·pid·ness noun
Origin
Latin vapidus flat-tasting; akin to Latin vappa flat wine and perhaps to Latin vapor steam

First Known Use: circa 1656
*merriam-webster dictionary

aggrandize

aggrandize 

 

1. To make great or greater: to increase, enlarge.

“His ego is aggrandized by constant compliments.”

2. To make appear great or greater: praise highly.

“Those with true talent are often overlooked by the aggrandizing of the mediocre.”

3. To enhance the power, wealth, position, or reputation of<exploited the situation to…himself>.

“Politicians often aggrandize themselves with mudslinging campaign strategies.”

 

 

 

Congenial

con·ge·nial

adjective \kən-ˈjē-nē-əl, –ˈjēn-yəl\

: suitable or appropriate

: pleasant and enjoyable

: very friendly

1. Having the same nature, disposition, or tastes : kindred
Ironically, the dog and cat were congenial companions.”
2.
a :  Existing or associated together harmoniously
A successful marriage knows the importance of congenial partnership between spouses.”

b :  Pleasant; especially :  agreeably suited to one’s nature, tastes, or outlook.

c : Sociable, genial

A congenial hostess always makes for a better party.”

I Want to be a Culture Clubber

Awwww. The “Motherland”. I’ve never had origins to speak of such a place with nostalgia. I’m not sure you could even consider America a “motherland” in any sense. It’s much too young. More  like a child, still. While America is yet adolescent, we are already a bit stagnant. Our meteoric rise as a world power has caused American culture to become a bit stunted. Perhaps, like a child forced to face adult responsibility too early,  America has acquired that same uncultured maturity. The kind that circles itself.  We’ve packed a ton of history into our few short centuries, without  the time to process all of our experiences with hind site  that nurtures growth.

We are a young country, indeed, and perhaps think too much of ourselves. “Wisdom” beyond our years. It’s created an arrogance that is imbedded in our cultural fibers.  Your culture we will take and adapt to our own, stripping it of its antiquity and turning it into an American novelty. We are a bit of a lost people, bound together by our misplacement and common desire for freedom of self.  Although we are unified in these ideals, we retain little to no historical commonality. Persecution of faith, persecution of ethnicity, or poverty we come to America to escape our demeaning conditions with  our hearts still full of another land.  Like a childhood friend or the bond of family, there will always be an inner loyalty for someone’s origins that is diehard. In times of trauma our core ideals of freedom and equality galvanize our unity, but without threat we lack camaraderie. It is a common history that the peoples of America lack, for we are simply a house of orphans.

Now, all of that may sound very pessimistic, but being American, born and raised, I love my country dearly, but I also understand the her and her personality with an intimacy only found in a native. It is from this intimacy that I wish to escape, for a time, to broaden my worldview. And so, to another land I go to be cultured and expanded by the habits of a foreign place and it’s people. After much prayerful debate and contemplation I’ve decided to experience Europe.  I know, cliche, right? Everyone does Europe. I’d thought of getting out of the first world and trekking through Peru, living on a mountain top with a host family or even exploring the wily landscape and Merino Wool farms of New Zealand. What really cemented my decision to go to Europe, though, was the opportunity to study at L’Abri,  tucked away in the snowy Swiss Alps.

Rhone-River-Valley-View-from-LAbri

(Lovely)

For 9 weeks of my trip I will be at L’Abri studying philosophy, developing relationships with other people within the community, and learning about different worldviews through lectures, reading and conversation. It’s a rather Miltonic environment to say the least, and quite exciting, the point being that I will begin to discover a purposeful mission for my art forms. Perhaps it is un-American of me, but I am most excited to be banned from internet and computers during my time here, save for 1 1/2 days out of the week, and even that is discouraged.  All those staying at L’Abri work together to keep the place running smoothly: we cook, clean, garden, etc… call it a commune if you must.

It will be no picnic, and that is refreshing. I want to push myself during this trip, I want to disconnect from frivolity so that I can reconnect with people. All too often I find myself careless in my relationships with others and this is disturbing to me. To find I care more about a concept or social trend than an actual human being, frightens me to the core. To realize that I have become so much a  product of my own shallow culture drives me to transform my perspective. To be unselfish, open and genuinely interested in people, and to desire human connection is one of the main agendas for this trip.

After L’Abri my itinerary  will take on a necessary expedition to England, where for a couple of days I will explore and conquer the monster known as “London”. There will be great tidbits posted later from this, and the street fashion should be very invigorating. I’m excited to do some picture-to-sketch projects while there.  After London, I’ll be somewhere in Holland most likely for the remainder of my trip, but  there will be no set-in-stone itinerary. Between the tulips, museums and windmills I’m sure I’ll have time to immerse myself into a bit more of the history and culture of what I’ve heard is a peaceful and congenial place.

I do not expect to be treated the same as I am at home. From what I’ve heard and seen in popular portrayal American’s are not the most favored visitors in any country. Whether this is true I will soon find out, but I do not hope to become a casualty of this national stereotype. I believe in an “Ideal American”, one who embodies the best of classical American ideals, with respect, understanding, and an embrace for all cultures as well as a loyal intimacy with their own.  Already I have so much to offer, for I am native of a country globalized at it’s origins, more diverse than Ancient Rome and younger than most of it’s allies. Yes, I already have so much to offer,  but I want more….how very American.

Prosaic

pro·sa·ic

adjective \prō-ˈzā-ik\

: dull or ordinary

1.

a :  characteristic of prose as distinguished from poetry : factual

“Most novels are prosaic in style, where as poetry is not.”

b :  dull, unimaginative

“The prosaic grind of the workplace only adds to my mundane routine.”
2.
: everyday, ordinary
 “Obsessed fans read with bated breath about the prosaic events in the lives of celebrities.”
Origin: Late Latin “prosaicus”, from Latin prosa prose.

The Artistic Expression

It’s impossible to explain the beauty of seeing your thoughts and ideas laid out before you and before an audience in a form so obtrusively physical. People are seeing it, wearing it, touching it, talking about it, and discussing it. In fact, they WANT to look at it.  How can I convey the freedom to which art gives it’s creator? For me it is an idea, thought, or emotion, which either is so barely there that I must capture it physically before it eludes me forever, or it dogs me constantly until I put it away into my piece of art. That is the freedom of artistic expression. It is the freedom of control over ones own emotions and thoughts… it is the freedom from mental chaos. It is like a catalog of my mind and all the ideas I’ve collected or developed over time put into physical and unadulterated creation. I can touch it, see it, or even smell it in order that I may never forget where I have been or how I have become who I am. I can reference it in future work and perhaps even discover new concepts for new ideas. More than anything, art form is the map to discovering my own mind.It is the taking of something intangible and trying to explain it.  And it doesn’t fade away like a whisper in the dark.

A year and a half ago I began developing an idea for my senior collection as a fashion design student. I thought-up and scrapped multitudes of concepts until I touched on the most involved inspiration I could come up with. The female body in all aspects. Social/historical, anatomical, biological and emotional. How to incorporate all these parts into a cohesive whole was the most difficult process. What was that connective tissue. Eventually I struck upon a formula: Silhouette would be inspired by the social with actual garment types inspired by history; color and fabrication would be inspired by anatomy and biology. But emotion? Emotion would be the whole; all the parts combined. How did I feel about my own body and what caused such feelings? As a woman I felt connected to the long line of women who came before me or as contemporaries. We were connected by our bodies, driven to feel about ourselves based on societal, historical, and physical fixations. So in order to express a mood or feeling connected with the female body I had to combine all other aspects respectively. These were the results:Image

Image

Image

Image

What you take away from these is completely up to you. Forget trying to discover my opinions on the topics which inspired this collection or the feelings I experienced while designing it. What do these designs say to you? How do they make you feel? Even though I am apt to force feed my audience, I must humbly relinquish all analysis and criticism to the viewer. After all, it is that last bit of ambiguity that gives art its ability to touch people so universally.

Images:www.JasmineLT.com

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