PHOTO DIARY: ‘HALO’ PAINTING PATIENT PROGRESS…UNDONE.

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BEER BABES & BBQ: The ‘Bronx Ale House’

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A bang for your buck in the Bronx! With a seasoned chef in the kitchen and 16 Beers on tap, a variety of 28 different bottled beers and a cask, the Bronx Ale House is bringing a Manhattan vibe uptown without losing its individualism and personal swagger. Known by the locals as the number one hotspot for, “home run out of the ballpark”, brunches. This location is a rising star. Every Tuesday they are serving up barbecued greatness. But get there early because its a get it while its hot special! And because you may never want to leave, now you can take the “Good times” home with a Growler to go!!! (A bottled made specially to contain beer.) Hello! What are you doing sitting down! Oh, the game is on??? They have about six huge flat screens. So no matter where you’re standing in the bar, theres no way your going to miss the winning touchdown or grand slam! Check-out their website for a list of the rotating beer menu, and if your a foodie, their mouth watering kitchen menu. Bronxalehouse.com

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Also find them and then ‘LIKE’ them on Facebook for Daily Specials, awesome Events, updates and more! If your more of a twitter junkie follow them @BRONXALEHOUSE. “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” CHEERS!

PHOTO DIARY: SIDEWALK PAINT



PHOTO DIARY: SIDEWALK PAINT



‘Rock-out those Kicks’ W/ PoshPirate DIY

I love taking something old and breathing new life into it. ‘Rock-out those Kicks’, is a DIY tutorial on how to take an old pair of sneakers and make them new! This creative concept can be applied to ANY type of shoe, boot or sneaker. Have fun with it! If you don’t like the results try, try again. Paint over what you don’t like. Whatever you do, just don’t be afraid to try something different. If they’re old chances are you were going to toss them anyway. Challenge yourself and you just might be surprised at the results.

Spotlight on Betsey Johnson.

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Empires may crumble but great leaders and innovators never fade out from the fabric of time. They are celebrated always with merriment and admiration. Betsey Johnson is no exception to this truth. After thirty-four years on top of the fashion world the, forever respected, designer has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. She was and is the epitome of fun, free and forever young. Here are some photos that bare witness to the great creativity and mastery that was the Betsey Johnson brand. Also, be sure to check her online store, as everything must go but, I have a feeling we have not seen the last of this original wonder woman.

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Vintage Betsey Johnson 1960’s

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These models were temporarily tattooed by Betsey herself by hand for her 2012 Spring runway show!

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This woman (above) is gorgeous. Check her and the other Betsey dolls in the video below.

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I’m in love with this dress.

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Go Gurrl! Not bad for a woman of 69 years old!

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We will miss you.

SOUL-TRAVELER: “Halo” Painting’s poetic dedication titled, “I am”.

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This picture was taken in 2006, the same year I wrote this piece titled, “I am”.

Soul Traveler is the second blog that I’m working on consisting of my written creative works. This is me behind the smiles and the pints of Guiness. Cheers!

I am a Womyn with words. I dance because it allows me the key to free my hidden inhibitions‚Ķ they remind me that I’m perfectly imperfect‚Ķ This reminds me to breath.

I am a Womyn with passions. I write songs of my soul that dance and paint color in the eyes of poetic masters that gesture, “I too am great.” They suggest by their legacy that a dreamer dreams and that dreams flourish.

I am a Womyn with Intellect. A devote student of life and lives. In my eyes I see humanity a beautiful monster like a little girl with Shirley Temple curls screaming at the very top of her lungs‚Ķ‚Ķ… Wouldn’t you say this too?

I am pensive, lost in thoughts of observations. No box to confine my heart. Instead there is a box that exposes it….. That box being the earth with the dirt and the air and the trees and the birds in the sky that keep me nailed to my knees because I worship her beauty that reminds me of me.

I am an Artist, a master of canvases real and imagined. I draw surreal dreams; I write of erotic adventures that I play over and over and over again in the auditorium of my secret domain where my lust it thrive…because I am a sexual creature.

I am fun crazy deep true to me free. Alive. I am all of these things and more..

I am a Womyn. I stand for what I believe in. Equality. I am more than just a pretty face painted over with mauve shadow and Fuscia lips. Shit I am a Womyn that to me means that I am powerful…in many ways. I embrace love. I live my femininity. I am independent and free to define my true idenity. I am a Womyn. I have talents, ideas and a vision for a world that I can say I help create…everyday. I am a womyn. Sometimes loud, aggressive, Latin and Proud.. I am a Womyn who lives, who reads, who sees a world in progress. I am a Womyn who is me.

By Natalie Olivo AKA Zen Stiles

Empire Beauty: “The Tents” Documentary

If you dig Fashion this documentary will rock your socks off! I LOVE Fashion and I LOVE New York. This documentary incorporates both a history of Fashion and of a magical period that changed the face of Fashion in New York City (and the world for that matter) forever…. A must see for Fashion heads everywhere! It can be found on Netflix, Cablevision on-demand and iTunes. Buen Provecho!

Fall Foliage: Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012 – The Word Game!

I’m a very passionate Latina woman. So, I LOVE many things! I LOVE words maybe just as much as I LOVE fashion! Actually you may think I’m a bit crazy, but, (CONFESSION) I FALL in LOVE with words… I literally get butterflies in my stomach when I discover new words that have a melodic syllabic flow… True story. (Bashful face) and I even think that the letter sequence of certain words are almost like artistic creations. I also feel this same way each season when new collections are revealed on virgin catwalks. Each season comes with new opportunities to fall in Love with Fashion all over again!

For this article I’ve decided to take my two favorite LOVES and marry them in creative matrimony…. A Posh Pirate special! So this is how we play the game. I’m going to choose one word and from that one word, I will find multiple words within that word to describe each of these¬†Oscar de la Renta works of art. This is a game called “Word in a Word”

1. Mellifluous (My current love!) 

My Word Finds: Soulful, Fuse, Emus (it’s a bird lol)

…….okay okay¬†so this was a hard one, but I had to get it out of the way and use this beautiful word early on. The definition is just as beautiful as this de la Renta sunrise puffed out skirt. It means,¬†having a smooth rich flow,¬†mellifluous¬†voice, filled with something (as honey) that sweetens!

My one and only gripe, sorry Oscar, is that I would have used a different model. Maybe an olive toned Mediterranean or Latina with dark brunette locks up in a bun, like a flamenco dancer and scratch the earrings, the dress is bold enough alone. Place a red flower in the ear or on an elastic band. Nude make up and fiery red lips! Magic.

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2. Fashionista

My Word Finds: Astonish, Shaitans (n. Р(Islam) a rebellious jinni who leads men astray), Satin,  Softish

This looks like an outfit I would wear to ‘The Hudson Valley Shakespeare festival’. To wear this there would be dream like…mmmm.

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3. Glamorous 

My Word Finds: Amorous, Orgasm, Goal, Glam, Slam (as in Slam Dunk), Soar, Loom

I adore the effect of this fabric. A corset belt would accentuate in all the right places.

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4. Sophisticate

My Word Finds: Spice, Chaos, Hottie, Poetic, Patches, Shape, Taste, Teach, Toast, Ace, Hips

This has Posh Pirate written all over it… Classy, sassy and Flashy! Love this look.. Minus the fish nets. I would go with a Cuban heel stocking.

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5. Androgynous

My Word Finds: Sugar, Adorn, Young, Aura, Ray, Rad

My favorite detail would have to be the brooch tie! It balances and centers the whole outfit.

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6. Intellectual 

My Word Finds: Entice, Tune, Intact, Lucent, Talent, Elate, Cute (Not my favorite word) but it works..

What I enjoy the most is the way the models soft features compliment the outfit. Such a great match. My personal taste is a bit more flamboyant, (Love love love the word Flamboyant) but I can appreciate the simplicity of this outfit.

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7. Untouchable 

My Word Finds: Hot, Hue, Halo, Haute

I would Rock the shit out of this outfit! The proper hair and make-up will turn this look up about ten notches…

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8. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

My Word Finds: Glorious, Ace, Fire, Ego, Flare, Gold, Perfect, Sex, Luscious, Praise, Arousal, Artful 

This outfit to ME is ravishing… The shirt alone is bewitching. The whole outfit in its entirety is prepossessing without being too much. Its Beautiful and mainly its elegant.

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Life is full of wonder and beauty! For me its Art, Words, Fashion, Food, Culture ……. (Laughter) actually for me its almost everything ……. that culminates to an appreciation for my existence. For you it might be other delights. The key is to indulge in what inspires you. Oscar de la Renta inspires ME as does the sounds of words dancing off my tongue… lol. Thank You for taking the time to indulge with me.

“Act like a Lady, Kick Ass like a Kung-Fu master!”

Fall Foliage: Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012 – The Word Game!

I’m a very passionate Latina woman. So, I LOVE many things! I LOVE words maybe just as much as I LOVE fashion! Actually you may think I’m a bit crazy, but, (CONFESSION) I FALL in LOVE with words… I literally get butterflies in my stomach when I discover new words that have a melodic syllabic flow… True story. (Bashful face) and I even think that the letter sequence of certain words are almost like artistic creations. I also feel this same way each season when new collections are revealed on virgin catwalks. Each season comes with new opportunities to fall in Love with Fashion all over again!

For this article I’ve decided to take my two favorite LOVES and marry them in creative matrimony…. A Posh Pirate special! So this is how we play the game. I’m going to choose one word and from that one word, I will find multiple words within that word to describe each of these¬†Oscar de la Renta works of art. This is a game called “Word in a Word”

1. Mellifluous (My current love!) 

My Word Finds: Soulful, Fuse, Emus (it’s a bird lol)

…….okay okay¬†so this was a hard one, but I had to get it out of the way and use this beautiful word early on. The definition is just as beautiful as this de la Renta sunrise puffed out skirt. It means,¬†having a smooth rich flow,¬†mellifluous¬†voice, filled with something (as honey) that sweetens!

My one and only gripe, sorry Oscar, is that I would have used a different model. Maybe an olive toned Mediterranean or Latina with dark brunette locks up in a bun, like a flamenco dancer and scratch the earrings, the dress is bold enough alone. Place a red flower in the ear or on an elastic band. Nude make up and fiery red lips! Magic.

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2. Fashionista

My Word Finds: Astonish, Shaitans (n. Р(Islam) a rebellious jinni who leads men astray), Satin,  Softish

This looks like an outfit I would wear to ‘The Hudson Valley Shakespeare festival’. To wear this there would be dream like…mmmm.

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3. Glamorous 

My Word Finds: Amorous, Orgasm, Goal, Glam, Slam (as in Slam Dunk), Soar, Loom

I adore the effect of this fabric. A corset belt would accentuate in all the right places.

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4. Sophisticate

My Word Finds: Spice, Chaos, Hottie, Poetic, Patches, Shape, Taste, Teach, Toast, Ace, Hips

This has Posh Pirate written all over it… Classy, sassy and Flashy! Love this look.. Minus the fish nets. I would go with a Cuban heel stocking.

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5. Androgynous

My Word Finds: Sugar, Adorn, Young, Aura, Ray, Rad

My favorite detail would have to be the brooch tie! It balances and centers the whole outfit.

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6. Intellectual 

My Word Finds: Entice, Tune, Intact, Lucent, Talent, Elate, Cute (Not my favorite word) but it works..

What I enjoy the most is the way the models soft features compliment the outfit. Such a great match. My personal taste is a bit more flamboyant, (Love love love the word Flamboyant) but I can appreciate the simplicity of this outfit.

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7. Untouchable 

My Word Finds: Hot, Hue, Halo, Haute

I would Rock the shit out of this outfit! The proper hair and make-up will turn this look up about ten notches…

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8. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

My Word Finds: Glorious, Ace, Fire, Ego, Flare, Gold, Perfect, Sex, Luscious, Praise, Arousal, Artful 

This outfit to ME is ravishing… The shirt alone is bewitching. The whole outfit in its entirety is prepossessing without being too much. Its Beautiful and mainly its elegant.

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Life is full of wonder and beauty! For me its Art, Words, Fashion, Food, Culture ……. (Laughter) actually for me its almost everything ……. that culminates to an appreciation for my existence. For you it might be other delights. The key is to indulge in what inspires you. Oscar de la Renta inspires ME as does the sounds of words dancing off my tongue… lol. Thank You for taking the time to indulge with me.

“Act like a Lady, Kick Ass like a Kung-Fu master!”

IN A CLASS All HER OWN: Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe By Andy Warhol (1962)

‚ÄúWomen who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.‚Ä̬†Marilyn Monroe¬†

Click here for VanityFair article on Marilyn Monroe 

Legends never die. This has never been more true, especially when speaking of the silver screen siren, Marilyn Monroe. 50 years after her departure from this earths soil, Marilyn is still gracing the covers of major fashion magazines and debuting in world renowned film festivals. Vanity Fair pays tribute to the fallen Goddess with exclusive outtakes from her last on-set photoshoot and The 2012 Cannes film festival, has chosen to share the spotlight with Marilyn, as they too celebrate the festivals 65th anniversary.

They say she was born a ward of the state bouncing from orphanage to orphanage, but if you ask me, she was a born a wonder to the world. An enigma in her own right. The offspring of seduction. The creator of fantasy and sexual suggestiveness. Given the name¬†Norma Jeane Mortenson at birth; re-named Marilyn Monroe at her rebirth, draped in an air of devilish innocence, this single starlet lit up the Hollywood skies and the imagination of men and women everywhere. From the likes of icon Andy Warhol to baseball extraordinair, Joe DiMaggio, whom she shared a short lived engagement with before moving on to playwright, Arthur Miller, who wed in 1956; Mrs. Monroe wooed them all! Not even our 35th President stood a chance against this enticing hypnotist. Her aura was like a starving lioness on the prowl seeking whom she may devour… Not even Marilyn knew the effect that she had on her many admirers.

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After her untimely death at the tender age of 36, the world grieved and have been mourning ever since. We are not celebrating the anniversary of her death so much as we are revering the existence of a LEGEND. Long live the one and only, queen of the screen, Marilyn Monroe.

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The Official Marilyn Monroe Website

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R I P Marilyn Monroe 1926 – 1962

Headphones Blaring: Lupe Fiasco – Around my way (Consciousness)

In an era where rappers are infiltrating the minds of our youth with deteriorating messages of illusion, Lupe Fiasco, stands out as a pillar of strength and consciousness to the children of our inner cities. The world is ours for the taking. Hip Hop ISN’T dead and Lupe proves Hip Hop isn’t going down without a fight, so long as he is on the front lines, raising the flag of lyrical excellence.

Splattered Paint: Beyonce Soundtrack- ‘Halo’ (Painting)

This is a painting inspired by femininity, power, sensuality and women who have harnessed there own personal greatness. The name of the painting is ‘Halo’. This¬†painting pays¬†homage to the warrior spirit in every woman. We at times lose sight¬†of¬†the great honor¬†it is to have been created a woman.¬†Ladies rise up and claim your Halos.

Halo- An atmoshere or quality of glory, magesty, sanctity.  

Poetic Spring Gardens: Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012

The Oscar de la Renta, Spring 2012 collection is Phenomenal and inspiring… Here I’ve joined some personal works of poetry with amazing Runway picks that got my creative juices flowing. Enjoy the energizing brights and flowing fabrics.

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Blankets laid. Green satin grass promenading across curvaceous landscapes. The trees soaking in every sun¬†ray as if it were a large glass of lemonade. And even though the paved roads are like wine stains tainting mother natures veils train, they allow my feet to find grace…To climb this mountains pale face-¬†lined with wild flowers like pink lace speckled with glitter. This is my dream place. Wrapped around the earth is Gods grace. -Zen Stiles (Cycle Bliss)

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Like a warm spring breeze unexpected, your cascading self essence became the dominating presence in the lessened world in which my afflicted soul took residence. And like rain showers that pour… leaving the earth yearning for more to absorb… I couldn’t sleep without my portion. I couldn’t sleep with out my Roman. Now I lay in this bed in complete solace hoping spring breezes never cross my province or loam. I am a beautiful woman all alone. Happier in this¬†moment than¬†ever before. Even with this acid rain streaming scars down my face. Even with the residue of love in my mouth I’m still forced to taste. I dream¬†in poetry. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Acid Rain’)

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I’m AWAKE¬†in this moment. ALIVE and scolding. Aware of my SELF with childhood dreams soaring. up up Up.. and contrary to all that I may believe about myself… Woman I am Golden! (inhale, exhale and repeat) I am Golden! Bold and with confidence bulging. I’m conquering without knowing where my path may take me. Excited about my YES NO and MAYBE’S. Today I am beauty and brainy. I’m a classy fucking lady and you best believe that this world is mine for the taking. -Zen Stiles (Freestyle)

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Astonishing. Brilliant. Conqueror. Queen. Extraordinary. Powerful. Positive. Chief. Champion. Mind-blowing. Feminist. Fabulous. Incredible. Winner. President. CEO. Heaven sent. Mademoiselle. Princess. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Seductress. Siren. Sexy. Sultry. Relevant. Confident. Funny. Fascinating. Feminine. Fierce. Outstanding. Outrageous. Lady. Misses. Out of this world. Virtuous. Wonderful. Superb. Independent. Intelligent. Impressive. woman. -Zen Stiles (Goddess)

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So warm, this place where scorn can not touch my skin-¬†where I lay naked, blameless and fameless. Hungering for nothing. Perfectly and willingly empty. Patiently waiting for the induction of every spiritual seduction that will guide the potters hand, as he molds my treading soul without form, permeating through the sands of time. In this moment the hour-glass is mine. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Spawn’)

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I may never get married. I’m thinking of grabbing a Kayak and heading out to the Zambezi in Africa or perhaps going out to Hawaii and taking up surfing as a profession or maybe trekking through Europe with nothing but my Foxy good looks and my trusty Swiss army knife with 6 functions. If it comes down to it; I may just hop in a hooptie and explore our beautiful homeland starting with the Appalachians. All the while I plan to write, paint and create designs for T-shirts, Totes and Thongs.¬†OR¬†Maybe it’s better not to know what tomorrow brings …. Maybe being excited about today and the MYSTERY of tomorrow is the TRUE ADVENTURE. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Inspiration’)

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Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.¬†I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size- But when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips,¬†The stride of my step,¬†The curl of my lips.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†I walk into a room¬†Just as cool as you please,¬†And to a man,¬†The fellows stand or¬†Fall down on their knees.¬†Then they swarm around me,¬†A hive of honey bees.¬†I say, it’s the fire in my eyes,¬†And the flash of my teeth,¬†The swing in my waist,¬†And the joy in my feet.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†Men themselves have wondered¬†What they see in me.¬†They try so much¬†But they can’t touch¬†My inner mystery.¬†When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the arch of my back,¬†The sun of my smile,¬†The ride of my breasts,¬†The grace of my style.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†Now you understand¬†Just why my head’s not bowed.¬†I don’t shout or jump about¬†Or have to talk real loud.¬†When you see me passing¬†It ought to make you proud.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the click of my heels,¬†The bend of my hair,¬†the palm of my hand,¬†The need of my care,¬†‘Cause I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me. -Maya Angelou (‘Phenomenal Woman’)

Poetic Spring Gardens: Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012

The Oscar de la Renta, Spring 2012 collection is Phenomenal and inspiring… Here I’ve joined some personal works of poetry with amazing Runway picks that got my creative juices flowing. Enjoy the energizing brights and flowing fabrics.

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Blankets laid. Green satin grass promenading across curvaceous landscapes. The trees soaking in every sun¬†ray as if it were a large glass of lemonade. And even though the paved roads are like wine stains tainting mother natures veils train, they allow my feet to find grace…To climb this mountains pale face-¬†lined with wild flowers like pink lace speckled with glitter. This is my dream place. Wrapped around the earth is Gods grace. -Zen Stiles (Cycle Bliss)

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Like a warm spring breeze unexpected, your cascading self essence became the dominating presence in the lessened world in which my afflicted soul took residence. And like rain showers that pour… leaving the earth yearning for more to absorb… I couldn’t sleep without my portion. I couldn’t sleep with out my Roman. Now I lay in this bed in complete solace hoping spring breezes never cross my province or loam. I am a beautiful woman all alone. Happier in this¬†moment than¬†ever before. Even with this acid rain streaming scars down my face. Even with the residue of love in my mouth I’m still forced to taste. I dream¬†in poetry. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Acid Rain’)

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I’m AWAKE¬†in this moment. ALIVE and scolding. Aware of my SELF with childhood dreams soaring. up up Up.. and contrary to all that I may believe about myself… Woman I am Golden! (inhale, exhale and repeat) I am Golden! Bold and with confidence bulging. I’m conquering without knowing where my path may take me. Excited about my YES NO and MAYBE’S. Today I am beauty and brainy. I’m a classy fucking lady and you best believe that this world is mine for the taking. -Zen Stiles (Freestyle)

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Astonishing. Brilliant. Conqueror. Queen. Extraordinary. Powerful. Positive. Chief. Champion. Mind-blowing. Feminist. Fabulous. Incredible. Winner. President. CEO. Heaven sent. Mademoiselle. Princess. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Seductress. Siren. Sexy. Sultry. Relevant. Confident. Funny. Fascinating. Feminine. Fierce. Outstanding. Outrageous. Lady. Misses. Out of this world. Virtuous. Wonderful. Superb. Independent. Intelligent. Impressive. woman. -Zen Stiles (Goddess)

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So warm, this place where scorn can not touch my skin-¬†where I lay naked, blameless and fameless. Hungering for nothing. Perfectly and willingly empty. Patiently waiting for the induction of every spiritual seduction that will guide the potters hand, as he molds my treading soul without form, permeating through the sands of time. In this moment the hour-glass is mine. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Spawn’)

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I may never get married. I’m thinking of grabbing a Kayak and heading out to the Zambezi in Africa or perhaps going out to Hawaii and taking up surfing as a profession or maybe trekking through Europe with nothing but my Foxy good looks and my trusty Swiss army knife with 6 functions. If it comes down to it; I may just hop in a hooptie and explore our beautiful homeland starting with the Appalachians. All the while I plan to write, paint and create designs for T-shirts, Totes and Thongs.¬†OR¬†Maybe it’s better not to know what tomorrow brings …. Maybe being excited about today and the MYSTERY of tomorrow is the TRUE ADVENTURE. -Zen Stiles (Excerpt from ‘Inspiration’)

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Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.¬†I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size- But when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips,¬†The stride of my step,¬†The curl of my lips.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†I walk into a room¬†Just as cool as you please,¬†And to a man,¬†The fellows stand or¬†Fall down on their knees.¬†Then they swarm around me,¬†A hive of honey bees.¬†I say, it’s the fire in my eyes,¬†And the flash of my teeth,¬†The swing in my waist,¬†And the joy in my feet.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†Men themselves have wondered¬†What they see in me.¬†They try so much¬†But they can’t touch¬†My inner mystery.¬†When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the arch of my back,¬†The sun of my smile,¬†The ride of my breasts,¬†The grace of my style.¬†I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me.¬†Now you understand¬†Just why my head’s not bowed.¬†I don’t shout or jump about¬†Or have to talk real loud.¬†When you see me passing¬†It ought to make you proud.¬†I say,¬†It’s in the click of my heels,¬†The bend of my hair,¬†the palm of my hand,¬†The need of my care,¬†‘Cause I’m a woman¬†Phenomenally.¬†Phenomenal woman,¬†That’s me. -Maya Angelou (‘Phenomenal Woman’)

Intervention: The Lost Identity of Fashion.

FashionР1. Something, such as a garment, that is in the current mode. 2. Manner or mode; way. Ex: Set the table in this fashion. 3. A personal, often idiosyncratic manner. 4. To give shape or form to.

Fashion conscious or not. “In to it” or “not into it”.¬†Rich or poor…Fashion is into you.¬†

From tribal markings and garbs worn in the deepest jungles in Africa to Milan’s concrete catwalks in Europe, personal expression through what we wear will always strive and given the option we will always prefer to do it “in style.” Though we are MUCH deeper than just what we wear, presentation will always be a platform for first impressions. Unfortunately because of this Fashion has been prostituted. Advertisers are her pimp and the consumer is her ‘John’. Instead of street corners they put her on catwalks and in magazines. Instead of cheap fabrics, cigarette smoking and troubled women, they use expensive campaigns, crafty marketing ploys and celebrities. We have been seduced for far too long. This is an intervention.

Its a beautiful sunny day outside, I’ve got my cafe Bustelo brewing and I run across an article in ‘New York magazine’ via my Blackberry titled, ‘The High Price of Fashion.’, written by Josh Patner, who is great writer by the way. Reading this article got the wheels in my head spinning.¬†Why is it that whether making $100,000 a year or $30,000 a year, people are buying into the illusion that wearing high end fashion defines their value? Could it be that they are believing in the lie of misused industry terminology or are they falling for media mind control?

Mode- A particular form, variety or manner: a mode of expression.

The words Fashion, Trend, Mode, Style and Luxury have all been redefined by advertisers and those in the industry to influence the consumers belief system, thus, influencing their purchases. We have adopted this lie that has led us to believe ¬†that the words “Fashion” and “Trend” are synonymous. ¬†They’re not.¬†FASHION¬†is our manner of doing something, meaning it could be anything you want it to be. That is why designers have one of the best jobs. They get to create “THEIR” fashion and then watch millions of others take it for their own hence creating a¬†TREND. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the latest neon green skinny jean but harness your own swagger and don’t feel like you’ve got to spend large amounts of money to be relevant or current. Advertisers target what I like to call the confused consumer. The consumer that allows the advertiser to do the thinking while they do the spending. These people will base most of their purchases on what popular culture is presently pushing. Which From the beginning of time it’s been luxury and the idea that if you possess this item you are some how apart of a Lifestlye that makes you important. The physical manifestations of what people view as luxurious may change but the idea that people crave it will always remain.

‚ÄúHow can I say this Abercrombie sweater is luxury?‚ÄĚ asks Sam Shahid, who developed the company‚Äôs image. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs easy. You put the word on there. You tell them it‚Äôs luxury. Luxury is the best you can buy. Luxury touches you…‚ÄĚ We believe in the lie because “if you build it they will come.” and advertisers have built an empire of subliminal messages that keep the consumer running back for more. Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs International, says, ‚ÄúLuxury is something you don‚Äôt need, it‚Äôs something you want. The bag of potato chips I ate for lunch today was a luxury.‚ÄĚ

I shop in major department stores, boutiques, thrift stores, flea markets or what some may consider the “hood stores” in my Bronx neighborhood. We as individuals should be inclined towards anything that speaks to our souls or simply to our own tastes. If it’s a $7,000 dollar dress and you’ve got it to spare, by all means indulge; if it’s a $10 dollar purse from a street vendor even better. The point is being conscious of what drives your purchasing power. Don’t be a robot. Fashion is what YOU are wearing, NOT what everyone else is wearing..¬†Your style should be as unique and distinct as your fingerprint. So next time you see that awesome pair of “no name pants” BUY THEM if you feel so inclined to do so! Who gives a shit about what people think. If you rock it right it’s always going to be “A Do”. If Fashion were all about trends, then I would consider her a hypocrite. One moment white after labor day is considered “Unthinkable”, the next season because its in the latest fashion publication, its a “must try trend”. Give me a break. Fashion is the face I create. Its true that “Fashions fade but style is eternal” (-Yves st. Laurent) Still I believe that fashion is what we choose it to be and style is how we wear what WE¬†choose to be.

Patner, goes on to say and I quote, “…perhaps one reason the dress costs $2,300 is because that‚Äôs what shoppers want to pay for it. Some people‚Äôs search for identity goes no further than wanting that expensive bag on that movie star in that issue of InStyle. Shoppers who have to imitate Kate Moss to express themselves are a retailer‚Äôs dream; they‚Äôll pay any price if you clock them wearing that Dior Saddle bag.” Hopefully this is not the whole truth. I’d like to believe that the real lovers of fashion buy these items simply because of their amazing craftsmanship and design, and not because they are giving into the amazing mind fuck of institutionalization.

By Natalie olivo

Trend- 1. The general direction in which something tends to move. 2. A general tendency or inclination 3. current mode