muse, maverick, maverick muse, my body my choice, peaceful protests, anti-trump, love, women's rights, feminism, photo journalist, photo journalism, american history, living history, film photography, DTLA, Los Angeles, LA Blogger, Fashion and Style, Pro-Choice, Love is Power, Women's March LA, Women's March, Women's March Los Angeles, LA Community, Gay Rights, Black Rights, Equality, Justice, love trumps hate, the future is female,

WOMEN’S MARCH | L O S A N G E L E S

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

-LAUREL T H A T C H E R ULRICH

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January in Los Angeles this year could be best described as a monsoon. Okay, maybe that’s a little hyperbolized. Nevertheless, we’ve had uncharacteristic amounts of rain this month. With our current drought-ridden situation, we’re quite consoled by the rainfall. As a result, LA has been refreshed with greenery resembling the Pantone color of the year. (Well-played M. Nature).

For instance, this week it’s rained 5 out of 7 days. Friday, it rained all day. Sunday, it rained all day. Saturday, well Saturday was sunny and warm. A crisp bite was in the air when you found yourself in the shade. Saturday, January 21st 2017 also marked the official Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles. Little did we know, that in attending and showing our support, we would be a part of written history.

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It was as though the heavens supported our efforts by offering this momentary hiatus. The sun shined bright and wide on us all, while we marched and made hisherstory. We expected a large turnout, roughly 80,000 people. What we got was much much more. As we turned the corner we found ourselves among what seemed like half of LA. On that beautiful Saturday morning, Evan and I marched for the equal rights of all.

The drums and chants rhythmically surged through my soul like the beat of my own heart. In that moment, I felt my beat was one with everyone else’s. A sense of unity washed over me. I felt utter peace and the strength in numbers for the first time. What an unbelievable feeling it is to be connected to a passionate, fired up community and make history through peaceful action.

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Saturday I felt the power of LA surge through my soul as I marched through the heart of the city. I was amazed by the love that filled streets I’ve so often walked alone, with no purpose but my own. For me, that’s what made this all the more impactful, that shift from personal to universal; the coming together of ALL, united against hate.

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Submerged in mass energy, we made our way to the middle of the crowd. There was a positive peacefulness that filled the air. I felt extremely lifted. Like kinetic energy, we slowly ascended up the hills towards Grand Park. As we gained momentum, we gained energy and passion. The joy and love was undeniably infectious. Our spirits weren’t crushed, they were elevated. There was something so special about the day that we couldn’t stop reliving and talking about it.

The next morning we found out LA had an estimated 750,000 attendees alone. In DC, the turnout was 3 times the size of Trump’s inauguration the day before. With more than 3.7 million people (and still counting) that took part in Women’s Marches around the world, it’s safe to say we participated in one of the largest demonstrations in history. (Not bad for my first protest).

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On a micro scale, it was inspiring to see all the creative chants and posters people came up with. People speaking their mind and using their god-given creative gifts for the power of good. Simply incredible. In the downtime before the march began, I found myself scanning the crowd to understand what people were fighting for.

To me, given the circumstances, the artistry seemed to be ignited with fiery passion. Passion on fire is crazy and something I’ve experienced myself. In that way, regardless of our different lives and struggles, I felt their pain and fire. I felt harmony and compassion.

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As powerful as these moments look in photo, there’s something to be said about video. The true essence of this event was captured best in sound and movement. That being said, here’s a short compilation of my favorite clips recorded throughout the day.

 After seeing the numbers roll in yesterday, the message became clear: Numbers don’t lie, and never underestimate the strength of passion. This is just the beginning. We must keep the momentum for this fight is far from over. However, as this marks the beginning of 2017, we will be in for a year of history in the making.

Power on,

M

Steve Madden, Creepers, John Lennon, Muse, Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Duster, Accessories, Los Angeles Blogger, OOTD, OOTD sharing, Outfit Blogger, Women's Fashion, Fall Fashion, What I Wore, Outfit Ideas, Maverick of Fashion, 70's, Straw Hat, Mac Cosmetics, Layering, Artist and Muse, Levi's 511, Levi Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Re-imagine a dress, DIY duster, thrifting, fashion on a budget,

|| P L A N B ||

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

– JOHN L E N N O N

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It was a cool October evening in Los Angeles — not quite summer, not quite fall. The sun began to dip behind the industrial buildings that lined the streets of Downtown. As it transitioned from day to night, I began to contemplate the irony of my day ‘on-set.’ I use the term loosely as I tend to shoot with other unconventional artists who embody a similar relaxed approach and finesse. Similarly, we thrive in the fluid and somewhat chaotic unexpectedness of ‘the streets.’

Out here, you can never be entirely sure of what you’re going to get. I guess you could say the same about life. Then again, life imitates art. With that being said, I will preface with the following; this is a story about a plan gone awry. If you can roll with the punches and maybe even color outside the lines, you’ll arrive exactly where you need to be. Somewhere I call PLAN B.

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|| P L A N  A ||

Plan A involved something like this: A classic Bardot outfit against a french inspired street cafe scene. What we got? A 180 of everything I just said. Well, I was never one to believe in Murphy’s Law. I did however always find comfort in the quote by Lennon, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

What I think Lennon’s stressing is the importance of being flexible and not resisting life’s plans. As humans, we like structure and predictability to feel secure. Becoming best friends with uncertainty and letting life flow are personal skills worth developing. You may even recall some of your fondest memories happened to be a result of fate or the unexplainable.

With that being said, here we go:

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When I began to style a look for my shoot with Ashlyn, I had my head rigidly wrapped around a classic Brigitte Bardot look. Problem was, I couldn’t seem to pull it off with my current wardrobe. Slightly frustrated, I felt my ego creep in and fear began to manifest. I took the uncomfortable feeling as my cue to get quiet and become present. As I stared blankly into my color coordinated closet, a vibrant orange number caught my eye.

I reached for the piece out of curiosity having almost forgotten I owned it. I pulled it out to reveal a 70’s vintage lounge dress in mint condition. I must’ve bought it on one of my thrifting expeditions. As I held it overhead, examining at arms length, I wondered why I had not worn it yet? I threw it on and realized two things:

1. I loved the design and fabric

2. I hated the fit

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|| P L A N  B ||

So I did what I knew best under such circumstances; I performed a quick (and painless) surgery. I began to re-imagine it. I figured if things go wrong, so be it. If things go right, so be it. And with a few quick snips of my orange Fiskars, I was now the proud owner of a 70’s duster. Excitement rushed over me and without second thought, I threw it on over top my current outfit; a pair of Levi’s and a long-sleeved blouse.

I looked at my reflection in awe, not because of my amazing craftsmanship (because clearly I could use help in that department) but because of the overall look. A strange approach to layering now made complete sense. It was unconventional, funky and best of all, it was me. I’ve learned that mistakes are at times more helpful than harmful.

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I met up with Ashlyn just outside the ETO building. We originally had a spot mapped out but much like my original look, it ceased to exist. We walked up to a cafe in a hidden alley illuminated by string patio lights. The gates were locked. In that moment, I heard my dad’s best impersonation of John Candy in National Lampoon’s Vacation echo in my mind, “Sorry folks, park’s closed.” Ashlyn and I look at each other with an encouraging c’est la vie glance and carry on into the unknown.

As we turn the corner, we begin our adventure surprised as we find a bushel of strawberries randomly placed on the sidewalk. The strange encounter made us both laugh and we continued on. I felt as though it was almost placed there for us, a free prop! About 15 feet later, Ashlyn says “Actually, I think I wanna use those.” Without further notice, I pivoted and marched back with a assertive “you read my mind.”

John Lennon, Muse, Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Duster, Accessories, Los Angeles Blogger, OOTD, OOTD sharing, Outfit Blogger, Women's Fashion, Fall Fashion, What I Wore, Outfit Ideas, Maverick of Fashion, 70's, Straw Hat, Mac Cosmetics, Layering, Artist and Muse, Levi's 511, Levi Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Re-imagine a dress, DIY duster, thrifting, fashion on a budget,

I learned something plain and simple from this entire experience; strawberries are always a good idea. Well, that and sometimes the so called roadblocks are just opportunities to embrace life; to allow life to redirect you instead of you directing it. Sometimes Plan B can be just as sweet if not sweeter than Plan A.

Without making mistakes, we may never explore new terrain or innovate new things. Instead of forcing our free will, we could use it wisely to choose between a life run by ego or a life in tune with a higher intelligence.

As life continues to surprise me and push my boundaries, I’ll make a better point of allowing. Perhaps you may see for yourself that coloring outside the lines is no mistake at all. Perhaps in falling outside the predetermined box, you create a new street worth exploring. For yourself and others.

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| FEATURED O U T F I T |

Nordstrom Rack, Straw Hat | dRA Blouse | Levi’s, 511 | Steve Madden Holllly Sneaker in Camel Suede | JCPenny Lounge Dress, (cut into duster) Goodwill

Styled by Morgan Ryan

 | FEATURED P H O T O G R A P H Y |

Ashlyn Kudransky

Stripes, Nautical, Scarf, Head Wrap, Malibu Beach, Curls, Hair Inspo,

| L U C K Y STRIKE |

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

– BRIAN T R A C Y

Malibu Farms, Beach, Hair Inspo, Vintage, Nautical, Fashionista, Icon,

People call me lucky. Rightfully so, I fit the role with green eyes and red hair to match. If you were to ask me if I consider myself lucky, I would say yes because you’re as lucky as you choose to be. Luck is far more than looking the part or being at the right place at the right time. Much to the contrary, luck doesn’t fall out of thin air nor does it simply get handed to you. My favorite quote by Seneca says,“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Although it may look effortless, luck is something to be earned through creative action.

My college commencement speech was given by Mr. Hawk Koch, president of The Motion Picture Academy. He left my colleagues and I with an inspiring story about losing it all and how he managed to climb the ladder of success as a result. He placed an emphasis on creating your own luck, having fun and doing something memorable. The words that stuck with me most were, “In losing everything, I found the freedom to be fearless.”

Strength, Fashionista, Stripes, Nautical, Beach, Ocean, Paul Mitchell, Paul Mitchell Yacht Club, Head Wrap,

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Looking back on it, I can see how much I’ve applied his advice; the most prominent being a mindset of “What do you have to lose?” Every day since graduation, I’ve dedicated my life to that of a living art. I’ve spent years preparing, practicing and expanding my skill set. As Hawk mentioned, you’ll come across a lot of situations that will stir up fear. What’s important is that you overcome it. To combat fear, I’ve continued to work on strengthening my intuition as a means to rely on instinct in difficult times.

I’ve taken many risks but the most memorable risk I took happened last October at Quixote Studios. A familiar face approached me and opened up a friendly conversation. Her name was Stephanie Kocielski. Little did I know, she would be the individual that would help me land the most influential moment of my blogging career thus far.

Stripes, Nautical, Scarf, Head Wrap, Malibu Beach, Curls, Hair Inspo,

Scarf, Stripes, Nautical, Trend, Fashion, Red White and Blue, All American Girl,

Her personality matched her hair, vivacious and bold. Her presence was commanding. She had been to Quixote once before and instantly remembered me, although she jokingly said she didn’t recognize me at first without my bow. Regardless, she had a way of making me feel special. The first thing that came to mind was also the first thing I said, “Well, I’m kind of a chameleon, so I don’t blame you.” We began talking about transformation and styling and I felt comfortable around her. Naturally I felt compelled to connect.

Eventually she and her friend had to make their way back to work, so we said our goodbye’s for the time being. The moment she walked away, my inner critic said, ‘What were you waiting for?’ But my intuition fought back with assurance, ‘I’m just waiting for the right moment.’ It hadn’t dawned on me to take note of the set she was on until I looked up to notice the iconic words, PAUL MITCHELL. Now I knew why she had such an amazing personality to match her hair.

Malibu, Private Beach, Golden Hour, Sunset, Palm Trees, California,

Sailor, Salute, Stripes, Rocks, Texture, Denim, Vintage, Fashion, Beauty,

The clock rang 2:00 pm, and I hadn’t a single opportunity for a one-on-one with Stephanie before my work day was over. I felt down on my luck, as if I missed my chance. I reasoned with myself that it wasn’t meant to be. At the very least I had the satisfaction that the Artistic Director and VP of Education for PAUL MITCHELL thinks I’m rad. But did you really think that was enough for me? Nope, I don’t give up that easy. I figured if she’s back tomorrow, it’s meant to be.

Tomorrow came around and low and behold, both PAUL MITCHELL and Stephanie were back again. First thing that morning, Stephanie came over to chat, this time by herself. We talked for five minutes or so and I knew it was time to create my own luck. It was time to strike.

Beach, Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion, Scarf, Stripes, Red Lip, Hoods, Distressed Denim, Curls, Unique Hair Styles,

As the conversation began to wind down, I reached into my purse and pulled out a business card. I handed her one with a smile and felt instant synchronicity in her returned grin. She paused for a moment then followed with, “You know sometimes the world just has a way of bringing the right people together at the right time. We’re currently looking for brand influencers and I think you’d be perfect for this. Let me talk to our Brand Advocate Manager and I’ll put you two in contact.”

The rest was history. I jumped on the phone with Ang later that week and got the grand tour of the HQ the following month. She and I hit it off immediately; even over the phone I could tell she was warm, welcoming and kind. Strengthening my intuition has made my awareness keen and enabled me to tell when something’s right. I now understand the importance of recognizing how you feel before and after every interaction. I felt excited before speaking to Ang, and completely energized once we hung up. I immediately called my Mom to tell her the good news.

Scarf, Stripes, Distressed Denim, Wild Hair, Beach Lifestyle, Yacht Club, Malibu, Hoops,

It’s been smooth sailing ever since. This Spring I produced my first tutorial for Paul Mitchell. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity as well as the creative freedom they have provided me throughout the process! It’s truly amazing to see how everything has come full circle. One day I was tying a silk scarf into a quirky bow for fun and the next I’m professionally teaching others how to transform their look with my knowledge.

Long before any of my luck, I was paving the road to success so that when that day came, I was prepared. If it weren’t for my encounter with Stephanie or my fearless attitude, I wouldn’t be sharing this story today. It has been quite a journey, yet something tells me it’s far from over.

Emotive, Sunset, Golden Hour, Beauty, Wind Blown Hair, Distressed Denim, Hoops, Film,

| PHOTOGRAPHY |

Evan Woods

| STYLING & CREATIVE DIRECTION |

Morgan Ryan

| LOCATION |

Shot at Malibu Farm

Read Paul Mitchell’s version here.

Look achieved using PMYC Limited Edition Pro Tools.

Pattern, Studio, Design, Fashion, Photography, Style,

S U R R E A L ( I T Y ) | PART II

Head over to SURREALITY || Part I for a recap on how Mitch and I met

surreal, studio, beauty, vintage, surrealism, art, fashion,

Banana, Surreal, Studio, Socks, Funny, Pastels, __________

(Past Reflection)

The day began with an overcast dreariness that kept me in bed an extra hour. My conscious and subconscious minds intertwine as I replay the final moments of last night’s dream. I watch myself fearlessly walk through a dark space that I now recognize to be a haunted house. Suddenly reality kicks in and all traces of fear come rushing back. It becomes clear my subconscious is the brave one here.

A jolt of energy catapults me from bed and into a frenzy as I realize the time. There are two things in this life that’ll entice me to become an early riser and that’s fresh Bruegger’s Bagels and LA street sweeping. I beeline it for my car, pj’s and all. They say the early bird gets the worm yet somehow I still had something to chew on despite my tardiness. I’m thrilled to announce it wasn’t a worm but filled with remorse that it wasn’t a bagel.

          Through the process of elimination you may have concluded that a street sweeping ticket was the culprit. Refusing to let the worthless piece of paper symbolize my weekend, I opt for my favorite tactic – out of sight, out of mind. I tuck it away, hoping it’ll fade like my weird dream. The air was brisk and slightly damp like the transition between summer and fall transpired over night. Today I would experience a shift of my own in deciding to re-write my day with an order of sunny-side-up eggs, brioche and a side of Mitchell Winkie.watch, retro, pattern, style, graphic, studio, design

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            I walk down Melrose, texting Mitchell to let him know I’m almost there. I look up from my phone to notice a guy wearing a shirt that reads, “Be Iconic.” The simple yet impactful phrase cheers me up and it’s as if my bright attitude cues the sun to pop through the clouds. A brisk breeze nudges me along and blows whispers of change.

            I turn the corner to notice a couple enjoying an order of toast that towers high enough to be mistaken for a game of Jenga. I enter the building and look for the loudest shirt in the joint to pinpoint my company. I find Mitchell at the back of the line scouring the menu. With so many choices on the menu I was instantly overwhelmed. Breakfast or lunch? Sweet or Savory? Luckily Mitchell made it a simple decision, “I’m getting both,” he says. With those three words I had the validation I needed to know he and I would be good friends. I follow suit and place my order as I grab Sqirls’ business card.

            Somewhere between the register and the water pitcher I unknowingly drop the business card. I shrug it off and keep walking figuring someone who truly cares might pick it up. A woman lightly taps me on the shoulder and says with a smile says, “You dropped this.” Slightly dumbfounded, I thank her and safely secure it in my purse. Soon enough, I’m sitting outside in the LA sun with Mitchell and conversation’s flowing. In fact we have so much to talk about we often get sidetracked and reroute to yet another avenue of discussion. Luckily I dig detours, they keep things fresh and adventurous. Between bites Mitchell asks me quirky questions like, “what’s your favorite cheese,” and “would you want to raise yourself?”

Fashion, Surreal, Studio, Sleep, Beauty, Patten, Design,    Pattern, Studio, Design, Fashion, Photography, Style,

We sit across from each other in our favorite Sunday’s Best finds; he in his tri-toned-short-sleeved-button-up and me in my iconic silk scarf bow. I couldn’t help but think how this all transpired. My first thought revolves around the aspect of recycled goods and how it led us to connect electronically. I decide to go deeper to the root of it all to find the truth of the matter. Here I find it was actually us that made it happen; it was our desire to connect as well as our commonalities that brought us face to face, celebrating our boldness over an all carb diet. I realized many will commit to connecting online, however few will make the effort to step into reality and act upon that desire to connect. It is in that extra step, the follow through, where everything comes full circle.

We sit and devise our future world dominations and laugh for hours before splitting. As we walk to our cars (both conveniently parked on Melrose) we impulsively stop to look at a sale rack outside a thrift shop. With no luck we assume we are without treasure until we realize the real gem lay not on the rack but on the ground. Mitchell reaches down for a piece of paper and I curiously ask him what it says. He unfolds it and reveals the poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I ask if I can keep it only to feel slightly embarrassed afterwards. “Hey one man’s trash is another chick’s treasure,” I playfully smirk. He eases my discomfort by telling me he once found someone’s trashed diary and read the whole thing in one sitting. That was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.

With shades layered over his glasses, he jokes, “Yup, nothing like rolling up to valet in your ’08 Corolla with manual windows.” I can’t help but giggle, not knowing if I was amused by the joke or his ability to pull off sunglasses over glasses. The most groovy thing about Mitchell besides his ability to make you laugh was his ability to make light of any situation.hair, beauty, fashion, studio, surrealism, art, style,

We part ways and I arrive back at my car. Here I take time to reflect on my ironic day. First my car inconveniences street cleaning, and now here I am, cleaning up the streets of LA. I get into my car and close the door behind me and pull out the business card and poem. I turn them over in my hand, trying to connect the dots. Then I realize I was doing exactly what Mitchell had done when he first found my mysterious card in his shirt pocket. It was as if I was now walking a mile in his shoes, only this time it involved an 8th graders literature homework.

With two tangible items in hand I could easily discard them as trash, but I saw something greater in them. I saw treasure that another left behind for me to find and attach my own meaning. I could see it as a “coincidence,” or I could see it as serendipity and formulate my own personal story. Knowing me, you know which road I took.

observe, beauty, fashion, style, batmitten, fan, active, lifestyle,      batmitten, beauty, fashion, editorial, studio, vintage

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Bat Mitten, Vintage, Monochrome, Fan, Fashion, Beauty, Suureal

            The Road Not Taken is a prime example of Frost’s misinterpreted nature, which I can relate to. Much of the poem contradicts itself, opening the door for confusion and exploration. This confusion is most evident in the fact that the title is often mistaken for The Road Less Traveled. Maybe we have never entertained the possibility that Frost intentionally sought to confuse his audience. Let’s explore that notion.

Poetry is defined as the art of rhythmical composition, which excites pleasure through beautiful thoughts. Art itself is defined as the aesthetic quality of that which is beautiful or appealing. So if poetry is a form of art and art is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then is it not all subjective to the viewer?

      I believe the purpose of poetry is to melodically ignite the viewer’s imagination so that we can extract our own interpretation of the story. So maybe the fact Frost never entirely reveals the true implications behind his piece is exactly what made it so compelling and therefore famous. For I believe at the very core of all great art is this purpose to inspire a new train of thought, an ability to spark questions and an outlet to freedom through open interpretation.

Someone recently asked me if I believed in fate. The more I thought about the question the more confused I became. This got me thinking, do we create our own fate with our choices or do we choose to call it fate as a means to take comfort in our choices? Maybe what Frost was hinting at was the two roads to destiny; the one where you create your own (better known as free will) and the road of pre-determined destiny (also known as fate). Do we create meaning from meaningless pieces of paper by injecting them with imaginative stories? Or have we just lost the ability to see life creatively? If Frost is right and both paths lead to the same destination, would you change your course or keep trotting?

silly, fun, quirky, beauty, fashion, studio, surrealism, art,

            Maybe Robert Frost understood the importance of the individual and the intrigue of mystery. Maybe he found that healthy balance between supplying his audience with enough to guide them while understanding the freedom in negative space, which allows one to fill in their own blanks. As we all experience life from different perspectives, one’s path will never be the same as another’s. Equally so, one interpretation of a story won’t be the same as another’s. One thing is certain, life may present the game, but it is us who choose how to play it. As for Mitchell and I, I’d say we played our hands well.

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 || PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Sara Clarken 

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION ||

Puno

|| STYLING | MUSE ||

Morgan Ryan