Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What is Happiness?

A good (and extremely talented) friend of mine from Korea wrote this, and I thought it was too beautiful not to share with everyone...
Thanks Liz!

Just (do, feel, be) it. Choose the verb that best fits...
Written by: Elizabeth Pesce
For a long time I’ve spent much time wondering exactly what it is that makes a person happy. I’ve always thought the most common predecessors to happiness were landing the perfect job, finding a soul mate, being blessed with a great family or making some kind of difference in the world. Of course I know all this changes with each person due to the relativity of “happiness”, but at the end of the day, I think there are many others who feel the way I do… insatiable when it comes to this vaporous life here on earth. Why is it so difficult to just be happy? I think this confusion stems from not knowing how to first and foremost define happiness. If happiness is a choice, then I choose it…but aren’t my choices bound to take a wrong turn somewhere? If it’s a feeling, then I’m really out of luck because feelings change more often than the color of my hair. If it’s a learned skill, some of us will never be able to afford happiness. If it’s as contagious as everyone claims it is, I hope the people surrounding me are that happy. If it’s a series of fortunate events, I’ll just stay away from the Middle East or even the lower east side. If it’s as simple as a sunny day, factoring the average time a person spends in bed, we’re looking at about 13 years. If it’s an uncontrollable fit of laughter, then I’ve been happy many times, but lost it just as abruptly as it came.
I really hope that it’s none of the above and I just haven’t figured it out yet, or even better…that there’s nothing to figure out- it’s just something that IS and my time hasn’t come.
I do believe that there is a spiritual peace that passes all understanding, so…is that better than being happy? Can you have true peace and still often find yourself inherently sad? After returning from a number of places, I usually find myself back at the drawing board trying to decipher this random yet incredibly purpose driven life.
Love K

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I am so proud of...

The article featured below is about one of my very very good friends, Jenna Judd: model-poet-artist-photographer extraordinaire! I think that every girl who is either interested or new to the industry should have a read and be inspired by someone who has gracefully and with oodles of class been part of an industry which can in many ways be both ugly and beautiful at the same time. Kudos Jenna for being so fabulous!

Model Citizen: Jenna Judd

Brains, Beauty… and Bermudian
I first spotted Jenna Judd on the campus of Saltus Grammar School in 1996 and was immediately in awe of this 5’10, blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty. My first thought was ‘that girl should be a model!’ Graceful and elegant with striking features, I had never seen anyone who remotely looked like she could be an international modeling success on our shores. So, I wasn’t surprised years later when I heard that Jenna Judd was gracing the pages of International fashion magazines, appearing in televison commercials and even starring as the face of some major household brands like Garnier Fructis hair styling products.

What did surprise me however (when I finally got the chance to meet her in person 13 -years later on the set of the Bermuda Department of Tourism Ad Campaign photoshoot) was her strikingly perfect blend of beauty, brains, and humility.

Few Bermudians can say that they have ‘conquered’ the fashion industry. And, Jenna’s humble, sweet personality would probably never utter those words. So – Style Bermuda will say it for her. From RG photoshoots to traveling around the world, Jenna is an inspiration for any Bermudian eager to make it in the modeling or fashion industry.
(Intro by S. Turini)

Style Bermuda’s Brittany Fox (an aspiring model herself) interviewed Jenna on her international career, favorite jobs, and the pressures of the modeling world.


SB: How long have you been modeling?
JJ: I have been modeling for eleven years now.

spotlight_101409_03.jpgSB: Did you always want to be a model?
JJ: Since I became aware that modeling was a possibility I was always pretty conflicted about the job. One minute I was really excited about working in the industry and the next, I wanted to do something totally different. For the last several years I have wanted to get into fine art and photography or something that deals with helping models navigate the emotional challenges of the job.

SB: When did you decide to pursue an international career?
JJ: I don't know that this was something consciously decided. It just sort of happens since the work is structured to take place internationally. I first signed with my agency in Toronto and part of their job involved placing me with other agencies internationally. It has been my responsibility to recognize which international markets are best suited to my particular look and then to base myself in theses places long enough to meet the photographers and potential clients and to develop a portfolio that appeals to them. While I was in university, trips abroad were more limited. I scheduled a six-week trip to London during school one year and went to Milan during summer break. Then I took one year off of school in '99 and worked in Paris, Athens and Chicago. spotlight_101409_02.jpgAfter I graduated from university I had more free time to devote to travel and I really committed myself to exploring new markets. This meant spending the minimum of three months in a given city to do the rounds and to see the clients. I did this first in Barcelona, then in Hamburg and finally in New York City. Now that I have established that Germany and Canada are my strongest markets I divide my time pretty evenly between Hamburg and Toronto. Also, while I am in Toronto I am able to make short trips to the U.S. for work.

SB: How did you get "discovered"?
JJ: Hmmm. Well, one Harbour night when I was 14 someone from RG magazine approached me about a doing a photoshoot.
(Note to all aspiring models in Bermuda… a local start can be a gateway to your dreams!)

spotlight_sidebar.jpgSB: Can you give me a summary on your path, starting from when you first got signed up until now?
JJ: As a teenager living in Bermuda I worked on a handful of shoots for RG magazine and Smith's. Shortly after I turned 18 and headed to Toronto for my first year at university of Toronto in '98 I walked into an open call at the only agency that I had ever heard of at the time - Ford Models. I had a pretty positive response from the agents there. They organized a test shooting for me and based their decision to sign me or not on the outcome of the photographs. It turned out that they liked the images and these became the first pics in my portfolio.For the next year I worked locally in Toronto during school and headed to Milan for summer vacation. The next year I decided to leave university and model full time. I headed to Paris in '99 for five months, spent three weeks in Greece and a few months in Chicago. I was pretty burnt out after that year and decided that the industry was not for me. I had worked in all these places- mostly for smaller magazines, catalogues, TV commercials and the odd fashion show. My best job that year was booking four TV commercials in Paris for Garnier Fructis styling products. I had actually done pretty well now that I think about it in retrospect, but I hated the job and went back to university. I even got a master's degree. I just wasn't mature enough to handle the demands of the industry- the solitude and uprootedness of life and travel abroad and I didn't have the confidence to handle the criticism and rejection. The university environment was much more positive for me psychologically. So until 2005 I juggled modeling jobs with university. I managed to spend 6 weeks in London during school in 2001 went to Milan again for three months in 2001. Otherwise I was working locally in Toronto. It was a great part-time job. Then when I finally graduated from my MA in 2005 I decided that I was ready to model again full time and to immerse myself in work abroad. I was 25 and felt a lot more confident and better equipped to handle some of the emotional challenges of the industry. This was a good decision for me personally.

spotlight_101409_04.jpgSB: How difficult was it for you to get signed by an agency? What was your first agency and have you stuck with them or have you switched agencies?
JJ: My experience at the agency was positive. They didn't jump up and down and sign on the spot by any means, but instead arranged a photo-shoot that would determine my strength as a model. I have been with them ever since- for eleven years!

SB: Since you are judged and hired based on looks alone, have you ever felt pressure to look a certain way or been asked to change things about yourself for jobs (e.g. weight, hair color etc.)
JJ: This is a BIG yes! This was one of the parts of the job that I always hated. As long as I have been modeling I have endured demands to change various things about my person- from losing weight, to changing my hair colour. Right now my hair colour is constantly under scrutiny. In the last eighteen months I have been a brunette twice and have had I don't know how many shades of blonde ranging from platinum to honey. It’s a wonder that my hair is still on my head. But the most problematic thing is the weight loss issue, of course. In Milan I was never skinny enough and the agents were pretty direct about wanting their models to lose weight. I didn't lose weight though. I was pretty thin as it was. I haven't had any problems with this in other cities. In Germany for example my agents have encouraged me to gain weight.

spotlight_101409_05.jpgSB: What has been your most memorable experience as a model?
JJ: The traveling is hands down the best part of the job. I have been very fortunate to have one Canadian client- it's a lifestyle magazine, Canadian Living- that has booked me on three amazing weeklong adventures that involved photoshoots in various locations in Ireland, Dominican Republic and most recently Italy. These jobs were so great. When we were in Ireland we shot in and around Belfast and Dublin and in Italy last summer we worked in Venice and Montebelluna. Such amazing trips. Also, it is so much fun working and traveling as a team because you're building friendships.

SB: In your opinion what are some ideal characteristics a model should have?
JJ: Aside from the obvious physical qualities- a tall, lean body and compelling facial features I would say, ideally, a model should have a combination of confidence, a strong sense of self, an ability to set boundaries without being difficult and a friendly outgoing personality.

spotlight_101409_06.jpgI can't stress enough the need for confidence and a firm understanding of who you are as a person. This job is really emotionally destabilizing. You have all these people around you who want you to conform physically to this impossible idealized appearance. These people are telling you to lose weight, to wear your hair and makeup in a certain way, to dress your body n a certain way. They don't want to think too much about whether you are smart, if you are a good person, if you are happy. They just want to you to please them visually. If you take their concerns too seriously, you neglect the internal demands of your personality. This is not an environment in which you can cultivate a healthy mind or psyche. If you take the superficial demands of the industry too seriously you are likely to get swept up into all these really meaningless concerns and forget to develop yourself as a person. I find the young girls are most likely to run into trouble because they want so much to please their agents and to be liked by the photographers and the designers that their entire life becomes focused on how they look. My advice to them would be to ground themselves in the world around them and to develop outside interests, which garner self-esteem that isn't tied to personal appearance- read a book, take a class, meditate.

spotlight_101409_07.jpgSB: What advice would you give to young girls hungry for the glitz and glamour?
JJ: I would advise girls to get enough information about the industry to deconstruct their image of the glitz and glamour. Yes, modeling is an interesting job with financial opportunity and travel, but if you are not so fortunate to be whisked off to New York with a multi-million dollar contract in your pocket right off the bat, chances are that work in the industry is often going to be a lot more gritty than glamorous. By this I mean being broke when you start as you watch your first checks pour in to the initial expenses of building a portfolio, paying for prints, paying for composite cards (like a visual business card) etc and living in crappy models' apartments when you are traveling abroad. In Milan I shared two bedrooms and one bathroom with four other girls, in Paris I lived in this crap-hole that had a shower in the kitchen and a shower in the living room. Also, expect to be paid for fashion shows in clothes, or to work from time to time for free, even for magazines.

Actually, I think that this impractical side of the industry can be quite fun. Almost always the most artistic work, which tends to be the most satisfying and interesting, pays nothing or next to nothing. It’s quite funny to realize that often your best-paid jobs are very cheesy catalogues where the clothes are quite dreadful.

spotlight_101409_08.jpgSB: Recently you were cast for a shoot to promote our country in ads for the Bermuda Department of Tourism. Is this your first time modeling for Bermuda? And, Style Bermuda styled the shoot. What did you think of the selections?

JJ: Yes, this was an example of a really great job! I got to go home and spend a week with my brother and his family and work with this amazing team on all these beautiful locations!!! This was my first job in Bermuda since those newspaper ads for Smiths in the 90's. I had a blast! Yes, I was VERY impressed with the styling!!!! I had never heard that Shiona had been tearing up the fashion industry in New York! She and Chaundre did a great job.

* All photos from http://www.anc-mm.de/models/jenna_judd/

- Article by Brittany Fox

Love K

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fashion Cures a la Mode Launch Party

Thursday, October the 8th, The Ovarian Cancer Society of Canada launched Fashion Cures a la Mode (http://fashioncuresalamode.com/cause.html ) a soiree extraordinaire to kick of what will be an amazing four days of fashion, photography, food and fun (and all for a great cause: to raise money for ovarian cancer research). The launch was hosted by the Arc Hotel, an amazing venue with chic interior design and amazingly yummy food (I know i am starting to sound like an advertisement-but it's actually true). I was there helping out with ticket sales on behalf of Starfish Events and Inspiration, and Hugh was one of the official photographers for the evening (see some of his FABULOUS pictures below). Some of Canada's budding designers made an appearance, which was really great considering there were models wandering around wearing some of their spectacular creations-overall it was a pretty awesome evening-a perfect way to wet the appetiete, so to speak, for the four day event, which happens November 4th to the 7th (if you're in Ottawa I strongly recommend you come! :-)

Love K

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just thought I would share this...

Since I am really interested in Fashion as a form of non-verbal communication, I thought this was pretty fascinating and wanted to share...


Beyond a Simple Fashion Statement

Published: October 8, 2009

In David Rosetzky’s video portrait of Cate Blanchett in “Dress Codes” at the International Center of Photography, this Australian actress looks startlingly ordinary, if not frumpy. She wears clunky boots, unflattering slacks and a sagging black tank top. So attired, she moves around a raw, cavernous offstage space, picking up a chair, putting it down, sitting on it, getting up again, occasionally moving her hands in small, dancelike gestures. All the while we hear her talking intently, on the voice-over, about the craft of acting.

Courtesy of Yto Barrada and Galerie Polaris, Paris

Dress Codes at the International Center of Photography includes this work, “The Belt, Step 1 to 9,” by Yto Barrada. More Photos »



The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion.

At one point Ms. Blanchett dons a loose, sleeveless dress; another top; and a well-worn bomber jacket, creating the impression of someone traveling without benefit of luggage, wearing all her clothes at once. She stretches out on the floor, then rises and sheds the added clothing. Finally, to tinkling vaudeville music, she does some nimble soft-shoe steps. This piece seemed pretty mousy for an exhibition about garments in recent photography and video. But then I realized that the lack of sartorial display was a kind of deprivation that made me embarrassingly aware of my own superficiality: I’m afraid I like famous movie stars, especially female ones, to dress the part.

“Dress Codes” is the third triennial mounted by the International Center of Photography. It is also the third and final phase of the center’s Year of Fashion, hence the theme. Perhaps predictably, this show isn’t as good as the previous Year of Fashion exhibitions: exhaustive surveys of the fashion work of Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon; the extraordinary “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now”; and a display of works from the center’s collection called “This Is Not a Fashion Photograph.”

But triennials and biennials, being dedicated to new art, are harder to do well. “Dress Codes” is better than most shows of this kind; the good work outweighs the weaker.

The exhibition raises the question of whether biennials and triennials should have themes or just select the best work within their designated area of concern; its answer is to stretch its theme so thin that it all but disappears. You begin to feel that just about anyone working with a camera could have been included. After all, most images of people involve some form of dress, and where there is dress, there are dress codes.

Clothing is a language that we study carefully and read almost reflexively, like the expression on a person’s face. What we wear is an interface between our bodies (and our selves) and the world, a form of privacy and perfection as well as a public statement. In the catalog these points are illuminated with quotations isolated on pink pages.

From Oscar Wilde: “A history of dress would be a history of minds; for dress expresses a moral idea; it symbolizes the intellect and disposition of a nation.”

From Diane Arbus: “Everybody has this thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way, and that’s what people observe.”

And from the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel, writing in 1908, comes a brilliant progression of observations on the human desire for recognition and esteem within one’s social environment (which dressing, nicely, partly reflects). This desire can transmute into a need for “attention that others do not receive,” then into the desire to be envied, and finally into the will to power. Nathalie Djurberg’s colorful clay animation “New Movements in Fashion,” from 2006, captures something of the violence that an obsession with clothes can cause, but it’s only the will to power as shared by five garment-grabbing women.

More seriously, “Tagged,” a 2003 three-channel video by Julika Rudelius, a German-born artist based in Amsterdam, documents young, Dutch-born Arab men discussing the importance of appearances while modeling the designer clothes that consume most of their — or their family’s — meager earnings.

“Dress Codes” confirms that the camera arts are alive and well and are being deployed by artists who alternately extend or subvert traditions of portraiture, still life, documentary and storytelling, often adding permutations to the surprisingly vital postmodern strategies of photo appropriation and setup photography. The important influence of the Pictures artists, who emerged in the early 1980s and were often women, is tacitly acknowledged by the inclusion of Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Martha Rosler, Laurie Simmons and Silvia Kolbowski. A few of these, especially Ms. Sherman, are doing some of their best work right now.

The inclusion of others feels reflexive and obligatory. Important as she is, Ms. Rosler, for example, should take a time-out and come up with fresh ideas; her incongruous juxtapositions via photo montage — here, men in Dolce & Gabbana suits inserted into a flaming Middle Eastern battlefield — have developed little since the 1970s.

But inclusions that feel obligatory are not limited to women: Stan Douglas — another ubiquitous presence in shows of this kind — is represented by a large, gorgeous still from his film “Hastings Park, 16 July 1955.” It shows a crowd of people in period dress and attests primarily to the skills of wardrobe, hair and makeup crews.


Love K

Friday, October 2, 2009

Show Time!!!

Let the show begin....
As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I was lucky enough to work as a secondary stylist (beside Alison Hughes-the brains behind the stylin' operation) for The Billings Bridge Mall fashion show at the National Women's' Show-and it was FA-BU-LOUS!!! The show came together beautifully, the girls were fierce, the clothes were gorgeous, the hair was BIG and the make-up was STUNNING (we managed to get some out-of-this-world Shu Uemura Eye Lashes-see below). I was also lucky enough to be photographer for the day so the pictures below are all my own creations, both from backstage and during the show-this was definitely one of the highlights of my year so far...once again I have to take the chance to thank Samantha from Star Fish Events and Inspiration for this fantastic chance to be involved! Thank you thank you thank you!!!
***For more photos I will be posting my whole collection on flickr, just click here: http://www.flickr.com/boakview ***
Behind the Scenes
Getting ready, Pretty and FABULOUS!
The LASHES!!!!
The Show...
...and the Finale...
Love K
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