July 28, 20221 Comment

the death of stills and stillness

3 minute read

The death of stills and stillness is here.

There’s a post by Anastasia Pagonas that has been making the rounds the past few days (many of you sent it directly to me) and I think it warrants a lot of good questions, reflections and even self-culpability when it comes to how and what we share on social media, namely Instagram. It's no secret around here that I've had my fair share of complaints about the behemoth owned by Facebook, er Meta, and I realize you likely don't follow me to hear my daily frustrations with it. But I believe, whether you make a living off this app like I do or not is actually besides the larger point here, and it's a contention point I feel quite passionate about — like it or not, apps like Instagram control more of our lives than we'd like to admit.

In an age where speed, immediacy and ease of consumption is often prioritized above all else usually in the pursuit of going viral, what does that leave us with at the end of the day? How does that move us forward? I can’t help but picture a conveyer belt as the best analogy here — an automated factory line of the same songs, the same video concepts, the same ideas rolling past us at a frantic pace. Seven to eight second micro doses of content to funnel you to an “add to cart” button or until you simply scroll to the next, hook-able, shiny thing. These companies will tell you it’s because we’re time poor and we need them to think for us. But I have to wonder if they’re the source of our time bankruptcy and perhaps subsequently, the source of our inability to think for ourselves.

I say all this as someone who loves exploring videography. And cinema. And storytelling in all forms. But I also love photography. And the power of what a single image can convey. And the importance of sitting with it, to reflect, to feel, to understand. I’m of the belief the two don’t need to be at odds with each other, and yet, here we are: for many of us who rely on this app for our livelihoods, businesses or simply just to connect with friends, family and kindred spirits, we have to choose. It’s a classic conform or get left behind.

I’m a slow person by nature — I like taking my time to observe, to learn and to process. To be still with something is innate to who I am. And while I may run and sprint at times to keep up, mainly due to unavoidable, capitalistic necessity — I have to wonder out loud (even if no one is reading this far into the post) “at what cost?"

Daphne Wilde dress (gifted, on sale now!) // J. McLaughlin sandals (gifted) // Vintage Hermes scarf

Photography by my love Ty Johnson // Location: Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany, on SR 2, near Farmhouse Poggio Covili

July 26, 2022No Comments

a room with a view

2 minute read

Eccolo! he exclaimed.

At the same moment the ground gave way, and with a cry she fell out of the wood. Light and beauty enveloped her. She had fallen on to a little open terrace, which was covered with violets from end to end.

‘Courage!’ cried her companion, now standing some six feet above. ‘Courage and love.’

She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.

Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone.

George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her… ~ E.M. Forster, A Room With a View

Mara Hoffman dress (old, similar style here) // J. McLaughlin sandals (gifted)

Photography by yours truly

July 20, 20222 Comments

play it again: volume 35

2 minute read

I read a quote from the sculptor Isamu Noguchi the other day that read: “When an artist stops being a child, they stop being an artist.” And that stayed with me. Because here’s the thing: that child you used to be? The one you were so eager to leave behind in pursuit of adulthood? Of responsibility? Of accomplishment? Don’t be afraid to go back to them. Look with their eyes. Wonder with their heart. Seek answers and understanding with their curiosity. That child, in a beautifully ironic sense, actually knew more about living, truly living, than the years since have taught many of us. Hold onto them. Keep them close. And when you’re in doubt, I hope you can quiet the noise and listen to what they have to say.  

Hope you enjoy this week's playlist — it's a catch-all for everything we listened to while traveling around Italy. Prepare to dance a little, cook a little and generally live la dolce vita while listening! Andiamo!

Daphne Wilde dress — red and rose print (gifted) // Vintage Hermes scarf (similar style here) // J. McLaughlin sandals (gifted)

Photography by yours truly and my love, all on a Rolleiflex medium format film camera

July 12, 20223 Comments

people I think about who likely don’t think about me

8 minute read

Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on? I sure hope so. Ciao ragazzi! I'm back. Back in New York — physically anyway — after a two month holiday in Europe, with about a month spent in Tuscany specifically. To say it was the break and disconnection I didn't realize I was craving would be an understatement. And while I felt terribly guilty for taking such a long hiatus from sharing my thoughts here with you all, I knew it was the separation I needed. I was feeling creatively tapped, dry even like an old well, and no amount of throwing myself back into work (my go-to fix) seemed to help the problem. Much like a lot of things in life, I needed to be unplugged (and left to sit for a while, undisturbed with a Negroni in hand) before being plugged back in again. The result? I've come to realize I've outgrown my outlet! But more on that later, perhaps a story for another day.

Today, I wanted to compile all the beautiful memories you shared with me about people you think about, who likely don't think about you (a writing prompt inspired by Kathleen Donahoe). Perhaps it's an old friend you lost touch with. Or someone you met in passing while traveling. Characters whose roles in our lives might be seemingly small in the context of things but they punctuate our memories still years later. Like mile markers on a road, perhaps without realizing it, we’d be lost without them.

I'll share my list first, followed by your submissions.

A list of people I think about regularly, who do not think about me:

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Webb, and the ice cream trips she took us on for reading a certain number of books each month. Ted, our middle school bus driver, and the high fives he gave us when we got on the bus. My old soccer coach, whose daughter died at 16 in a car crash.

My friend’s parents who let us watch Dirty Dancing obnoxiously on repeat for sleepovers.The school librarian who saved certain books for me she thought I’d like. My social studies teacher who cried with us on 9/11. The man I always saw walking around town, waving at each car as they’d pass. The gas station attendant who shared his favorite Beatles songs with my dad and I, after he heard “Across the Universe” playing in our car. The sweet old woman who worked in my mom’s favorite antique shop and the way she smiled at my sister and I when we tagged along. A woman and her son I drove to a nearby hospital. She never gave me her reasoning or her story, but I could see in her eyes, she needed to get away from someone. Old friends from college, where the relationship fell apart and I was devastated but can now see the beauty in it, because it's a wonderful reminder to allow people to come in and out of our loves when they're meant to. The vet who let me cry and say goodbye to Elvis for as long as I needed. I can still feel her hand on my back when I think about her.

And now, here are your submissions:

  • The man who made udon noddles at a little spot in Tokyo and looked so committed to his craft.
  • My first and second grade teachers from over 30 years ago. Great teachers.
  • The brief love affair I had in Thailand when I was 18.
  • Barbara Cheatley who owned an eponymous shop that my grandmother and I loved.
  • The violist who played a Vieuxtemps piece.
  • My high school Spanish teacher and her continual joyful energy.
  • The kind Czech woman working in the Prague bookstore I visited during a rainstorm.
  • Ms. Paul-Abrams, my 4th grade teacher, who taught me to question everything.
  • The cashier who complimented an outfit I was unsure of and now, because of them, I give out one compliment every day.
  • The man who offered to help lift a stroller down the stairs even though he already had a bag.
  • My high school boyfriend who taught me tomorrow is spelled "tom-or-row."
  • The man at the laundromat who knew exactly what I needed to hear at that time in my life.
  • A girl I was best friends with for one year in seventh grade — she has beautiful kids now.
  • The migrant mom for Dorothea Lange's Great Depression photo.
  • The person inside a Donald Duck costume at Disneyland who gave me a much needed hug.
  • High school photography teacher, Mazen and a guy who I had a crush on long ago, but still admire.
  • All the retired folks and families I met while leading walking tours in New York City. Especially during 2020.
  • My first love.
  • Constantly thinking about people as I see them drive past me. Who they are, what their story is...
  • An ex-friend (female) who I had an online friendship but also romantic relationship with.
  • All the friendships I've lost over the past 2+ years.
  • My ex.
  • I'd like to say...you.
  • Sam. In my 20s, my parking attendant who was 70+. We spoke every day about life.
  • Sophomore year's English 102 teacher who said I wrote like a "bat out of hell."
  • My 5th grade teacher and my old best friend.
  • My AirBnB hosts in Tel Aviv, who took me to a festival and let their four kittens sleep in my bed.
  • The gas station attendant I visited every few days in grad school who calmed my nerves.
  • Audrey (@frassyaudrey) — she changed my views of myself/women so positively and so profoundly.
  • My host family in Segovia, Spain during my language immersion study abroad.
  • My high school math teacher who subtly gave me confidence in myself and my abilities.
  • I always think about old people and the homeless.
  • Sister Mary Joseph who played guitar and let us play with the rainbow parachute.
  • A couple ex-boyfriends, old teachers, high school bullies, random people I've met on public transit.
  • My second grade teacher — Miss Reese who became a Mrs. I still sit the way she did — double X legs!
  • The kind man in Sri Lanka who gave me crystals and stones to look after me on my solo travels.
  • I think about my customers all the time. Some come in looking happy; others miserable. I wonder about their lives all of the time.
  • My ex who broke up since he was too scared to come out. Hope he loves himself now.
  • I think about my high school English teacher all the time. Wish I had his contact information!
  • My friends as we walked home from primary school, as we jumped over the stream instead of using the bridge. // The French boy who hid in my + 3 friends room when we were on a school trip to France. The teacher came and checked we were asleep. When she left I spent ages talking to the boy on the stairs me in French, he in English! // The man in the sweet shop I went in every morning for a Crunchie on my way to work at my first job. // The other new mums in the maternity ward when I had my twins, wondering how I would cope with 2 babies. Turns out, I did cope very well actually.
  • I always find myself thinking of an old neighbor. She would sharpen her knives, almost daily on a concrete wall located in her backyard. One day she said, "Nothing works well, if it's not sharpened daily." Cheers to the individuals who in some way, shape, or form, made an everlasting impression on our lives.
  • When I went to Lido in Venice with mv husband, we kept on meeting the same old lady. The first time we met her, she seemed very annoyed with the tourists and their manners. We then ran into her two more times. The last time she smiled. I don't know why, but I kept thinking about that old lady when Covid was so bad in Italy. I sometimes wonder if she's still alive, if she was alone, if she had someone to take care of her. Life…
  • I think about the couple who lived next door to me when I was in college. They had kids off at college too and they liked to look out for me the way protective parents do. I also fell in love with their dog and often dog walked/sat for them. I think of them at times and hope they're healthy and happy.
  • A French woman I met a few weeks before the 2016 election at Musee d'Orsay. She was reading the paper and in broken French and English we discussed Trump and how awful he was/is. I expressed my fear about results and we both said "he cannot win." More of a shared hope than a statement. I arrived home the day the Access Hollywood tapes came out and felt relief. Surely, this was the nail in the coffin? Wrong.
  • I often think about my grade 7 English teacher and how she cultivated my love for literature. I think about the way she used to speak and how her mannerisms bled into mine because I looked up to her so much. I remember the poem she wrote to me about the kind of love that exists between friends. It was from that moment on that I realized she wasn't only my teacher, she was also my friend. She always had her hair tied up in a bun, and during my final price giving ceremony in primary school, she had it loose for the first time. I asked her why she didn't have her hair loose during school, and she said to me, "Then it wouldn't be as special." I think about her a lot. I think about how I owe a huge part of myself to her. I don't think she knows this, and funny enough I'm only realizing this now too: She saved my life.
  • My sixth grade English teacher who told me confidently that I would be a writer one day after a creative writing assignment. I think of her when I worry that trying to write a novel is ridiculously unattainable. // The bride early in my career (I'm a wedding planner) who sent me flowers after her wedding, along with the kindest handwritten note thanking me. // My middle school friend who told me that I didn't owe him an explanation, he trusted me. (I had always needed to prove myself at home, so this was revolutionary to me.) // My high school art teacher who saw me fading and asked if everything was okay at home. She was the first person to question it and tell me that my normal wasn't normal. // My first therapist who told me that not being able to help a sick family member is not a failure. // My high school best friend who hugged me the last night of summer before we left for our respective colleges, and cried into each others' shoulders. We knew that season of our lives was over; we haven't seen each other since that night.
  • My brother and I crossed a short bridge in Venice in 2017 and I looked up to see an old lady looking at us. I smiled at her and she smiled back so big. I think about her often and wish we had taken a photo of her. She was so precious. Reminded me of my grandmother.
  • Trigger Warning: Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence:
    • I definitely think of my father from time to time. It saddens me what was, but I've grown into a stronger woman for it. My father the vodka breathing dragon. I wrote this about him: "Inside the faded blue and white trailer with morning glories sprawling up the aluminum siding was a father who lived off of vodka and cigarettes. He belittles his children and screams at their mother. On really bad nights, he would leave purple reminders of his rage across their mother's face. He had been to Vietnam, and the images of war plagued him daily as his kids tried to ignore the despair in their mother's eyes. Mama had once loved that handsome man who dazzled her with stories of his childhood and charmed her with his Army uniform and beret. She now hated the monster who drank poison for breakfast and breathed fiery words across the dinner table. Carolina never cried the tears she had longed for. There was no release of the anger and hurt, as her father had sucked the emotions out of her like a vacuum. She wrote words of hatred in her Lisa Frank diary for the man she wished would disappear. She created scenarios of his departure and how life would be without the vodka breathing dragon who unleashed his frustrations every day..."

Of Her Own Kind dress // J. McLaughlin sandals (gifted)

Photography by yours truly

May 5, 20226 Comments

little things that aren’t that little

3 minute read

Inspired by a question prompt from everyone's favorite dinner party game We're Not Really Strangers, here are some little things that really aren't that little to me: When someone says to you "I'm listening," even though everyone else is talking over you. The way a significant other touches your back in ordinary moments of the day. A genuine introduction of friends. Finding the perfect bench in the park on that first beautiful spring day of the season. "This song reminds me of you." Witnessing kindness between strangers. Sharing a laugh with someone on the train. When someone senses you need a little bit longer of a hug, so they don't let go just yet. An unprompted "I'm proud of you," text. Sharing in someone else's joy like your own and similarly, when they reciprocate it. Book recommendations. "See you soon — can I grab you coffee?" Comfortable silences with someone special. Engaged listeners, who think about what you're telling them, as opposed to simply waiting to speak. People who make you forget about your phone when you're with them. Seeing an elderly couple holding hands while walking down the street. The way dogs seem to smile right at you. Friends who bring up your name in rooms with opportunities. Appreciating a quiet museum day with someone you love. The way someone glances back at you before they leave...

I could go on and on but since I received some wonderful responses the other day, I wanted to share your little things that aren't that little after all. Hope you enjoy.

  • When someone tells you they've been passing along a funny story you told! The joy continues!
  • When someone uses the word "we."
  • "Love You" text from my mom every day even if we don't talk.
  • When people sit on the kitchen stools while I cook.
  • When someone hears you come home and helps unload the car without asking.
  • When someone inserts your name into conversation instead of using "you" or "her" or "him."
  • Someone asking me about my childhood or my past.
  • Good morning texts.
  • When someone says "I understand" and you know they mean it.
  • When someone lets you talk and pays attention to you.
  • When someone asks how to say my name.
  • When seeds you plant grow into something glorious!
  • Being gifted a book, a good playlist shared and a "be safe" message.
  • Listening to my teenage son humming and knowing he is happy.
  • Strangers holding the door open for you.
  • Smiling eyes...not just a smile.
  • When my toddler whispers, "I love you, mama."
  • When someone addresses you by your name in conversation.
  • When someone is genuinely excited to see you.
  • "I'm taking you out to dinner tonight."
  • When bus drivers honk/wave at each other as they pass by.
  • Friends who say your name in rooms with opportunities.
  • When someone remembers your name after only the first meeting.
  • "Sweet dreams" and a kiss goodnight.
  • My children helping me after surgery without me ever saying a word.
  • When a stranger compliments my outfit in passing.
  • When my partner puts my car in the garage because it's gonna snow over night.
  • Sharing food with someone.
  • Dinner dates without checking phones.
  • When he rubs your back/shoulder as he passes by during a social gathering.
  • My husband lending me his good socks when my feet are cold.
  • Eye contact when someone is asking how you are.
  • A gentle touch on the shoulder or hand.
  • My husband making morning coffee so it's ready when I get up.

Photos snapped on location out at Montauk Beach

Photography by Alissa Morabito

April 20, 20222 Comments

play it again: volume 34

2 minute read

When I'm alone, my mind travels to a lot of places. Ones I've been to and ones I've only imagined from afar. Familiar faces and strangers meet me there, as well as my dreams, my hopes, my worries — the noise that keep me up at night. But without fail, when it's deeply quiet and I'm truly alone, my mind always finds its way to you. And I relish the company. 

Hope you enjoy this week's playlist — no general theme this week. Just a collection of feel-good, I can almost taste spring songs that encourage you to open the windows while you're working and dance for a track (or two).

Mara Hoffman dress (old, similar style here) // Chanel slingbacks // Staud bag

Photography by Marcus Richardson

April 13, 2022No Comments

play it again: volume 33

3 minute read

Even on the busiest of days, there's a calming stillness to a museum like The Met. If you listen closely, lean in perhaps, you'll hear it — the current of energy pulsing through the rooms, a low hum of the whispers, secrets and stories each masterpiece bears. We walk amongst it, sometimes unaware of it, but I like to think it's always there. A thin veil that only history and fantasy can shroud us in. Each piece stands frozen in time, their gaze fixed as if to stare right at us. Or perhaps, it's fair to say they're staring through us, as if we are the intruders in a scene created long ago. 

I suppose that's why I'm always drawn to visiting museums either first thing in the morning or right before closing time. A witching hour, if you will, where the stillness is more palpable, the crowds are no where in sight and the gossamer curtain separating fact and fiction is momentarily pulled back. Did the eyes in that painting follow me? Did the snakes on Medusa's head coil and hiss? Do I hear the rustle of a gown in an otherwise empty gallery room? Is my imagination running wild? Or is it not running wild enough?

I snapped these photos with my dear Marcus Richardson in the European sculpture hall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art early in the morning before their doors officially opened for the day. For my bard fans, we were inspired by the final scene of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, where a statue of the late Queen Hermione comes to life to dance among the living again.

And this week's playlist is what I like to think Queen Hermione might have listened to once she was resurrected.

Oscar de la Renta dress (on loan via my friends at Nova Octo — use the code KRYSTAL20 for 20% off your next rental) // Earrings and necklace (on loan from The Met Store)

Photography by Marcus Richardson

April 11, 20223 Comments

15 films to transport you to italy

3 minute read

Dolce far niente — perhaps one of my favorite Italian phrases, translating to “the sweetness of doing nothing.” Pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness. A way of approaching life that I think Italians have perfected as an art form and I, for one, am beyond excited to indulge in this summer, when we're in Tuscany for most of May and part of June.

Since I'm knee-deep in AirBnB options, I figured I'd put together a list of my favorite Italian-centered films, which are sure to get you in the mood for a little "dolce far niente" yourself this summer.

  • La Dolce Vita
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • I Am Love
  • A Bigger Splash
  • Malena
  • Stealing Beauty
  • Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Roman Holiday
  • Summertime

  • Il Postino
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • A Room With a View
  • L'Avventura
  • The English Patient
  • The Hand of God

Have I missed any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Photography by Leandra, set styling by Alexandra Duddy, at the lovely Léanne's apartment

March 23, 2022No Comments

play it again: volume 32

2 minute read

The moment you start seeing your life as art in all states — the mess, the masterpiece and everything in between — you start realizing how important the brushstrokes are. The details you could miss if you didn't come up close to admire. The symphony in nuances. The poetry in mistakes. The prose in confusion. The manifestos in the mundane. Don't overlook those. They're worthwhile, too. Usually even more so.

And since we're long overdue for a weekly playlist installment, I've put together an assortment of my favorite orchestral soundtrack numbers, perfect for writing to, workouts and running errands. Hope you enjoy!

J.McLaughlin shawl, turtleneck, pants and jacket (gifted for campaign)

Photography by Alissa Morabito

January 26, 20222 Comments

play it again: volume 31

2 minute read

For as new as New York feels to me — new construction, new skyline additions, new restaurants, new faces, new styles, new definitions of what it means to be “cool” — I’m always pleasantly surprised by the amount of old souls I tend to find in this city. People with a story about that corner or that now shuttered shop just a few blocks up, people who remember versions of New York I may never experience, but at least get to witness through them. They’re the ones who live for the ephemera unique to this city, because when things are constantly changing, there needs to be stewards of what once was. Those with a bittersweet affinity for the joy and sorrow of things in ever changing flux.

And while I adore New York for her vanguard of newness, it’s the old souls who bring it meaning for me, who bring it gravitas, who bring it depth. Perhaps they find me. Perhaps I find them. I’m not sure. Either way, I know I’m so happy when I can add one to my orbit and Naeem is one such old soul. I hope you enjoy what we captured the other day together while walking around Little Italy with his Rolleiflex camera from 1966.

Marta Scarampi cape (gifted) // Brothers & Sisters veiled beret // Vintage Chanel bag // BCBG leatherr gloves

Photography by Naeem Douglas

January 19, 20221 Comment

play it again: volume 30

2 minute read

Just because I'm soft, it doesn't mean I'm weak. Just because I'm quiet, it doesn't mean I don't have something to say. Just because I'm sensitive, it doesn't mean I won't stand up for myself. Just because I feel deeply, it doesn't mean I won't set boundaries. After all, you know what they say about assumptions...

I know it's been a minute since I've shared a weekly playlist. I've definitely missed curating them for you and I've missed learning about and discovering new artists from you, as well! Let's shake off the cobwebs shall we? Put this playlist on if you're in need of a January reboot.

Sleeping with Jacques nightgown (gifted, similar style here) // Four Seasons robe (gifted from their At Home Collection)

Photography by Marcus Richardson

January 3, 20223 Comments

2021 taught me…

5 minute read

My unsolicited advice for the new year? A few thoughts...Be soft with yourself. Similarly, don't be afraid to be soft with others. But learn when hard stops are necessary. Embrace your curiosity — let it be the balm to your soul. Throw out the timelines. Trust your timing instead. Don't fear endings. They're just new beginnings in disguise. You don't need to have everything figured out today, tomorrow, or hell, even 5 years from now. Some of the most interesting people you'll meet (and have yet to meet) still don't have it figured out and I like to think, that's what makes life so damn interesting. It's the predictability you have to be wary of...

First things first, happy new year, my friends! I hope your celebrations, whether you stayed home or went out with friends, were filled with love and gratitude. I know mine certainly was.

Secondly, I suppose I might be coming out of my blogging hibernation. Or rather, I'd really like to wake up from this slumber but I'm now debating if I'm ready. Either way, I know I've missed you all terribly and appreciate the kind comments and messages you've sent in my absence. If I haven't underscored it lately, I'm so very blown away by this community of strong, intelligent, curious women who decide to visit me here.

So...here we are on the first Monday of the new year. The first full "work day" for many, myself included, after the holiday break. In previous years, I'd have a prepared resolutions blog post, likely waxing poetically about my intentions for the year, perhaps even throwing in a focus word or two. While that is admirable and entirely well and good, I paused when I sat down to write this blog post today and really asked myself what I hope to ask myself each time I write and share anything with you all — what is the why behind this? If the answer ever resembles "because I feel obligated to" then I know my heart isn't in it.

That said, I have no plans to share and no sweeping resolutions and if you don't either, then cheers to you. The thing that we often forget is that every day is an opportunity for a new start. You don't need the calendar to reflect January to do so. Today, I felt compelled to share the full list of lessons you all graciously shared with me a few weeks ago — a compilation of your triumphs, joys and sorrows from 2021 that bore a teaching moment. If you're still getting your footing here in 2022 like I am, I think reflecting on the past year (the good and bad) is a wonderful place to start.

Let's kick this off, shall we? Here's what you all learned in 2021...

  1. "That there is strength in weakness."
  2. "Tomorrow might never come. Enjoy today. No regrets."
  3. "I'm good at alone time. Always avoided it before."
  4. "I can be alone. Like 5 states away from friends alone and still thrive and kick some ass."
  5. "My job doesn't define my worth."
  6. "Being kind and caring is a superpower, not a weakness."
  7. "To be bold, audacious and to trust myself."
  8. "To depend on myself for my own happiness and that I am enough."
  9. "Resilience. I wish I didn't have to learn this lesson."
  10. "To separate external expectations from my own values and interests."
  11. "That I am running my own race and that I really miss living in the same city as my family."
  12. "Clothes can be comfy and chic."
  13. "Buy all the shoes, take all the trips (when it's safe) and spend time with loved ones."
  14. "To shift my priorities. Love as much and as best as I can."
  15. "My puppy scout has reminded me what it's like to have pure love. I'm so grateful."
  16. "I am an entrepreneur."
  17. "I am not in control."
  18. "To say no to things that don't nourish me or help me grow."
  19. "How to heal from trauma responses/patience/empathy."
  20. "That life can change in the blink of an eye."
  21. "To remove the guilt from other's people disappointments."
  22. "Imperfect and real is so much better than some dumb picture perfect idea I had."
  23. "To live period."
  24. "To ask for help when I need it. It's not a sign of weakness."
  25. "Never settle. Something better always comes along."
  26. "Waiting for the love you deserve you will be more than worth it."
  27. "There is absolutely no point in settling for a person or a job."
  28. "Not to shortchange myself and ask for that raise...and persist until I get it."
  29. "Every moment is fleeting, find something I enjoy about each moment."
  30. "That despite overwhelming grief (at times), I can have good days."
  31. "Nothing is permanent or black and white. And also, there aren't any rules."
  32. "That being around people you love is the best treasure the world can offer."
  33. "To always be grateful for the life I have..."
  34. "Spending time with family is very important, live your life with no excuses. Do everything."
  35. "How others view me doesn't define me. Kindness always wins. Creative minds are magic."

On Krystal: Patbo dress (gifted) // On Serena: Patbo (borrowed) // On Makeda: Eloquii // On Alissa: Vintage // Brothers & Sisters beret

Photography by Marcus Richardson, shot on location at Bethesda Terrace

November 15, 20216 Comments

this and that: volume 1

4 minute read

Years ago, I used to publish a weekly post titled "This and That." It was, in true fashion of the early blogging days, a trope that had largely been popularized by Ms. Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere's "5 Things I Love." Or wait, perhaps it was called "Weekly 5 Things." Or maybe just "5 Things." Gosh, I really cannot remember, but I think the premise is clear. An assortment of five seemingly random things that brought joy, piqued curiosity, made me think or simply made me smile, that I wanted to share with you all. I'm bringing it back today because I think it's still the perfect way to kick off interesting "water cooler" talk at the office. Even though, in all honesty, no one really works in "offices" anymore and we certainly don't hang around the water cooler, but you catch my drift, right?

If my Friday Favorites posts, which feature more current events and compelling think pieces, are more hard hitting, than I want these posts to feel like flashes of delight to start your week with — lighthearted, joyful and inspiring. So without further adieu...here's what's been catching my eye lately.

ONE // Two movies to watch ASAP — Passing and Spencer: The first, Passing, is a visual feast for the eyes. Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, it follows the story of a Black woman in 1920s NYC, whose world is upended when her life becomes intertwined with an old childhood friend who's now passing as white. The whole film is shot in black in white and the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful. (Available on Netflix.)

As for Spencer, you all know I'm a massive Royal fan, so I was going to see this film even despite my general lack of enthusiasm for Kristen Stewart's acting. But! I'm happy to report, I was pleasantly surprised. Unfolding like a "dark fable from a true tragedy," Spencer delivers a haunting tale of a doomed princess, spiraling over 72 hours during a Christmas holiday family trip at Sandringham Estate. The storyline is, of course, terribly familiar, but there are surprises and twists that leave you wondering how close to truth the family measures up. Another wonderful musical score as well and the costume design doesn't disappoint (they show more of the wedding gown than The Crown ever did!). (Available in theaters.)

TWO // Passing soundtrack: After you watch Passing, please listen to the soundtrack. Almost entirely jazz (fitting for 1920s NYC after all), there's one particular piano solo track by Tsegué-Maryam Guebrou, an Ethiopian nun with the most fascinating life story.

THREE // Secret Scents of Ella candles: I was recently introduced to the candle brand Scents of Ella and I'm already planning on snagging many of her pieces for holiday gifts this year, especially this one and this beauty. Unique, visually striking and memorable. Perfect for shelf styling and coffee table arrangements that spark conversations with guests.

FOUR // A poem that tugged at my heart: A friend sent me this poem by Charles Baudelaire recently — "Fleurs du mal" or Flowers of Evil. I hope it transports you as much as it transported me when I first read it:

I would, to compose my eclogues chastely,
Lie down close to the sky like an astrologer,
And, near the church towers, listen while I dream
To their solemn anthems borne to me by the wind.
My chin cupped in both hands, high up in my garret
I shall see the workshops where they chatter and sing,
The chimneys, the belfries, those masts of the city,
And the skies that make one dream of eternity.

It is sweet, through the mist, to see the stars
Appear in the heavens, the lamps in the windows,
The streams of smoke rise in the firmament
And the moon spread out her pale enchantment.
I shall see the springtimes, the summers, the autumns;
And when winter comes with its monotonous snow,
I shall close all the shutters and draw all the drapes
So I can build at night my fairy palaces.
Then I shall dream of pale blue horizons, gardens,
Fountains weeping into alabaster basins,
Of kisses, of birds singing morning and evening,
And of all that is most childlike in the Idyl.
Riot, storming vainly at my window,
Will not make me raise my head from my desk,
For I shall be plunged in the voluptuousness
Of evoking the Springtime with my will alone,
Of drawing forth a sun from my heart, and making
Of my burning thoughts a warm atmosphere.

FIVE // Louise Dahl-Wolfe's photography: If you need a visual break from scrolling through Instagram today (after you finish here on This Time Tomorrow, of course!), hop over browse through Louise Dahl-Wolfe's work. Dahl-Wolfe was an American fashion photographer best known for her work while at Harper's Bazaar (late 30s through the late 50s) while under the direction of editor Diana Vreeland. She pioneered what would eventually become known as the "female gaze" in fashion photography — a means of catching women's eyes not with the intention of how well it will attract the opposite sex, but more so, other women. A means of capturing women in a way that only other women can. A means of building worlds and moments where women feel like main characters and not merely props.

Oscar de la Renta dress (borrowed) // Roger Vivier heels (gifted) // Vintage earrings (love this Givenchy pair!)

Photography by Allie Provost

November 5, 20212 Comments

a night at the opera

3 minute read

To all my theater and Broadway lovers, I have delightful news for you. The original mask of 1988, the longest running production in Broadway history and 7-time Tony award winning musical — The Phantom of the Opera — has returned and I can attest, he's ready to make up for lost time!

Just the other week, I joined the opening night festivities at the historic Majestic Theatre and I couldn't help but get swept up in the emotional response from everyone in the audience. If ever there was a time we were reminded of the transportive magic of live performances, it was certainly the year when stages went dark, and to have everyone now safely back in their seats, ready for the lights to dim, the first strike of the conductor's baton and the curtain call, well, it was nothing short of electric.

If you're visiting New York anytime soon or perhaps you're a New Yorker looking to make some fall evening plans, I urge you to consider supporting the Broadway community, especially a production as iconic and as intrinsic to Broadway as The Phantom of the Opera most certainly is. You won't regret it. I promise.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Box Number 5. They say it has the best view in the house...

Carolina Herrera dress (borrowed, from a few seasons ago but similar neckline here) // Manolo Blahnik heels (gifted) // Vintage pearls from my mother // Photographed on location at the Majestic Theatre

Photography by Marcus Richardson

October 11, 20211 Comment

20 beautiful literary quotes about autumn

5 minute read

It seems quite fitting to honor the season of autumn with literature. After all, I don't think I personally have any other attachment to other seasons that inspire the cracking of a good book as much as I do with fall. Perhaps I miss my days as a student, perhaps I'm always just so moved by how writers, poets and thinkers alike have immortalized one of our shortest, most fleeting and perhaps most vibrant seasons of all. Either way, I wanted to collect some of my favorite literary quotes about autumn today, in hopes it reminds you to stop and appreciate your next walk home, as the leaves crunch underneath your feet and the unexpected chill in the air is a welcome one.

  1. “Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn — that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness — that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” ~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

2. “November — with uncanny witchery in its changed trees. With murky red sunsets flaming in smoky crimson behind the westering hills. With dear days when the austere woods were beautiful and gracious in a dignified serenity of folded hands and closed eyes — days full of a fine, pale sunshine that sifted through the late, leafless gold of the juniper-trees and glimmered among the grey beeches, lighting up evergreen banks of moss and washing the colonnades of the pines.” ― L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

3. “Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring." ~ Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's

4. “He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

5. “Even now I remember those pictures, like pictures in a storybook one loved as a child. Radiant meadows, mountains vaporous in the trembling distance; leaves ankle-deep on a gusty autumn road; bonfires and fog in the valleys; cellos, dark window-panes, snow.” ~ Donna Tartt, The Secret History

6. "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

7. “It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.” ~ Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

8. “It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.” ~ P.D. James, A Taste for Death

9. “Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~ Lauren DeStefano, Wither

10. “I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

11. "Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile." ~ William Cullen Bryant 

12. "I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it." ~ Lee Maynard

13. “The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward…The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain.” ~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

14. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

15. “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks October 10, 1842

16. “His beard was all colors, a grove of trees in autumn, deep brown and fire-orange and wine-red, an untrimmed tangle across the lower half of his face. His cheeks were apple-red. He looked like a friend; like someone you had known all your life.” ~ Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

17. “The house was very quiet, and the fog—we are in November now—pressed against the windows like an excluded ghost.” ~ E.M. Forster, Howard’s End

18. "Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit.” ~ George Eliot

19. “At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey-sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cezanne

20. "No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face." ~ John Donne, The Autumnal

For all outfit details, please visit the original travel posts from last year here and here.

Photography by Marcus Richardson

October 4, 20213 Comments

october 2021 moodboard: dark hallucinations

4 minute read

I wanted to take photographs that were outside time, of people in today’s world with the atmosphere of the past reflected in their faces, of palaces and gardens abandoned and overgrown. Photographs that retain a history.

And seemingly, just like that, with September's close, October brings a palpable weight to it. The closing of summer's doors to open a window to fall's brisk breeze. Personally, this is my favorite transition time of the year. When sunsets sneak up on you to reveal ink blue skies that feel inviting enough to admire for hours. When the lights of apartment and home windows glow at twilight with a distinct warmth. And the veil of our imaginations lift just enough to blur the line between past, present, this world and the next.

Yes, I'm quite aware that I overly romanticize the haunting season. For some, fall is an excuse to drink our weight in pumpkin spice lattes and wax poetically about romantic comedies from the 90s starring the likes of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, which, don't get me wrong. I get the appeal. I do.

But for me, fall is my time to let my inner macabre-enthusiast shine. Horror movies, haunted history tours, late night fireside chats on long weekend road trips. Some love the cozy charm of the season most. For me, it's the promise of dark intrigue and mystery, where the hauntingly beautiful steals my imagination.

Naturally, when I started putting together this new monthly series of mine — a moodboard to reflect my thought patterns, my fashion senses and most importantly, my photographic whims and inspirations, I gravitated immediately to the likes of Deborah Turbeville, whose work fits this witching season almost too perfectly. In fact, I think it might have been made for her!

Turbeville was an American fashion photographer, best known for her work published in the likes of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, creating editorials for brands like Ralph Lauren and Valentino to name only a few. Most distinctly known for her analog approach and tactile treatments and distortions to her images, Turbeville evoked a dark theatrical world, where models were often set in opulent, yet abandoned parlor rooms and tea gardens, their expressions forlorn or perhaps sinister. The really striking images, it's hard to tell between the two.

As a contemporary of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, Turbeville's hazy, obscured vision was in stark contrast to the highly stylized and sometimes overly sexualized images her peers were known for — a woman pioneering the female gaze of other women. Admittedly, with Instagram down today, I've spent most of my afternoon just sorting through her work. It's absolutely spell-binding. Or as The New Yorker more aptly puts it, Turbeville's work feels "more hallucinated, not documented."

Photography by Deborah Turbeville

September 29, 20213 Comments

play it again: volume 29

3 minute read

Last night, I listened to five pianists play in Central Park. And it was the first time in a few weeks that I didn't feel overwhelmed by how much I miss my sweet pup, Elvis. While they didn't play a classical rendition of "Love Me Tender" or "It's Now or Never," (which honestly, if they had, I would have likely started crying uncontrollably) they did however, play quite a few of my favorites like Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and Debussy's "Clair de Lune." In a lot of ways, as I sat there in the park, wrapped in the fall evening air, it was just the hug I didn't know I needed. Music is miraculous like that, isn't it? Always healing in ways we didn't think possible. 

As for this week's playlist, I decided to put together an assortment of the previously mentioned five pianists — The 5 Browns — all siblings who attended Juilliard to study classical piano. I hope they sooth you in some way, as they've certainly soothed me.

And while we're on the subject of the healing power of music, I'll leave you with this excerpt from a welcome address at Boston Conservatory, given by Karl Paulnack, pianist and director of the music division at Boston Conservatory:

"If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you’d take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at two AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you’re going to have to save their life.

Well, my friends, someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.”

Elizabeth Kennedy dress (borrowed via Nova Octo) // Tamara Melon heels (gifted) // Shot on location at Caramoor

Photography
Allie Provost

September 23, 2021No Comments

play it again: volume 28

2 minute read

Truth is, I don't currently feel nearly as carefree as I look in this photo. I probably won't tomorrow either. And that's OK. Like everything else in life, pain, grief and loss aren't very linear. They come in waves. Right now, in the aftermath of losing Elvis, I'm just trying to ride them as they come. For anyone else who needs to hear this today, I hope you can extend yourself the same grace and kindness you would show a friend. You most certainly deserve that

As for this week's playlist, it's a sentimental one. Lots of tracks that were actually curated on my Discover Weekly playlist the morning before Elvis passed away. Either my Spotify algorithm is getting scary accurate these days or the universe knew I needed to hear this assortment of songs to weather the week ahead — whatever the reason, I blasted a lot of these tracks at full volume while driving around Martha's Vineyard last week. In a lot of ways, I think Elvis was howling and barking along with me.

Johanna Ortiz dress (borrowed via Nova Octo) // Sarah Flint heels (gifted) // Shot on location at Caramoor

Photography
Allie Provost

August 28, 20212 Comments

friday favorites: the one for charlie watts

3 minute read

A reminder for me and for you: What's meant to be yours in this life, will find a way in. Be open. Be curious. Be receptive. And trust that, in some inexplicable way, things inevitably work out just how they're meant to — and the things that aren't, you'll realize today or on some idle Tuesday five years from now, they never actually bore your name. And thank goodness they didn't. Embracing possibilities, especially those we can't picture yet, is frightening. But like any good story, you're not meant to know the ending every step of the way. So stop trying to skip chapters, stop trying to rewrite what isn't meant for you.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

ONE // The opposite of toxic positivity

“Tragic optimism” is the search for meaning during the inevitable tragedies of human existence, and is better for us than avoiding darkness and trying to “stay positive.”

TWO // This is what's missing in fashion's inclusivity movement

"Despite fashion’s rallying cries for inclusion, our understanding is pretty limited: We apply it to race, gender, sexuality, age, size, and religion, but rarely to one’s abilities."

THREE // Miracle Man

A heartfelt and honest essay from Onyi about a past abusive relationship and her journey toward healing, self-discovery and, above all, self-love. I will add a trigger warning for upsetting and violent scenarios.

FOUR // Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the latest Tiffany's campaign

Everything about this campaign, especially the $2 million donation to HBCUs, had me clapping. What are your thoughts?

FIVE // 'Never call me your drummer again'

That one time, Rolling Stones, drummer Charlie Watts, punched Mick Jagger.

SIX // Black women don't need to be thin and they don't need your approval

Body shaming Lizzo highlights society's attempts to define femininity through Eurocentric standards.

SEVEN // Anger and helplessness as Afghan women try to escape

"Two decades of fighting in Afghanistan have brought a handful of themes to the fore for Americans. Chief among them: the progress Afghan women and girls made in society after years of Taliban rule banned them from public life." 

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

The new "Spencer" trailer has just dropped — and I'm dying to know what you all think!

Fran Lebowitz: 'If people disagree with me, so what'

Please put CODA on your watch list ASAP. A beautiful story about a young girl, the only hearing member of her family, and her pursuit of singing.

Lia Cohen dress (gifted)

Photography
Allie Provost

August 25, 20212 Comments

play it again: volume 27

3 minute read

The other day, as I was walking along the stretch of 5th Avenue that hugs Central Park, the setting sun splashed through the trees and something struck me. A feeling of quasi déjà vu — a recognition of a moment that I hadn't exactly lived, because I recognized it from a daydream. A moment that I had pictured years before moving to New York, of seemingly normal walks back home, or to the train, or perhaps to meet friends at restaurants I didn't yet know — equal parts lost and belonging to the streets of the city I hoped to call home someday. A moment I had framed in my mind to capture how I thought I might go about living in New York — of summer nights walking alongside Central Park with nowhere to be, but absolutely everywhere to go at my fingertips. And there I was, on a seemingly perfect August evening, doing exactly what a younger Krystal had only dreamed about years earlier.

I suppose this is my way of reminding myself (and you all) to honor those moments — the moments you realize you are living exactly what you dreamed of only a few years before. Admittedly, they can be easy to miss in the shuffle of things (especially when new dreams float in) but if and when you sense them, try to walk with them for a bit. Recognize and appreciate where they carried you and, if you happen to be taking the long way home like I did the other day, whisper where you'd like them to carry you next...

And on that note, hit play on this week's playlist. I know it's been a minute since I've shared a weekly playlist around these parts (a styling project coming up in September is currently taking up a lot of my time) but given yesterday's news of Charlie Watts's passing, I figured a little Rolling Stones was just what the doctor ordered for everyone.

Zimmermann dress // Sarah Flint sandals (gifted) // Staud bag

Photography
Allie Provost

August 1, 2021No Comments

friday favorites: the one for simone

4 minute read

Earlier this week, I received a comment from a reader who shared she had been feeling trapped lately — listless and perhaps a bit stuck — a feeling I think we can all certainly relate to (I know I can!). She went on to say that she had read my essay from last summer about how and why we should romanticize our own lives and that it helped her shift her perspective. That said, I’m not sure who else needs to hear it today but it bears repeating from time to time, especially with the pace of the world picking back up again: don’t forget to fall in love with your life. Over and over again, as often as you can. Marvel in your own company. Dwell in your own thoughts. And chase what sets your soul ablaze.

Naturally, I'd love to know...how do you romanticize your life?

ONE // For exceptional Black women like Simone Biles, greatness is never enough

I really enjoyed this opinion piece about Biles and the unimaginable weight that is currently on her shoulders. This excerpt sums it up nicely:

"Whenever Biles pulls on her leotard, it’s as though she’s tightening a cape around her neck. She’s the hero tasked with saving a sullied sport, embodying some trite belief in American dominance — and also carrying a gender and an entire race.

That’s a heavy cape, and it chokes. But it’s one that exceptional Black women, and women of color, are told to wear. Because simply being great isn’t good enough.

They have to be superlative, as well as trailblazers. They have to be avatars of progress and change, and also fulfill a deeper societal responsibility as role models who break glass ceilings while breaking records."

TWO // What gymnast Nadia Comâneci's perfect 10 meant to me

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci made history at the 1976 Olympics by earning the first-ever perfect score of “10” for her performance in the uneven bars competition. As soon as it happened, Nadia’s achievement inspired a generation of young athletes around the world—and the entire culture of New York ball.

THREE // 3 rules for middle-age happiness

Gather friends and feed them, laugh in the face of calamity, and cut out all the things––people, jobs, body parts––that no longer serve you.

FOUR // The Green Knight New York Times review

We watched this Saturday night and my mind is still reeling from it. Beautifully shot, wonderfully dark fantasy and mind-bending storytelling and of course, there's Dev Patel who instantly commands the screen. The Green Knight is a character from the 14th-century Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, whose major role in Arthurian literature includes being a judge and tester of knights, and as such the other characters consider him as friendly but terrifying and somewhat mysterious.

FIVE // Actually, this is America

Testimony from the January 6th Capitol Riot shows us exactly who we are.

SIX // Sai's heartfelt and honest video about her recent miscarriage

TW: This video discusses a recent miscarriage due to COVID. Admittedly, I couldn't get through this video without crying. A beautifully honest and heartfelt video from my dear friend Sai, as she opens up about her recent loss, a topic that I certainly hope we can soon normalize and process together without shame or stigma.

SEVEN // Sunisa Lee's incredible journey to gold

What an incredible moment! Lee, who is 18 and from Minnesota, is the first Hmong American to compete in the Olympics. She is also now the first Asian American woman to win gold in the Olympics’ all-around competition.

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

Sunday reading: Celebrating James Baldwin on what would have been his 97th birthday — here are three incredible essays of his that would make for the perfect Sunday read.

Listen to this: The latest, never released before album from Prince, Welcome 2 America, is currently on heavy rotation these days.

House of Gucci unveils character posters of it's star-studded cast.

Amur Official dress (borrowed, similar style here) // Tamara Melon heels (gifted) // Alighieri earrings (gifted, similar style here)

Photography
Allie Provost

July 28, 2021No Comments

play it again: volume 26

2 minute read

On my way to the train the other day for an early morning shoot, I passed a sidewalk note scrawled at my feet, one that I often find in different pockets all around the city — "Dream until it's your reality." I'm not sure who needs to hear this, but I hope this post and today's playlist serves as your reminder to do just that. Don’t stop dreaming until it's your reality.

And on that note, hit play on this week's playlist. I think there's a little bit of magic infused in this one — sure to make you stop and dream for bit. Enjoy!

Tibi slip dress (old, similar style here) // Shot on location in East Marion, Long Island

Photography by Léanne Ansar

July 25, 2021No Comments

friday favorites: the one for bourdain

3 minute read

How do you make your life feel like art? Do you seek out those sunsets? Do you greet the sunrises? Do you take the long way home? Do you say yes to late-night conversations with dear friends? Do you let yourself make mistakes? Do you let yourself learn from those mistakes without shame? Do you notice people? Like truly notice them and all the nuances that make them beautifully unique and flawed at the same time? Do you ask questions? Do you listen to the answers? Do you give yourself time to reflect? Do you let your imagination play? Do you revel in small details? Do you revel in the small details of others? Does music become a character in your life — a song for each season, each feeling — a language all its own? Do you enjoy the ride? Do you move as often as you can — across oceans, or perhaps across rivers — to walk in someone else's shoes, to see the world through their eyes? Do you tip-toe along the edge of the unknown and dive into it, still? Do you practice your craft, no matter what it may be, for the joy it gives your hands and your heart? Do you enjoy being a student, always in search of answers? Do you love others fiercely? Do you fall in love with yourself often? Do you seek out the beautiful but also not run away from the difficult or the painful? Do you reject perfection and instead, embrace the wild, the unexpected, the messy, not because they're a challenge or you need to prove something but because they remind you what it means to feel and be alive — to be both IN the world and OF the world?

How do you make your life feel like art? Truth be told, I'm still trying to answer this myself. And sometimes, it creates more questions than answers. But I like to think I'm learning...

ONE // Those who share a roof, share emotions

Feelings are contagious—but you can help your loved ones when they’re sad without sacrificing your own good mood.

TWO // Wally Funk is defying gravity and 60 years of exclusion from space

Ms. Funk’s trip to space with Jeff Bezos is reason to celebrate. But the launch this week, decades after she was denied the opportunity, also raises questions about whom space is for.

THREE // The missing pieces of Anthony Bourdain

Roadrunner, a new documentary about the chef and television star, tries to uncover who he really was, but neglects vital parts of his story.

FOUR // What goes through my mind as an African American Olympian when I get *that* question

Written by Tori Franklin, a record holder in the Women's Triple Jump. I loved this excerpt:

"The Olympics is about recognizing our similarities. It’s about people from all corners of the world coming together to compete, to fuel each other in the pursuit of shared goals. In a world that often lacks empathy, where those who are different are labeled as “other”, it’s a reminder to see each other as people, to share stories about loss, and love, and triumph."

FIVE // I used to imagine murdering the men I dated

A thought-provoking essay written by someone with a form of OCD — Harm Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

SIX // Jeff Bezos's vision of life among the stars won't mend a broken world

The Amazon founder returned to Earth last week with a pledge to help save the planet, but technology alone is not the answer.

SEVEN // The perfect summer playlist from LaTonya

Throw this on if you want to add a little saunter to your summer walks.

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

Move over Normcore and perhaps ever cottagecore — Regency-core is taking center stage.

Why Andie MacDowel decided it was time to go gray even though her managers said it 'wasn't time.'

Why I rented a haunted apartment in New York City — part of the New Yorker's Screening Room series showcasing short films.

My dress is by Keepsake the Label (borrowed from Léanne, similar style here) // Léanne's dress is vintage

Photography by yours truly and Léanne Ansar

July 19, 20212 Comments

20 beautiful literary quotes about summer

4 minute read

She found herself suspended between the day calling her and slumber beckoning — a gossamer midsummer dream so light, so airy, if she sighed too heavily she feared she might break the spell. So she leaned in to whisper just loud enough for her favorite pockets of the city to hear her utter, "Tell me another story." And the city obliged.

In case you've been finding yourself in a search of the right words to capture summer's magic, I've compiled some beautiful literary quotes all about the shortest and brightest season of them all. Hopefully, it helps you slow down to appreciate the days and weeks we have left, before September is on our doorstep.

1. "It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."

― Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

2. "In the long dusks of summer we walked the suburban streets through scents of maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen."

―Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter

3. . "Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August."

—Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

4. "Now the windows, blinded by the glare of the empty square, had fallen asleep. The balconies declared their emptiness to heaven; the open doorways smelt of coolness and wine."

―Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles

5. "Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil."

―Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

6. "Green was the silence, wet was the light,

the month of June trembled like a butterfly."

―Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

7. "It was rapture enough just to sit there beside him in silence, alone in the summer night in the white splendor of moonshine, with the wind blowing down on them out of the pine woods."

―L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

8. "The morning heat had already soaked through the walls, rising up from the floor like a ghost of summers past."

―Erik Tomblin, Riverside Blues

9. "Again and again, the cicada's untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth."

―Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses: The Sea of Fertility, 2

10. "The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing."

―Dan Simmons, Drood

11. "Summertime. It was a song. It was a season. I wondered if that season would ever live inside of me."

—Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Last Night I Sang to the Monster

12. "Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be."

—Nora Ephron

13. "The summer night is like a perfection of thought."

—Wallace Stevens

14. "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."

—John Lubbock

15. "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

—John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

16. "A life without love is like a year without summer."

—Swedish Proverb

17. "Spring has many American faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming, shade of elms and maples in New England."

—Archibald Macleish

18. "The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color."

—Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

19. "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."

—Audrey Hepburn

20. "To see the summer sky is poetry, though never in a book it lie – true poems flee."

– Emily Dickinson

Zimmermann dress (old, from a few seasons ago, similar style here) // Audrey Leighton Vintage earrings // Shot on location in Montauk last summer

Photography
Allie Provost

July 18, 20211 Comment

friday favorites: the one for cannes

3 minute read

Protect your curiosity. It's a precious resource, one that I think we far too often dismiss or hide away the older we get. We want those around us to think we're experts, when really, the most fascinating people I've met, usually admit quite freely when they don't know enough about something and they'd like to know more. Personally, I love people who ask questions. Lots of questions. Because that's usually me. I'm endlessly curious about why something is the way it is, who designed that, how an idea came to be. And isn't that the squeeze of life? Another day getting a few more answers than what you had the day before. They say if you want to be an interesting person, be interested. So yes, protect your curiosity. Fiercely

“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.” — G.K. Chesterton

ONE // The pandemic stopped time, but for 30-something women, the clock kept ticking

I related to this article a lot — especially the idea that for many women, their 30s feel like this impossible pressure cooker in the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic and well, it's suffocating.

TWO // Why your leisure time is in danger

Note to self: Stop treating your time off as a productivity hack.

THREE // Modern porn education is totally unprepared for modern porn

Courses to train young people to be ethical consumers of porn have a hugely complex task ahead of them.

FOUR // Before Zaila Avante-Garde, these Black spellers made headlines

Avant-garde’s win follows a longer history of Black girls reaching the highest level of spelling competitions, and facing discrimination when they got to the top. 

FIVE // $15 minimum wage isn't enough for workers to afford rent in any U.S. state

A full-time minimum wage worker can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment in any state in the U.S.

SIX // My long, messy, beautifully complicated path to adopting my son

Claire Gibson expected to have a big family, but infertility had other plans. Here, she shares her adoption story.

SEVEN // Cannes Palme d'Or goes to female director for only the second time

Ducournau becomes only the second female film-maker to win the Palme D’Or, following Jane Campion who tied for the award in 1993 with The Piano.

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

Speaking of Cannes, here's an anatomy of a standing ovation at Cannes — an inside look at the 9 straight minute standing ovation for Wes Anderson's French Dispatch film. It's the Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton parts for me!

Patricia Marroquin Norby is bringing a Native perspective to The Met. Hitha and I are planning a little date soon to see this new exhibit!

Absolutely adored this write-up on Emilie Flöge, a notable fashion designer and longtime muse of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.

Lia Cohen dress (gifted a few years ago) // Shot on location at Coney Island Beach

Photography
Allie Provost

July 18, 2021No Comments

documentaries I watched in june 2021

3 minute read

"Watch any good documentaries lately?"

Welcome back to another monthly installment of all the documentaries I've watched recently. Last month, in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month last month, I lined up a number of interesting stories revolving around the lives and stories of activists, thought leaders and cultural revolutionaries in the LGBTQ+ community. Some of my standout favorites include the Halston documentary (especially if you watched the Netflix series starring Ewan McGregor), Disclosure and Regarding Susan Sontag.

  • Kiki: In New York City, LGBTQ youth-of-color gather on the Christopher Street Pier to practise the performance-based art form Ballroom, which was made famous in the early 1990s by Madonna's music video "Vogue" and the documentary "Paris Is Burning." Available on Amazon, 6.4/10 IMDb rating
  • Halston: The life and work of fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, known simply as Halston, who dominated the fashion scene in the 1970s. During the Wall Street era, Halston was forced to take risks in order to protect his clothing empire. Available on Amazon, 7.1/10 IMDb rating
  • Keith Haring: Street Art Boy: Explore the definitive story of international art sensation Keith Haring who blazed a trail through the art scene of '80s New York and revolutionized the worlds of pop culture and fine art. The film features previously unheard interviews with Haring. Available on Amazon, 7.4/10 IMDb rating
  • Stonewall Uprising: In June 1969, a police raid on New York's Stonewall Inn sparks a three-day riot that leads to the gay-rights movement. Available on Amazon, 7.2/10 IMDb rating
  • Transmilitary: At a time when transgender people are banned from serving in the U.S. military, four of the thousands of transgender troops risking discharge fight to attain the freedom they so fiercely protect. Available on Amazon, 5.9/10 IMDb rating
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson: Filmmakers re-examine the 1992 death of transgender legend Marsha P. Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River. Originally ruled a suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered. Available on Netflix, 7.3/10 IMDb rating
  • Disclosure: A look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact of this on American culture. Available on Netflix, 8.2/10 IMDb rating
  • A Secret Love: A former baseball player keeps her lesbian relationship a secret from her family for seven decades. Available on Netflix, 7.9/10 IMDb rating
  • Regarding Susan Sontag: Using images, archived materials and accounts from friends, family and colleagues, filmmaker Nancy D. Kates traces the life of the cultural critic and writer Susan Sontag. Available on Amazon, 6.9/10 IMDb rating
  • Portrait of Jason: A black male prostitute and aspiring entertainer recounts his life story for filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Available on Apple TV, 7.2/10 IMDb rating

Now tell me, what documentaries have you recently watched? Any favorites?

July 9, 20212 Comments

friday favorites: the one for sha’carri

3 minute read

Here we are — the thick of summer upon us. Where the days feel limitless, the evenings are alive and the lulls of afternoon heat make you close your eyes and dream for a moment. My dear friend Léanne Ansar and I have been dreaming up and painting this particular photo together for quite some time now and it truly feels like summer in a bottle to me. The wild promise of how July makes you feel — a cool wind in your hair, the beckoning of the setting sun splashing your face and the realization you don't have to go home just yet. So you stay and read another chapter as a nearby saxophone player fills the heavy air with notes of Fitzgerald, Armstrong, Coltrane, Davis...and you dream.

On that note, I hope you enjoy this week's roundup and have a wonderful weekend ahead!

ONE // Naomi Osaka 'It's OK to not be OK'

Loved this heartfelt essay from Naomi on mental health and playing on her own terms. Here's an excerpt to set the tone:

"Lesson one: you can never please everyone. The world is as divided now as I can remember in my short 23 years. Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested. I mean, wow. So, when I said I needed to miss French Open press conferences to take care of myself mentally, I should have been prepared for what unfolded."

TWO // The link between self-reliance and well-being

Individualism is about having the freedom to be who you are—not going it alone.

THREE // Nikole Hannah-Jones to join Howard University after declining UNC tenure offer

You can read her full statement on the decision here, but this article above sums up it succinctly. This excerpt is extremely telling:

“I cannot imagine working at and advancing a school named for a man who lobbied against me, who used his wealth to influence the hires and ideology of the journalism school, who ignored my 20 years of journalism experience, all of my credentials, all of my work, because he believed that a project that centered Black Americans equaled the denigration of white Americans. Nor can I work at an institution whose leadership permitted this conduct and has done nothing to disavow it,” Hannah-Jones said in her statement.

FOUR // What happened to Sha'Carri Richardson wouldn't happen to a white athlete

A great read on the inherent racism in sports and the Olympics as a whole.

FIVE // Succession 3: Everything we know so far!

Let's just say, I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TO PREMIERE! Watch the trailer and let me know what you think!

SIX // Gossip Girl reboot and the age old question of casting age

Personally, when I watched the premiere last week, I couldn't shake the question: "Tavi is playing a teacher?" Style Rookie Tavi?! But it's only one part in a long line of casting that rarely reflects realistic age ranges.

SEVEN // How I'm fighting the return of FOMO

I found myself nodding my head a lot while reading this. Perhaps you will, too?

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

The ever so lovely Onyi interviewed me for a feature on her blog this week and to say I'm honored would be a severe understatement!

Loved this in-depth article on the Medici family and their impact on the arts in Florence.

Monroe reminded me how much I love wearing scarves as tops — time to bust out a few this weekend!

My dress is by Mara Hoffman (similar style here) // Léanne's dress is by Oh Seven Days // Lack of Colour hat

Photography
Allie Provost

July 7, 2021No Comments

play it again: volume 24

3 minute read

My apologies! I never intended to take a break from our weekly playlist installments — but a few out of town trips and elaborate photoshoots got the best of me, and well, here we are. Thankfully, now that we're in the thick of summer, music seems to ooze out of everyone's pores, mine included! Everywhere I turn in the neighborhood, music greets me. An open apartment window blasting Fleetwood Mac. The bar downstairs with their Prince cranked a bit louder than they should, but after the year we just had, who cares? Down the street, a convertible cruises to the beat of Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids" and it's officially stuck in my head for hours. And in the park, a quartet serenades families and lovers alike with their rendition of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Yep. New York is an orchestra right now. And her melody is sweet, vibrant and ALIVE.

On that kick off note, I hope you enjoy this week's playlist. It's a bit random and all over the place — but much like New York, I prefer it that way.

Mary Katrantzou dress (similar style here) // Sergio Rossi heels // Featuring a 1958 Morris Minor on display for Jo Malone London // With my dear friend Igee Okafor

Photography
Allie Provost

July 2, 20212 Comments

friday favorites: the one for the Fourth

4 minute read

The way to my heart? That's easy — through a lead foot. (And if you want to know how I went about renting this beautiful 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster convertible out in Marblehead, MA, then you're in luck! Keep reading down below!)

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend ahead! Enjoy some sunshine and, if you can help it, the wind in your hair!

ONE // Women are having fewer babies because they have more choices

I sent this article along to quite a few friends this week — and it sparks interesting conversations each time.

"American women are having fewer children and having them later than ever before — a demographic shift being met with significant consternation from the left and right alike."

TWO // 3 rules for politeness during a confusing social transition

Our pre-pandemic social manners have been upended. But although etiquette is always in flux, its principles should be timeless.

THREE // Questlove's 'Summer of Soul'

Do yourself a favor and put this on your watch-list for the long weekend ahead.

FOUR // 73 Questions with Gossip Girl's Tavi Gevinson

This week, my guy and I attended the Gossip Girl reboot premiere and I have to say, the new cast already feels like New York royalty, so I'll definitely be tuning in. And for my longtime followers, you might remember this conference I attended with Tavi many, many moons ago, which felt so strange to think about as we watched her grace the screen the other night.

FIVE // Britney Spears conservatorship — what the latest ruling means for her future

This week has a been a tough one for the carrying out of justice — first with Bill Cosby's release on a prosecution technicality and the denial of Britney Spears' request for her conservatorship with her father at the helm to end. We won't talk about the former today, but the latter, this article does a great job showing possible next steps in her journey.

SIX // There's a severe blood shortage in the US

I mentioned this on Stories the other day — but it's still vastly important right now. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. And we're currently facing a severe blood shortage. If you can and are able to, I'd encourage you to donate blood soon.

SEVEN // How to help Surfside building collapse victims

A great starting point on where to donate and send supplies to, to help with the ongoing rescue mission at the collapsed Surfside building in FL.

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

Want to know where I've been finding beautiful cars to shoot with lately? I recently started renting via three different sites: Turo, DriveShare and Vinty (although I had issues with the Vinty customer support team, so fair warning). This particular Porsche in these photos I found through Vinty, but the owner has a small collection of other cars he rents out directly (you can see his fleet here). All three rental services have a national presence, but there's a higher concentration in and around bigger coastal cities. If you're planning a wedding soon and looking for a post-ceremony getaway car, look no further!

Karen just published another installment of "What Everyone is Wearing in New York" — and it's a beautiful testament to the lifting of spirits we're all seeing right now in the city. Highly recommend giving it a watch.

And my other dear friend, Onyi, just launched the second episode of her series "Black Women Are Soft Too" featuring Marie Zoumanigui — highly recommend hopping over to watch, as well!

The White Company dress (gifted a few years ago, similar style here on sale!) // Vintage Hermes scarf // Dior heels // Shot on location in Marblehead, MA with a divine 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster convertible thanks to Rent the Classics

Photography
Allie Provost

June 9, 20211 Comment

play it again: volume 23

2 minute read

It's Saturday. You're walking around the favorite parts of your neighborhood, partially running errands, partially looking for excuses to soak up the sunshine. A single alfresco table looks lonely at your go-to Friday night restaurant. You don't have a friend in tow. Or your partner. Or moreover, perhaps you're single. Whatever the scenario, you're alone and really craving a crisp glass of white wine to beat the heat and an indulgent meal. For just you. And you alone. So you flag down the maître d' with an effortless "Table for one, please" as you fish out your current book from your shopping tote before ultimately adjusting the chair for the best angle to people watch down the sidewalk.

You sigh contently. You order that glass of wine and burrata with pesto and press play. Nina Simon tells you how she's feeling good. Nancy Sinatra tells you how her boots are make for walking. And there's a Girl from Ipanema who seems to charm everyone in her path, much like you today.

You smile as you remind yourself, sometimes the best company, is your own.

 

Longchamp Le Pliage Filet market bag (gifted)

Photography by yours truly

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Made with heart in New York.

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