4 minute read

I rewatched the André Leon Talley documentary yesterday afternoon — The Gospel According to André — and I was instantly reminded of how much I love his philosophy on life.

A staunch believer in creating and finding the beauty you want to see around you, Talley is a true diviner of fabulousness. Proving it's not necessarily about living an extravagant life, but more so about making the every day and seemingly commonplace, beautiful. Through appreciating art. Through a simple gesture. Through the flowers you keep in your home. Through the books on your shelves. Through the way you share your energy with others.

"Create your own universe and share it with the people that you respect and love."

I've thought about that particular Talley quote a lot this afternoon, especially given how heavy my heart feels at the moment. Seeing as how many of us this past year had to create our own universes at home largely out of necessity, it really made me think how much of an immense responsibility that truly is — to cultivate our own cosmos like a refuge, like a garden. A place to curate with care. To craft with intention. To celebrate the small moments in just as much as the big. An altar to romanticize the good times and to honor and respect the harder times when they inevitably arrive.

So tell me, how have you been cultivating your universe lately?

ONE // How you can help Texas winter storm victims

Like many of you, I'm so absolutely devastated to see what's happening in Texas right now. The CNN link above is a great starting point for local, on the ground organizations working to help those impacted by the storm, all of which need our help right now to meet the rising demands. And, since there's a lot of misinformation flying around as to how exactly this happened in Texas, I think Jessica Yellin's reporting here is a concise and measured take on the situation at hand.

TWO // Il Maestro, Fellini and the lost magic of cinema 

This essay from Martin Scorsese hit home for me this week, particularly in regards to a lot of the fatigue and content hangover I've been feeling lately in regards to Instagram. This quote in particular had me nodding my head:

“Content” became a business term for all moving images: a David Lean movie, a cat video, a Super Bowl commercial, a superhero sequel, a series episode. It was linked, of course, not to the theatrical experience but to home viewing, on the streaming platforms that have come to overtake the moviegoing experience, just as Amazon overtook physical stores. On the one hand, this has been good for filmmakers, myself included. On the other hand, it has created a situation in which everything is presented to the viewer on a level playing field, which sounds democratic but isn’t. If further viewing is “suggested” by algorithms based on what you’ve already seen, and the suggestions are based only on subject matter or genre, then what does that do to the art of cinema?

...Algorithms, by definition, are based on calculations that treat the viewer as a consumer and nothing else."

THREE // Chloe x Halle breathe shimming new life into a Nigerian folktale

Vogue needs to do more photo essay, storytelling exactly like this.

FOUR // 'It's a miracle I came out alive'

FKA Twigs opens up about her abusive relationship with Shia LaBeouf. A difficult but necessary read that also drives home that the question "Why did you stay?" to not be asked ever. Because it truly can happen to anyone. Here's Twigs words:

"The biggest misconception is, ‘Well, you’re smart. If it was that bad, why didn’t you leave?’ ” Her response: “It can happen to anyone.” And when the lockdown began, and she realized how many women were potentially stuck inside with their abusers, she got very anxious. “It made me realize I need to come forward and talk about my experience.”

FIVE // What you gain when you give things up

Voluntarily sacrificing pleasurable things resets your senses and makes you master of yourself. So Lent, anyone?

SIX // The voice that gets lost online

The Internet gave us a new language. Did it take one away?

SEVEN // Audre Lorde 101

I've been making more of a point lately to read poetry consistently. This week, I'm diving into Audre Lorde and I'd love for you to join me.

EIGHT // 3 things making me smile

I loved this film essay from Onyi about her love for flowers -- such a beautiful way to explore storytelling that just goes beyond the surface. // My latest bag crush is a velvet and rattan stunner by Mehry Mu and I'm absolutely in love. // And of course -- all of the sweet notes and kind messages wishing Elvis a smooth and successful recovery this week. I can't begin to tell you all how much this means to me, Ty and, of course, little Elvis. I truly feel like he has a whole family of aunts and uncles who care about him just as much as I do. Thank you for your open hearts. I don't know what I did to deserve any of it, but I will certainly never take it for granted.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Erdem dress (borrowed via Nova Octo) 

Photos by me