HORS D’OEUVRE Masthead Contributors Letters On Set From the Desk of the Editor
BEAUTY & WELLNESS How to Do Your Eye Shadow for Work: Breana Powell takes you through office-appropriate makeup! Is Your Exercise Routine Making You Fat?: If all you do is cardio, you might want to reconsider.
ARTS & LEISURE
Music Lounge: We sit with Jason Farol of ABC’s Duets to find out about what he’s been up to since the show. Good Eats: Blake Davidson explores the sensuality of Paris through its food. Made: Emma Watson may or may not make an appearance in this month’s creative project! Pages: What’s all the hype behind the popular career-women’s book Lean In? We’ve got the scoop. Poem: A postcard sent from Paris—by this month’s “Share Your Where” author.
FASHION & FEATURES
The Royal Bedchamber: Jenna Anderson explores the role of the bedroom in the life of royals—and how that translates to her own bedroom now. You & Me: This month’s style tips feature Vera Wang’s line for Kohl’s. Share Your Where: While London is usually the literary lover’s dream, one writer rekindles her love for words on the banks of the Seine. Share Your Wear: If the thought of custom, hand-painted silk garments has you demanding “Where can I get that?” then make room in your closet for SAbel! The Evolution of a Fashionista: Stylist Joey Tierney discusses Britney, Audrina, and what it’s like being a shoe monster. Unsung Hero: A short story of the relationship between siblings—and what it means to honor your heroes.
Always end with something sweet
CAROLINE A. WONG Editor-in-Chief
BRANDON GAMBLE Creative Director
FASHION Fashion Editor COLETTE CHOI Accessories Editor ADRIANE CARRANZA
FEATURES Features Writers LINDY TOLBERT & AMANDA CHI Arts and Leisure Editor MOLLIE MCKENZIE Arts and Leisure Writer BLAKE DAVIDSON
BEAUTY AND WELLNESS Beauty Editor BREANA POWELL Wellness Editor EMILY VAN GUILDER Assistant Wellness Editor BECCA KANTOR
ART Photographer ALEXANDER HERMAN Five to Fab Designer MARIA EUBANKS West Coast Editor ROSIE RYAN UK Editor JENNA ANDERSON
When Mollie McKenzie isn’t writing, she enjoys reading dystopian romances as well as watching classic movies and Bollywood films. Her favorite book of all time is Jane Austen’s Persuasion, but this month, she explores the bestselling book Lean In.
Sarah Ingerson visited Paris for a whirlwind five weeks last summer. She recounts her experience in this month’s “Share Your Where.” If she could do it all over again, Ingerson says she would “go back in a heartbeat” and “experience it with someone I love.”
Sarah Krupczak is a Los Angeles-based writer and wrote the short story “Unsung Hero” for this month’s issue. Of her writing process, she says the first thing she does is “put on some music and get out one of my journals already filled with some of my ideas. Then I just go from there.”
Blake Davidson is back with a splash, this month from across the pond. A romantic guy at heart, Davidson explores the traditional city of romance but does so with his characteristic twist. Check out what he has to say in “My Moveable Feast.”
Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Born and raised in Orange County in California, Emily Van Guilder enjoys anything and everything related to outdoor exercise and crafts. She’s back this issue with a great stencil art project.
Alexander Herman traveled to Joey Tierney’s home to shoot the celebrity stylist for this month’s cover. He says his best fashion moment was when Marty from Australia’s Thunder From Down Under (last month’s cover) complimented him on his tie.
Hail Nowak is a photographer based in Southern California. Nowak assisted Herman on our Joey Tierney cover shoot and took all the behind-thescenes photos you see in this issue. She also took the photo of Tierney that appears on the cover!
Jenna Anderson is an avid wanderer who collects stories, including her own. In this issue, she explores the significance of the bedchamber, both historically and contemporarily. Currently, her own bedchamber is tucked away in Edinburgh, Scotland.
What do you think? We’d love to hear from you! Send your thoughts on the August issue to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to TastevinMag.com and visit the Contact page. All submissions become the property of Tastevin and may be edited, published, or otherwise used in any medium.
Letters Last month, you were quick to support your favorite blokes! See what you had to say about our July cover guys from Australia’s Thunder From Down Under on Facebook: “I can’t even mention how many times I have to explain to my friends [that] there’s more to the show than just hot guys with hot bodies! I really enjoyed reading that article.” – Caroline Kimani “Awesome interview!!” – Renee Reisch
“Fantastic interview! One of the best I have read for the group! I totally agree they are not male strippers. They are performers who work their asses off every night to make sure every girl in the audience is satisfied! Kudos, boys! Take care of those injuries because every one of you is important to the show!” – Tracey Gibson “Buy me this magazine. I love Clint!” – Jessa Alberta
“That was a great article! I love how it went more in depth than most of the one or two page articles.” – Stephenie Beers “That was a great article and interview!” – Sarah Kelly
And you also took to Twitter: “Great article!” – @nancyjay03
“Loved the article. They did a great job!” – @lindseyh68
A special thank you to all our fabulous features for their shout outs on Twitter: “THANK YOU!! Loved this article. Much appreciation for all your support!” – @LoriMontoyaRain, owner of Rain Cosmetics “We’re loving the latest issue of @ TastevinMag featuring a fantastic piece about Rain.” – @Rain_Cosmetics
“Check out the @TastevinMag July issue! Great articles and stories – and thanks to Tastevin for featuring my CD #BuildingUp!” – @JayDenton
On Set Hereâ€™s a peek behind the scenes at our cover shoot with celebrity stylist Joey Tierney! Photographer Alexander Herman and assistant Hail Nowak met Tierney at her home in Southern California to get a really intimate, laidback vibe. Nowak took some photos of all the happenings so you could be in on it too!
Herman wanted to capture that great Californian sunlight so he brought Tierney outside to get some shots.
To really put the stylist in context, Herman has Tierney pose with all the clothes and shoes on set.
Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Tierney is a self-proclaimed “shoe monster” and confesses to owning over 70 pairs of shoes!
Tierney’s dog tries to get the stylist’s attention while she reclines in the window seat. Herman made sure to capture shots of the dogs on set so they would feel included too!
from the desk of the
New York prides itself on being the capital of many things— the capital of finance, of publishing, of fashion. And oh, the fashion! Whether it’s because of Sex and the City or just because of sheer rumor, New York is supposed to be the American center of all things stylish. I think it’s an easy stretch of the imagination to picture tall, statuesque woman striding with Amazonian confidence in their Manolos and swinging their Birkins violently at investment bankers trying to steal their cabs. With that in mind, you can understand my surprise when I started my first job in the Big Apple and discovered that half of my coworkers were sorely lacking in the style department. Yes, there was the one half that did pay attention to how they presented themselves, what with their vintage Chanel totes and trendy Isabel Marant wedge sneakers. But the other half…oh dear…how do I explain? When you don’t know somebody very well, you tread a fine line when they ask for your fashion advice. You want to be helpful, but you can’t be as honest as you are with your best friends—it would likely come across as hurtful. I had a coworker who started asking me for style tips. To put it into context, this girl was friendly to me when I first started working and took it upon herself to teach me everything about the business (even to the point of explaining to me a book’s copyright page—despite the fact that I have a degree in English—but I guess her intentions were good). This girl also happened to be the type of person who would wear faded TOMS to meet with the director of a high-end art gallery. Don’t even get me started on the lack of appropriateness. And don’t get me wrong. I don’t think TOMS are outright terrible, and I wouldn’t want to trash her personal style if she’s a casual-shoe type of girl. But there’s a time and a place—and scruffy slip-ons do NOT belong in a business meeting. So I was quite pleased when she started asking for fashion tips. Perhaps I could take her under my wing and mentor her in the ways of enjoying fashion and beauty. But when, one day, she showed me her newest shoe purchase—a strange rattan-covered chunky heel wrapped in
Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Designer Serena Abel chats with models backstage before her Open Runway show. Abel won the first round of the competition! Read more about the designer in “Share Your Wear” on page 51.
mauve ribbon and sporting taupe-colored sequined straps—I didn’t know what to say. Had my BFF even looked at those, I would have slapped her hand away and pushed her into a different department altogether to cleanse her palate. But this was someone I barely knew (and only professionally at that), and despite the fact that the heels were hideous, they were a step up (pun intended) from flat canvas slip-ons. So I told her she should keep them. I’m sorry, Fashion World. I’m sorry. This month’s cover girl, Joey Tierney, has a lot more backbone than I do when it comes to those sticky style situations. As a professional stylist to the stars, Tierney is hardcore yet gentle when it comes to making her clients look their best. But I’ll let you read more about that on page 54 [“The Evolution of a Fashionista”]. And if you’ve already got the fashion stuff down pat, then let us help you up your music game with this month’s Music Lounge interview with Jason Farol. The last time you saw this handsome songster he was on stage with Kelly Clarkson making it to the finals on ABC’s Duets. See what he’s up to now in our chat on page 20 [“Soul Music’s Newest Heartbreaker”]. As always, I hope you love the issue. And if you don’t (or even if you do and just want to shoot us a line), let us know what we can do better by sending a message to email@example.com
How to Do Your Eye Shadow for Work
Resident beauty expert Breana Powell shows you the best eye shadow strategy for that perfect promotion!
CAROLINE A. WONG
hen it comes to wearing your eye shadow to work, the trick is to not over think it—and to not over do it. Here are three simple ways to bring a little drama to your eyes without looking as if you’re about to hit the club scene.
The Daytime Smokey Eye
If you’re the kind of girl who can’t let go of a good charcoal smokey eye, try a softer,
modified version for the workplace by sticking to shades of gold and brown. And if you need blending tips or application help, YouTube is your friend. There are thousands of tutorials to learn from! But these easy tips will get you started: Start by using a primer on the lid. This will keep your eye shadow on longer. Then, cover the entire eyelid with gold. Next, use a shade of brown to darken the outer crease and outer eyelid. Blending is important—you don’t want any harsh lines. Highlight the brow
bone with a shimmery, pale color. The next step is eyeliner. Keep it close to your lashes. It will give the illusion of thicker lashes before you even add mascara. After you coat some mascara on your top and bottom lashes, you’re finished! And if you want a little more: Add the gold eye shadow to the inner corner of the bottom lash line. Smudge a little of the brown eye shadow on the outer corner. These accents will elongate the eye, giving you a sex factor that’s work-appropriate.
The “Make-up No Make-up” Eye
As the name suggests, this easy-to-do look celebrates more of an au naturale eye— perfect for the young professional who doesn’t have too much time to spare on makeup but still knows that looking put together is key to showing she’s present and ready for work. After priming your lids, apply a nude color all over. Pick a shade that is just one shade lighter than the natural color of your lid in order to brighten the area. Then, add a bit of depth to the eye by blending a matte brown color in the outer crease of the lid. Skip eyeliner. Instead, add a few coats of your favorite mascara. Use highlighter in the inner corners of the eyes. This look can be done in seconds flat and does wonder to make you look awake and prepared for a day of professionalism. And if you want a little more: Apply eyeliner. Sparingly, of course.
The Winged Liner Eye
If you want your eyes to flutter and fly as you get through that pile of paperwork, give them wings! Because the focus here is the wing and you don’t want to overdo it, keep your eye
10 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
shadow color natural, as recommended in the previous two looks. After you have applied your eye shadow, apply your eyeliner. If you’re not a pro at winging your liner out, here’s a trick: Using a white or brown pencil eyeliner, pretend as if you’re extending your lower lash line and lightly draw a short line upward. By doing this, you create a line to trace. Follow the angle of the tracing line, making sure to keep the tip of the wing sharp and crisp. Dab a bit of concealer on a small, flat angle brush and underline the bottom of your wing if you need to clean it up. And if you want a little more: Lightly add eyeliner to the bottom lash line.
12 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Is Your Exercise Routine Making You Fat?
If you only exercise by jogging on that treadmill, then it very well might be. Becca Kantor investigates how to really increase your metabolism and blast fat fast—and, ladies, it’s not gonna happen through running. So kick off your running shoes (or your stilettos) and check out the world of weightlifting.
CAROLINE A. WONG
hen I try to recommend lifting heavy weights to most of my girl friends, they tend to fire back with the standard response: “But I don’t want to get bulky.” I don’t blame them. I was resistant to weight training for a long time because I was scared I would transform into a female Arnold Schwarzenegger. But one year later, I can say with all confidence that the weight lifting myths are just that—myths. As most doctors, personal trainers, and fitness experts will tell you, women won’t grow bulky and look like they’ve been injected with a year’s worth of steroids merely by lifting a few times a week. Women don’t have enough testosterone to do so—only an intense, protein-rich diet and actual steroids can achieve that look. Which leaves no more excuses for women to put off weight training. In fact, there are so many benefits to lifting heavy, that women should be running to the gym to do so. Studies prove that lifting heavy weights helps the body to torch fat, mainly because it boosts your metabolism which in turn allows you to burn more calories in a twen-
ty-four hour period than you would if you did a standard cardio workout. Cardio coupled with a healthy diet results in weight loss, but nearly half of that loss can come from muscle mass instead of from fat! Lifting weights, on the other hand, not only helps to build that healthy, metabolism-boosting muscle, but also helps to fight osteoporosis, keeping your bones strong. Another major plus? How empowering lifting can be. I’ve lifted for a year, and I’ve felt like a badass super heroine, a la Buffy Summers, as I’ve watched my strength grow. Before, deadlifting sixty-five pounds terrified me. Now, I’m incredibly proud of myself because I’ve managed to deadlift my bodyweight. And you can do it too.
The Big Three are Key
Incorporate these three power lifting moves into your workout: squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. The Big Three are important exercises because they work more than one muscle at once. Whereas a bicep curl will only work the bicep, the bench press affects several muscle groups, including the
shoulders, arms, chest, back, and abdominals. Squats work your legs, butt, and abdominals. And deadlifts are great because they work every major muscle in your body.
Never Forget Form
The Big Three will change your body—as long as you’re doing them right. If your form is wrong on any of these exercises, you won’t get any of the benefits of weight lifting and you’re more likely to hurt yourself. Before you start packing on the weights, master the form for each exercise. Have a friend or someone at the gym check your form to make sure you’re doing them right. (See tips on page 16 for proper form)
Don’t pack on massive amounts of weight to the bars right when you start weight training. Let’s be realistic. Begin with only the bar—it weighs around 45 pounds anyway—and build up your strength from there. Aim to do five reps of each exercise with perfect. After you master that, then you can add five pounds to the bar. 15
Take Breaks Recovery is important for building muscles and strength. You should do about three sets of five reps for each exercise but make sure to take two minute rests in between each set. Also do weight training every other day—your body will need a full day’s rest to recover fully. Aim to weight train about three times a week. Combined with a healthy diet, you’ll see results, tap into your inner badass, and understand why strong is the new pretty.
Form Check Squat Position the bar below the bone at the top of your shoulder blades and resting on your back muscles.
Position feet shoulder-width apart, with feet pointed about 30 degrees outward. Keep chest high and bar balanced above the middle of your foot—the midfoot. Take a deep breath and squat. When you squat, make sure you bend at your hips and not your knees. Think of it as if you’re sitting back into a chair—so stick that butt out!
Keep your chest and shoulder upright while leaning your body slightly forward to keep the bar above the midfoot. Squat low—no quarter- or half-squats. Squat a little past parallel to your knees, then stand back up without pausing. Exhale when you are almost finished with the rep.
Stand with the bar above the center of your feet. Your stance should be narrower than shoulder-width. Grab the bar overhand, with your hands slightly outside of your legs.
Bend through your knees. Shoulder blades should be directly over the bar. Your back should be straight.
Lift your chest and pull. Keep the bar close to your body. Pull the weight up until your hips and knees are locked. Do not lean back at the top. Push your hips back and lower the bar back to the ground.
Lie flat on the bench.
Keep your feet flat on the floor at all times and do not move them.
16 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Grasp the bar. Make sure your hands are equidistant from the center of the bar. The bar should rest along the heel of your hand. Unrack the bar, then move it where it’s directly over your lower chest area.
Inhale and pull the bar to your chest. Think about having the bar just touching your shirt, not your chest. This will prevent you from bouncing the bar off your chest. Press the bar up evenly.
Note: If it’s your first time doing bench press, you’ll want someone to spot you. A spotter will check your form as well as help you rack the bar if you can’t press it up anymore. Safety first!
18 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Soul Music’s Newest Heartbreaker
From his sweet, dark brown puppy eyes to his deep, rich bluesy vocals and a slight proclivity for weeping, rising artist Jason Farol, is sure to make the music scene swoon.
By Mollie McKenzie
hen Jason Farol auditioned for the hit, summer singing competition Duets a little over one year ago, he thought it was a long shot that he would get a spot on the reality show, let alone end up on pop star Kelly Clarkson’s team and continue on all the way to the season finale. And yet he did it. Sitting across from the young singer in his garage, which was renovated and redecorated to serve as Farol’s bachelor pad complete with karaoke bar and
20 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
COURTESY OF JASON FARIOL
lounge area, I find it hard to see this laidback, talented guy as anything but the music industry’s next hottest star. A Southern Californian native, Farol, 24, was born with the dream to sing. Growing up, he listened to jazz, blues, and standards, all of which have seeped into his deep, soulful sound today. But besides his velvety vocals, what makes this SoCal surfer boy truly special is his refreshing sincerity and humility. “I knew that I really liked singing, but I never thought it would be a career that I would have the option of actually [having],” he says of the time before the show. “I just did singing on the side. I never really sang in front of anyone except for my cousins and brothers.” It’s hard to imagine this guy as a shy, young songster instead of the animated showman who performs live today, but according to Farol, the stage confidence didn’t come easily. “It was very nerve racking,” he reveals when describing his experience performing
live on stage with American Idol alum (and season one winner) Kelly Clarkson (posing with Farol, below). “The song I was singing was a sad song, and I got really emotional towards the end. I started to cry. That’s the moment that I knew I wanted to sing.” Even as I chat with him, Farol’s eyes grow a little watery describing the story. Though the tears are blamed on allergy season, it’s endearing to see a young male artist showing a little emotion. Who doesn’t love a tough guy with a soft spot? Apparently the Duets producers were just as enamored with Farol’s sensitive side. “I cried one night, and they stretched it out so it seemed as if I cried the whole season.” His laugh is infectious. “I would just touch my eyes, and they would put sad music to it.” With or without tears, Farol worked the stage on Duets, singing such songs as “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley. The crowd screamed and danced to his crooning voice, and on July
19, 2012, he won third place during the season finale. Always the humble one, he credits much of his success to his competition mentor, Kelly Clarkson. “She’s super supportive. In the beginning of the show, I was very nervous [but] she just kept praising me. That really helped build up my confidence and helped me believe in myself.” Since his Duets stint, Farol has performed at the Hollywood Bowl in front of a crowd of 17,000, along with The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Carolina Liar, and John Legend, as well as sung the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Lakers. Many a night you can find him performing live and grooving with his band in a packed out venue in Los Angeles. Recently, Farol has also taken a deeper interest in his Filipino roots, judging for FilAms Got Talent and performing at the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture. More excitingly, he has signed overseas with Viva Entertainment, one of the top production companies in the Philippines. “I’ve finished about half of my new album right now, and I’m getting ready to fly over [to the Philippines] soon to shoot a music video and just start promoting.” Farol expects one of his two singles to be released any day now. “They’re both ballads, but one is recorded in Tagalog, which is the language they speak in the Philippines, while the other one is a mix of Tagalog and English.” It’s no surprise that this talented young artist has also been picked up in the states. “I just signed with a PR agency and writers,” he confirmed, smiling with excitement. “The writers are signed to the same company that helped write Kelly’s single, ‘Stronger.’” Although we most likely won’t be hearing anything like Clarkson’s girl-power anthems from Farol, his unique style of funky, old-school soul with a contemporary twist is sure to take the music scene by storm. “I’m a huge fan of Bruno Mars, Miguel, Amy Winehouse, and Duffy, so we’re definitely pulling from that.” While we may have to wait a year until we hear anything from Farol in the U.S.,
22 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
it will most certainly be worth the wait. With his passion for singing, his charming good looks, and his down-to-earth personality, Farol is sure to go far. “You have to just keep trying and keep singing,” he explains. “If it’s your dream, keep going after it because I’ve been told ‘no’ a lot of times. I just see everything as an opportunity, and you might as well go take it because you never know what might happen.” As Farol continues to pursue a lifelong career as a music artist, we’re certainly glad that he took another fighting shot at achieving his dream.
My Moveable Feast
aris: City of Light. The Louvre. Place Vandôme. The Sacré-Cœur. Those frillytexted metro signs. You get the picture. Paris is romantic. It’s lovely. It’s historic. Right now, half of you are probably picturing yourselves speeding past the Eiffel Tower on a bicycle, scarf blowing in the wind, baguette protruding ever-so-phallically from a cute little basket tied to the front. And I hate to admit it, but I wish more tourists did Paris that way because it’s the right way. No, I wouldn’t wear a scarf and accordions wouldn’t be playing in the background. I would walk. And I definitely would not be caught dead in a beret—unless it was green and I was shooting at terrorists in it. What I would do is pick up a baguette from
24 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
a local boulangerie, maybe some cheese from a fromagerie, definitely some sort of charcuterie, and a cheap bottle of wine because Paris, like so many other great cities, is best experienced through its food. As an amuse-bouche for my story, I think it would be fitting to quote Ernest Hemingway (as it almost always is for those who studied English and are of the male sex) and, more recently, Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris butchering the selfsame quote by Ernest Hemingway: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” I know that Hemingway didn’t mean this literally, but
ALL PHOTOS THIS FEATURE: BLAKE DAVIDSON
Blake Davison travels to Paris to bring you a new French love story—the romance of Parisian food.
if you’ve read A Moveable Feast you’d see that Rue des Petits Carreaux spans about he certainly did experience this city the way it four long city blocks, each replete with small was truly meant to be experienced: walking, storefronts selling anything from cheese to eating, drinking. Chinese food, flowers to fish—you get the gist. Also like Hemingway, and probably evOf course my first trip into this randomly disery other young man, I did Paris on a budget. covered corridor was like a dream. Looking Hem notes several times in A Moveable Feast through the deep green archway and down that it is possible to eat well and eat cheap in the tiled street (Carreaux means tiles), I felt Paris. It is still possible today. True, there are as though I were walking into a part of Paris the three Michelin star restaurants that will that I wasn’t invited to. I half expected a mob run you close to €300 a head and countless of angry Frenchmen to drag me down a side more with two stars, one star, or no stars at alley and put one in the back of my head. So, all that still cost a pretty penny. Paris is an very timidly, I stepped into the first boulangeexpensive city. I’ve rie that I saw. Armed often wondered how with my expansive the Parisians themon’t turn Paris into a to- knowledge of the selves can afford it do list. It’s a slap in the French language— with the exorbitant merci, bonjour, and face to everything the taxes they pay. But for numbers up to six—I a people so historijust kind of pointed at city stands for. cally obsessed with a baguette, said “un”, eating well, you’ve got slapped down some to know that they’re able to do it on a dayeuros, and prayed. When the woman behind to-day basis—and I’m not talking about the the counter asked if I wanted a paper or plasMcBaguette here folks. tic bag in French, I responded with the third Where I lived in the 2nd arrondisse- word in my arsenal, “Oui.” She just laughed ment wasn’t a particularly lovely area. You and repeated the question in English. Slightly wouldn’t know that from the price of rent, embarrassed, but pleasantly surprised at her but the prostitutes on the street corners were demeanor, I got the paper. These are the Paalways a friendly reminder. There was, however, a hidden gem in this district: Rue des Petits Carreaux. It even sounds cute. Petit. It’s a small outdoor market located on a street that was about a five-minute walk from Rue du Caire where I lived. When my parents, who had a brief layover in Paris while I was there, asked their concierge about it, the man was quick to advise them against going there. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why. The only logical explanation I’m able to give is that he didn’t want Americans to find a true and authentic part of Paris so that they’d continue spending a lot more of their money at other destinations. You know what? That’s not even logical. Maybe he had a traumatic experience with a greengrocer and an aubergine.
risians? They’re nice! They aren’t the snooty, arrogant bastards everyone kept warning me about. All in all, the experience wasn’t nearly as traumatic my as five pre-pubescent summers crammed in a Speedo for swim team. So out I stepped onto the sidewalk, stillwarm baguette in hand. Cheese be damned, I couldn’t wait to take a bite. How can I describe to you the sensation? The taste? This wasn’t just a loaf of bread. This was closer to art. True craftsmanship and skill at work— things that all too often go by the wayside in today’s world. The inside was warm and soft, almost moist. It felt out of place at first, but I quickly discovered that this way—whatever way it was—was the right way. I was happy
for the discovery; I felt truly inducted into the annals of French culinary history. Then I suddenly became a little melancholy thinking about all of the people eating stale loaves and who might never know what they were missing. Even the freshest bread I’ve had in the US didn’t compare. If the best loaf I had ever had was a seven, this was a flat out ten. Then,
26 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
understandably I became a little angry that this stuff wasn’t available stateside. I mean, it’s bread: what’s so difficult? Maybe I’ll never know. The only thing that was certain was that this boulangerie made what was hands down the best bread I had ever had. And all for just over a euro—one euro ten cents if I remember correctly. The name of that place? Eric Kayser. Sound familiar? Well it probably does to a lot of people around the world. Yes, imagine my embarrassment when I found out that it was a global chain. It was only established in 1996, so obviously they did something right to go global in under two decades. The truth is, they’re still the best baguettes I’ve ever had— in Paris or anywhere else in the world. Of course there are chains in Rue des Petits Carreaux. Paris is a global city, growing and changing like any other and that means big business. There is Eric Kayser like I mentioned along with Le Pain Quotidien, and grocery chains like Nicolas and U Marché. They even have Starbucks, God help us. But what can we do to stop the worldwide spread of soulless mega chains? I guess the only thing is to choose to go somewhere else, somewhere local, and that’s what Rue des Petits Carreaux is all about. So if you decide to skip Eric Kayser in favor of something more authentic, just keep moving down the street. There’s another bakery on the left. And then another. And then like, two or three patisseries. The bread will be pretty damn good at any of them. But bread is a foundation—a blank canvas that is meant to be painted with a flurry of cheeses, fruit preserves, cured meats—charcuterie dammit! The charcuterie I found was another revelation on my maiden culinary excursion—more astounding even, than the bread. Less than a block from Eric Kayser, I happened upon an unassuming red awning marked simply Terroir D’Auvergne, which led the way to a long deli-like enclosure, behind which stood a sole female proprietor. I looked at all the delicious
and foreign meats, mousses, and pâtés. The labels may have all been French, but certain words stood out. For an American, foie gras tends to be among them. Like a moth to a flame, I’m drawn in. This time around, “Un” wasn’t enough for me to place an order. Luckily, I received the same friendly treatment from the woman, and though her English was virtually non-existent, we figured it out with a lot of pointing and guessing. I walked out the happy new owner of a quarter kilo of mousse de foie de canard: I wasn’t aware that this was enough foie to put me in a three-day food coma. So maybe she oversold me a little. It’s possible she just thought I was having friends over! But in spite of all this, the price was still
under eight euro. That slab fed me—and a couple of sneaky flat-mates—on and off for a week. And though the mousse was lighter in texture than your traditional foie gras entire, it lacked none of the flavor (by law, mousse must contain at least 50% foie gras—I like a country that regulates its pâtés); it was simply easier for me to spread. Return trips found me trying rilletes of duck and pork, as well as various other types of pâtés, each different and wonderful in its own right, all in a similar price range. Almost every day I found myself making trips to at least one of the stalls in Rue des Petits Carreaux. The boulangerie, charcuterie, fromagerie, boucherie, pâtisserie, poissonerie, all the other “ries” and the marchés became like companions: friendly faces you saw on your morning commute. Each offered something different, something unique, something delicious. On sunny days, I’d take my lunch, catch the metro to a nicer part of town, wander around until I found a shady place, and read, or just watch the people walking by, taking part in their daily lives. If friends were available, we’d split a four-euro bottle of pink wine or two, or four and—well, I don’t remember what we did, but I’ll bet it was great. So when you find yourself in Paris any time soon, make sure you do it the right way: take your time, eat well, eat cheap, and find a hole in the wall selling weird meat. Stroll through the alleys and avenues, have a bottle of wine next to one of Rodin’s statues (pictured on opposite page), read Baudelaire on the banks of the Seine, and try to figure out how he could be so cynical in such a great place. Join the ranks of the truly enlightened; Hemingway would be proud. Just don’t turn Paris into a to-do list. It’s a slap in the face to everything the city stands for. One of my friends told me, “If I didn’t see it on Facebook, it didn’t happen.” He couldn’t be more wrong: You can always publish it in an online magazine later on. I think that’s what Hemingway meant by “A Moveable Feast.”
e d a M 28 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Emily Van Guilder is back with a bang! Check out her creative choice this month — stencil art! ’m a big believer that, with a little time, effort, and (a lot of) patience, I can recreate almost any craft or home decorations that I see on the internet. In that spirit of defiance, I prefer making something that commemorates my favorite actors or actresses rather than simply buying a movie poster. The additional benefit of making your own art is that it makes for excellent presents for your friends and family. This a surprisingly simple project and has amazing results!
* ALL PHOTOS THIS FEATURE: EMILY VAN GUILDER
• • • • • •
Canvas of your choice (I went with 8x10) Stencil/silhouette image of same size* Cutting mat (I used Olfa’s self-healing rotary mat—it’s fantastic) X-acto knife Black paint Optional: Light colored blue, pink, green paint
Note: If you cannot find a silhouette of what you’re looking for, there’s actually a really easy way to transform a normal picture into a silhouette using either Photoshop or the free-to-download Gimp 2 program (which is what I use). Obtain stencil / silhouette of desired subject. I chose this image of Emma Watson because A) She’s just straight up gorgeous and B) I knew this would be relatively easy to make into a stencil.
Edit photo on Gimp 2 or Photoshop if necessary. You can see the difference between the original and stencil versions of my picture. (I also chose a smaller canvas size so I could do the entire project 29 at home and not have to print my photo out at Staples).
An optional next step is to paint your canvas with a light colored paint. It gives the canvas a very Warhol-feel when your silhouette is complete. Let the paint completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Attach stencil to canvas with tape. Use a glue stick to pat down any tiny sections (such as around the eyes) so they don’t lift up when you’re painting.
30 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
With patience and a steady hand, cut out all the black areas on your stencil with an X-acto knife on your cutting mat. Tip: When cutting smooth edges, it’s easier to keep the knife in place and rotate the paper with the other hand.
Fill in the stencil. Take care to always brush away from the edge of the stencil. If you brush towards, itâ€™s much easier for paint to slip under your paper. When doing tiny sections, dab your brush in an up-down motion only!
After filling in all sections and removing the paper, touch up any areas that didnâ€™t get full coverage.
My QuarterLife Crisis
ecently I’ve had multiple people in my family comment on the gravity of my age, from “your twenties is an important time to invest in yourself” to “your biological clock is ticking” and “this is not the time to mess around and fun, but to buckle down and get to work.” Of course, my reaction is to immediately start having a quarterlife crisis. I either want to burst out ala Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”—or freak out and start spiraling into negative Bridget Jones-
32 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
esque thoughts like “I’m going to live a life where my major relationship [is] with a bottle of wine” and questions like “What am I doing? I have no clue what I’m doing.” My family’s comments on my place in life, which are meant to be little inspiring kernels of advice, have the exact opposite effect than they are supposed to. I feel the pressure of my age, that one wrong step or one missed opportunity will forever ruin my future. But, then again, this is true of ev-
Arts and Leisure Editor Mollie McKenzie gets real about the fear and pressure post-graduate women feel, sharing the top five useful tips from Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
ery stage of your life. It’s just that your twenties are usually the years when big, life altering events occur—college graduation, your first full-time job, marriage, and possibly the birth of your first child. So in fact, yes, your twenties are an essential time in your life to make wise decisions and to pursue your dream because life happens quickly. You never know when you might meet that someone, and then your life is no longer your own, but rather tied to the decisions of your spouse. Lean In author and COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, is right when she says that it is time to “lean in.” I believe there is no better time to starting “leaning in” than in your twenties. In her bestseller, Sandberg pushes us to passionately pursue our goals, to achieve our full potential in a world where the tradition and culture still ingrained in our subconscious make us feel that we should hold back. She digs into touchy subjects such as gender barriers, shares vulnerable and personal anecdotes, and offers solid advice.
Stop Being Afraid
As women, we have the tendency to over-think. Now, this can be a great trait in our sex. It means that we are cautious and analytical, which is sometimes very beneficial. But in other instances these “what ifs” turn to worries, which can
become crippling fears of possible failure. Sandberg asks us an important question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” My guess is most of us would take more risks. We would ask our boss for that promotion, talk to that cute guy, or invest in that seemingly impossible dream. According to Sandberg, “career progression often depends upon taking risks,” which is seen as more of a masculine trait than a feminine one. In order to reach our goal, whatever it is, we need to have a combination of ambition, desperation, aggression, and to not be afraid of the “what ifs.”
Own Your Success
Humility is an admirable quality, but there is a difference between being humble and being insecure. Sandberg hits the mark when she says, “Owning one’s success is key to achieving more success [because] professional advancement depends upon people believing that an employee is contributing to good results.” When women are complimented for a success, we have a tendency to relate it to luck, hard work, or the help of others. Sandberg argues that we need to be more confident— not cocky or arrogant, but confident. And if you don’t feel it, well, fake it! It might be difficult at first, but soon enough it you will start to feel it too.
Be Honest and Share Your Emotions As women in the workplace, we can often feel compelled to stifle our natural personalities, to keep the stiff upper lip and to assimilate into what we think is the appropriate “work-self.” Unknowingly, this contributes to the negative stigma of a successful woman, someone who has no personal life and who is, frankly, a bitch. Now no one wants to be a bitch, but then again no one wants to be taken advantage of, which can happen to those who are too nice, or “people pleasers.” Sandberg advises “to combine niceness with insistence [to be] relentlessly pleasant.” It’s been proven that to be a truly good leader you should really care about others. This is interestingly a quality often attributed to females (an essential part of the reason why more women need to be in leadership positions.) Sandberg tells a cute story of her crying in front of Mark Zuckenberg, who responded by giving her a hug. Typically crying in the workplace is frowned upon, but Sandberg tell us that by sharing our emotions, we build deeper relationships. Now this doesn’t mean she’s encouraging us to have an emotional breakdown at work. It means that sharing our emotions and talking about our personal lives 33
at work is vital to creating a is the most important step tohealthier workplace. wards balancing motherhood and your career is found in the You Can’t Do it All following piece of advice:
It’s the 21-century, you think, and we live in the postfeminist era. Shouldn’t we be able to have it all: success at your career, the perfect man, a healthy social life, and 2.06 kids? The answer is simple— no. According to Sandberg, the concept that women can “have it all” or “do it all” is a myth, and instead, we have to accept the idea of trade-offs. Sooner or later most women will become a mother, which means making sacrifices and difficult compromises. It’s possible that working mothers face the most hardships in the work place. They face a catch 22, not wanting to be seen as a bad mother, but at the same time, not wanting to come off as a less dedicated worker. Let’s be honest, if we tried to do it all we’d be unhappy, slightly psychotic women. In the end we must decide what our priorities are, what matters most, and what can be left to the wayside. Sandberg advises not aiming for perfection in all things because, like every mother, you will make many mistakes. Another practical solution is to create our own work hours. “Technology is changing the emphasis on strict office hours since so much work can be conducted online,” she says. But perhaps what I find
Choose the Right Partner
When it comes to life’s most important moments, I believe that finding the right spouse is pretty high up there, if not number one. Sandberg agrees and advises us to find a real partner, one that is happy to do his share at home, and help with the tasks that are typically described as “feminine” (i.e.: childcare, cooking, dishes, laundry and cleaning.) Who ONLY cares about a sixpack?! Men, if you really want to sweep us off our feet, offer to make dinner or clean the bathroom! With this in mind, Sandberg emphasizes the importance of finding a partner who values smart, opinionated, and ambitious women. Then, just as you are willing to help your spouse pursue their career and dreams, they will be too. Now if you’re anything like me, you are starting to get overwhelmed because this is a lot to take in. So if you’re having a slight panic attack about all that you need to get done, or are experiencing a quarterlife crisis about your future, take a deep breath and take out a piece of paper. This is the time to make a plan. There is no way these five steps are going to be accomplished over-
34 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
night, but by writing a list of steps and goals, it’s possible to reach them over time. First write down a list of goals for the year, then for five years, then ten. And second, don’t freak out! Your twenties is a time to get down to business, but it’s also the time to have fun! You’ll make mistakes, but you’ll also experience the thrill of owning your success for the first time.
Did You Know? What five successful women did in their twenties… Martha Stewart worked on Wall Street as a stockbroker—and off Wall Street as a fashion model. JK Rowling started writing the Harry Potter series and, when her employers at London’s Amnesty Internation office discovered how she was spending her time, was fired from her job.
Marissa Mayer became Google’s first female engineer.
Debbie Wasserman was Florida’s youngest female legislator in the House of Representatives. Hillary Clinton worked sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez, Alaska. The company later fired her and shut down after she complained about unhealthy conditions.
AVAILABLE NOW! Get it on the iTunes store or at www.jaydentonmusic.com
Postcard from Paris: The Latin Quarter By Sarah Ingerson
The Latin Quarter is secretly Greek. Gyros for miles, Grease dripping from meat shavers, Fries pitching and hissing.
A girl bites into her falafel-filled pita. The sauce saunters down her arm Jumps from freckle to freckle. This is the Latin Quarter
36 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
37 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
the Royal Bedchamber For some of us, our bedroom represents respite and escape. But what if that wasnâ€™t the case? UK Editor Jenna Anderson investigates the history of the royal bedchamberâ€”and puts it all into the context of her own collection of rooms-called-home.
38 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
R & B: Room and Board
In my lifetime, I have had twelve different bedrooms. No wonder I have to think about my answer when people ask me where I’m from: do they mean where I was born? Where I grew up? Where my friends are? Where my family lives? Twelve sounds like a pretty high number to me. One reason I’ve had so many rooms is the four years I spent in university, the other is the result of being part of a family that moved several times, a process that at one point meant another home just down the street, at another, a new neighborhood in a completely different state. Before university, I never really had to share a room (the upside of having a brother who didn’t want to listen to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” on repeat). After school, I finally learned the basic skills of living with people: Don’t blast love ballads at one o’clock in the morning (unless asked), do your share of the chores, and don’t take up all the space on the DVR if you’re fortunate enough to have one. Living with others, admittedly, is an art form—and one I haven’t completely mastered yet. When I think of how hard it is for me to share a private space with someone else, I think it really boils down to what home means to me. At home, I can relax after a long day and finally be myself. I work, study, eat, travel, and talk to other people throughout the day, and by the end of it all, I’m exhausted. I don’t like coming home and feeling like I have to perform a duty or answer to other people. Home is where I can be selfish, indulgent, and carefree. And for all intents and purposes, home is where my room is.
R&R: Rest and Relaxation
There’s a superstition that if you go to Edinburgh Castle while at university, you’ll fail your degree. While none of us believe
this would actually happen simply because we coughed up twenty quid to see one of the main attractions in our city, we don’t like to take unnecessary risks. So our solution when we get castle fever is to outsource. About two months ago, I traveled to Stirling Castle with a couple friends from my university. Stirling is an hour’s train ride outside of Edinburgh, which makes it a popular site for university pilgrims in search of a good castle. It has it all: epic historical importance, dress-up clothes intended for children (but easily adaptable to children-at-heart), and excellent scones at the local café. I listened to the audio tour and ambled around the grounds for a couple hours. I found it easy to get lost, regardless of whether we were in the outer grounds or perusing the interior rooms. During the tour, I came across the royal bedchambers of James V and his French wife, Mary of Guise. They had separate bedchambers, each fitted with a beautiful bed and furniture—which I couldn’t help but mentally compare to my own measly Ikea desk and set of drawers. Ostentatious and beautiful as these rooms were, I was caught off guard by the tour guide, who mentioned that the beautiful bedchambers were for holding meetings and acts of devotion rather than sleeping. For royalty like James V and Mary of Guise, the rooms where they actually rested were separate spaces, usually connected by a door but much simpler in decoration.
BBM & SMS: My Very Own Maids-in-Waiting
For royalty, their bedchambers were not places to relax. Even when they retired to a more private space, they couldn’t escape who they were and what they did on a daily basis. This challenges my modern conception of the privacy I am entitled to as an independent twenty-something. Yes, as much as I’d prefer not admitting it, I am not royalty. 39
I don’t receive important visitors or seek counsel amid elaborate surroundings, and I certainly don’t live in a castle. I do occasionally invite people into my room: to sit and chat, to watch a film, or to wait for me as I scramble to gather the last remaining odds and ends before heading out. At the same time, with today’s technological advancements in the workplace, many people can probably identify with the inability to separate their work from their personal lives. Instead of people waiting on us, we have URL websites and social networks. We have the different folders of our inbox and the virtual calendar keeping our appointments. The royal lifestyle that sounds so exhausting really isn’t that far off from the actual experience of my friends and family. It’s just a bit less expensive than it used to look (at least in terms of money... in terms of time, it can be extremely costly). Add that to the media’s persistent coverage of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new son, and I’m beginning to believe the concept behind “royal treatment” is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be. While it might sound nice to have people waiting on me hand and foot, I don’t think I would like the constant attention. I like to unplug, to have time to think before I respond, to choose how I spend my time rather than submit myself to the expectations of others. They say that every girl dreams of becoming a princess, but I think princesses actually have a pretty hard time. Not really having a moment alone, still performing a role even when I am in “my room”… that actually sounds terrible. But the truth is, I still sacrifice these precious moments alone. Every moment I pick up my phone to check Facebook one more time, every other electronic device that I keep turned on, feeds into the endless cycle. Although its outward appearance may be less flashy or more easily accessible than it used to be, it’s still taking part in a dangerous mentality... one that’s been going on for centuries.
40 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
So where does this leave me? For now, very appreciative of the four walls that surround me as I write these words. The room may not be much, but it’s my bedchamber. It serves to remind me that my time is mine, and I can choose to widdle it away or invest it in things that matter. I may feel pressure to submit it to other people, but ultimately I can take the reigns and lead the way. Basically, I’m realizing more and more that I’m not a princess... and that thought is empowering.
This page, top and bottom: Views from Stirling Castle. Opposite page: If Anderson were queen for a day, she wouldnâ€™t care for a royal bedchamber, but maybe she could make do with a nice throne.
41 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
The Simply Vera by Vera Wang collection has been sold exclusively at Kohl’s for about six years now—but does the line still have staying power? Caroline A. Wong sees what she can do with pieces from the designer collaboration.
42 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
era Wang is a designer most prominently known for her bridal couture, those gauzy creations coveted by every bride-tobe—even that 72-day bride that we love anyway, Kim Kardashian, who wore not one, but three of Wang’s custom designs to her ill-fated (but still beautiful) nuptials to Kris Humphries. Divorce aside, Wang’s bridal designs are always consistent, providing blushing brides and bridesmaids with looks that are classically romantic yet still fresh. Can the same be said for her collaboration with Kohl’s? Unfortunately, no. Many of the pieces from Simply Vera could more easily be described as what you would “kindly” suggest your mother to wear to the ceremony if you wanted to viciously get back at her for not shelling out the extra cash for that red velvet cupcake
tower. The pieces on the whole look frumpy and poorly cut, with absolutely no hanger appeal. There are still some gems, though, if you’re willing to push through heavy skirts and scratchy jackets. And they reflect some of that Vera Wang integrity: basic yet full of interesting detail and sure to get a lot of mileage!
ALL PHOTOS: BRANDON GAMBLE
The Floral Dress
Simply Vera has a plethora of florals. Choose a pattern in a darker, more sophisticated palette (no pastel-cake colors!) with an interesting, flattering shape. If you find, like I often do, the simple XS/S/M/L/XL size range doesn’t do your body justice, the quality of this dress in particular makes the piece worthwhile to take to a tailor. And if you, like I, have not found that trustworthy tailor just yet, first Yelp the nearest one and set up a relationship pronto (I admit I’m guilty of not doing this). Then add a cute chambray button down and use it to cinch at your waist. A belt would also work (a neon pink skinny belt in the same saturation as the print would be a nice touch, or even a shocking bright yellow to contrast with the red of the flowers), but I personally like the touch of throwing on something so casual and workmanlike over such a feminine piece. It keeps the dress from veering into too formal territory while keeping the look young and contemporary. With a conservative length like this in such a flowing fabric, be sure to wear heels so the dress doesn’t overwhelm your frame.
Dress, Simply Vera by Vera Wang, $70. Chambray shirt, J.Crew Factory, $70. Heels with metal toe, Zara, $90. Sunglasses, Claire’s, $15. Necklace, Lauren Ralph Lauren, $40. Bracelets, editor’s own. Purse, Kate Spade, $300.
Tank, Simply Vera by Vera Wang, $40. Dress with panther print, H&M, $15. Heeled booties, ShoeDazzle, $40. Necklace, H&M, $15. Bracelet, Gap (RED), $40. Tassel purse, H&M, $20.
The White Tank Leave it to Wang to get inventive with white. The bridal designer’s been doing it for years, so of course she’d also be a pro with the color in ready-to-wear. This is your basic white tank, but it’s also so much more than just your basic white tank. The pattern and sheer detailing give the piece texture and depth. But if you’re still itching for a way to make the layering basic even more interesting, try layering the piece OVER a dress, instead of the typical undershirt-type look you see. This is a great trick for you biggerchested girls who need more coverage up top but are tired of using boring camisoles under your v-necks. If the tank is too fitted to knot, just use a clear mini hair elastic like Goody Classics’ clear elastic mini polybands (about $.250 for 75) to wrap a little bundle cinching at the smallest part of your torso. Be sure to take the knot out before you wash the tank though or you’ll risk stretching and ruining the fabric. Keep this layering technique sharp, not frumpy or workout-sy, by edging up the look with some studded, heeled booties and a tasseled pouch.
aris is a city like no other. It is exciting. It is enthralling. A visit to Paris is meant to be memorable, impactful. It changes you. My time in the City of Lights was no exception. But getting there was a different story. I graduated on a Friday morning, packed up my apartment on a Friday afternoon, cleaned my apartment on a Friday night, and got on a plane on a Saturday morning. My trip had barely started, and I was already exhausted. Two plane rides and several flight delays later, I found myself wandering around Charles De Gaulle looking for two people I had never met before but would be living with for the duration of my trip. After a lengthy search where I walked nearly the entire length of the airport, I finally
46 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
By Sarah Ingerson
found the two guys, sitting on their suitcases looking as worn out as I felt. We fought with the metroâ€™s machines and lugged our suitcases up and down countless sets of stairs, but the three of us eventually made it. Suitcases and backpacks in hand, we stood in the middle of the 18th arrondissement watching the swarms of people around the Chateau Rouge station. There were the vendors selling wares nobody wantedâ€”cheap purses, watches, etc. There were the brave bicyclists forging ahead in the aught ignored bicycle lane. There were the cops lingering around the bakeries. The city was vibrant and alive. I was sleep deprived and hungry, but I had finally arrived. I was in Paris! With a boulangerie on every corner, the city is a dangerous place for
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
Share Your Where
a sweets lover like me. I would have a pastry for breakfast, chocolate for lunch, and pie for dinner. Three square sugars per day. Somehow, I managed to keep the pounds at bay through the sporadic jog, something I do not recommend in sex-driven Paris unless you de-sexify yourself first with baggy shorts and an even baggier t-shirt. Based on the leers I got when I once wore capris on a run, Frenchmen aren’t used to seeing joggers. But Paris is more than leers and sugar. Paris truly is like nowhere else. It’s a strange mix of distracted tourists, energetic city dwellers, and disgruntled older residents. The diversity is palpable. Signs were often in both French and English. Museums had audio guides for every language from German to Chinese. International cuisine could be found on nearly every corner. There were blocks and blocks of gyro stands in the Latin Quarter, streets lined with gelato shops around the Eiffel Tower, and plazas filled with falafel and crepe vendors side by side around Centre Pompidou. The city was a melting pot. With so many international visitors and residents, you could catch a glimpse of another culture almost anywhere. That does not mean tourists were always welcomed. I cannot tell you how many times Parisianers scoffed or laughed at these globetrotters. Myself included. Especially when I butchered the French language. My three semesters of college French had ill prepared me for actual communication. For some reason, my knowledge of French terms for household appliances did not come in handy in everyday conversations. But I tried. I may have made a fool of myself, but at least I made an effort. And most people seemed to appreciate that. When I wanted a linguistic breather, I escaped into the bastions of the ex-pat community in the form of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. A staple on the Left Bank, the bookstore was originally opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach. After moving it to a
larger location in 1922, Beach was forced to close its doors during the Nazi Occupation in the 1940s. That could have been the end were it not for George Whitman. Having opened his own bookstore in 1951, Whitman subsequently decided to pay homage to Beach and her work. In 1964, he changed the name of his store to Shakespeare and Company. It is that store which remains in business to this very day. And for good reason. Like the city around it, Shakespeare and Company is a place with no equal. It is half hipster hideaway, half yuppie antique store. The shelves are a hoarders’ haven with their thousands of books displayed from floor to ceiling—stuffed over doorways, around corners, along stairs. You could spend hours in there just reading the notes people wrote on the antiquated typewriter, tucked away in its own little cupboard. You could spend days perusing the
rare books, looking at first editions and autographed copies. The bookstore is a gift that never stops giving. There is always something new to discover within its walls, whether it be a new writer or a connection to the typewritten words of stranger. Paris is a city of words. Lingering conversations, inviting bookstores, and dimly lit poetry readings make for a writers’ haven. Walking through those streets, I was permeated by it. I lived for those hours when I could just get away from everything and everyone I knew and meander through the streets. I found some of my favorite spots that way— the little park next to Notre Dame, that artist bookstore along the Canal Saint Martin, and that delicious cupcake shop near the Centre Pompidou. Every moment that you wander, you discover something. For me, it was my passion for writing. I had always loved writing, but only when I was surrounded by such an artistically inspiring and supportive city did I realize it was my dream, that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. From that day on, there were no doubts. There were no back-up plans. Writing became my destiny. I had found myself by wandering through those streets. Snacking on a cupcake. Perhaps, you will too.
48 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
50 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Share Your Wear SAbel: Between the Seams
ALL PHOTOS: BREANA POWELL
hen you score an amazing job as an assistant designer fresh out of fashion school, you’d figure you’re on the right track to a promising career. However, for Serena Abel, it just didn’t feel right. To find out how to make her mark in the heavily saturated world of fashion, the young designer quit her job and did some soul searching. That’s when her line, SAbel, was born. I caught up with Abel to get the whole story and find out exactly what put her on her fashion path. “As a child, I had an unyielding interest in all types of art—I even took advanced adult classes,” says Abel. “I always believed I would do something creative and in the arts—I tried everything from throwing pots to glass blowing to collage making.” Eventually, her passion for the arts led
Rosie Ryan chats with designer Serena Abel about the making of SAbel
her to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. “I stepped out of the elevator into the FIDM lobby, and I knew I was in the right place. I wanted to study fashion design and dressmaking and I wanted to do it there. FIDM gave me a great foundation in sketching, pattern making, and garment construction. I was lucky to have two wonderful teachers in draping and sketching who inspired me and helped me explore the depths of my own creativity.” After getting her Associates Degree in Fashion Design, Abel was hired as an assistant designer at two Los Angeles based massproduced brands. She also continued her artistic education as an apprentice for a Laguna Beach-based silk artist and designer. It was this apprentice in particular, that helped Abel figure out exactly what she wanted to do. 51
52 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Working as an assistant designer was fun, exciting and educational, but she still felt like there was something missing. “I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, so I left my job, did some soul searching and found silk painting. After my apprenticeship in silk painting, with the encouragement of my mentor and family, I decided to begin SAbel. With SAbel, I get to be an artist, designer, and dressmaker. I explore new techniques to color fabric and create new shapes and ways to construct clothing.” While having creative and artistic freedom is important, it’s also the direct interaction with her customers, the “SAbel woman,” that makes her work that much sweeter. “I design for real women and make pieces that beautify their unique personalities and bodies. This is the feeling of connection, purpose, and accomplishment that I was missing. Now that I have found it I won’t let it go!” You’ll also never catch her stuck in a routine either. The only consistent part of a day in the life of Serena Abel is a cup of coffee in the morning. “From there, I experiment with new painting techniques and play with new ideas for draping and patternmaking. Then, I move on to painting or sewing custom pieces. I might prepare the studio for an appointment, a client coming over to shop current collection or collect her custom piece. I prepare for and schedule photo shoots, tweak my website, and update my online activity. Days go by so quickly. I love what I am doing, and am so grateful that tomorrow I get to do it all over again.” When you ask her how long it takes her to create each piece, her response: “It’s so impossible to answer!” Hand-painting each piece can either be simple or complex with many layers. “Each piece says something, and I paint until the story is finished. As an artist, I dig deep into experience, knowledge, and themes that inspire me. One of my mentors, a silk painter, has always said that it has taken her a lifetime and a day to create each piece. That said, depending on the complexity of the piece, I can create custom clothing to accom-
modate my clients’ time frame, whether they want it tomorrow, or next month.” When she creates her clothing her main goals are to create something that has freedom, motion and versatility. To create that, free flowing feeling, she tries to cut the fabric as little as possible and uses only a few seams. “A feeling dictates the painting, which then influences the shape and type of garment. For example, in my coral leaf dress, the movement of leaves in the wind inspired me. The dress is painted in large vibrant coral leaves, and when you walk in it, you feel as though these leaves are falling and cascading around you.” So does she have plans to tackle the Big Apple? Abel hopes to one day be bicoastal. “I want to reach as many women as possible with my hand-painted custom creations. There are lots of exciting plans brewing for the future!” But for now this former east coaster (she grew up in Washington DC) has fully embraced west coast life. “The ocean, the mountains, the colors, and the beauty of the land thrills and inspires me everyday. My adventures in LA directly influence my paintings as well as the cut and style of my clothing. I really have embraced the spirit of west coast life.” SAbel was recently featured in the Los Angeles Fashion Council’s Open Runway show which features emerging Los Angeles based designers and won the first round! For more of Abel’s work, check out her website, SAbelMade.com.
The Evolution of a Fashionista So what is it really like to undress a celebrity? Caroline A. Wong chats with stylist to the stars Joey Tierney to get all the surprisingly heartfelt details.
Photos by Alexander Herman Styled by Joey Tierney
54 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
oey Tierney is the fashionable founder of Haute Street, which is a daily dose of haute from coast to coast and—from the hushed rumors that we’ve heard around the water cooler—a tight-knit, hard-to-crack style sorority that only a few are lucky enough to pledge, let alone become initiated into as full-fledged style sisters. In other words, it probably functions like every other Pradaclad devil-run fashion office in Los Angeles. But whatever trepidations we might have first had about talking with Tierney crumbled as we came to discover that the diva behind her powerful fashion business is actually quite hilarious and chummy. In fact, she’s not so different from her many interns that run hundreds of dollars of clothes to Tierney’s chic clientele, including the likes of Rose Byrne, Kristen Bell, Andy Garcia, Seth Green, Lindsey Lohan, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Cera, and cast members from the hit Showtime series Dexter. Tierney has the same drive that first propelled her into the style scene and the same determination to prove herself that keeps her at the front of the pack.
What inspired you to enter the crazy world of fashion? Joey Tierney I was actually doing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles, and I had no idea what fashion styling was. I never even thought for two seconds it could be a legitimate career. But I randomly met this girl and she was, like, ‘I’m touring with Britney Spears, and I need help on the road in the wardrobe department.’ And within a week, I had found somebody to live in my apartment in West Hollywood to take care of my goldfish Charlie, and I was on backto-back world tours with Britney Spears. TM That must have been really amazing! Have you always been fashionable or did it develop as you went on tour and got involved in the industry? JT Well, if I go back and watch my stand56 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
up comedy videos, my material was beyond horrific, but my outfits were SO amazing! [Laughs] So I guess I have always been fashionable. I can remember moments when I was a young girl—not that I’m not a young girl now—but when I was really young, I can remember being in, you know, uncomfortable situations and looking down and seeing that I had on the right type of sneakers with multicolored stacked socks, and I felt like everything was just gonna be fine. TM So it was a natural instinct for you? JT It really was. And it’s interesting when some things come so innately to a person. You don’t even realize that it’s actually a calling or a career because it just seems so normal. TM Would you say that’s how you feel about your job now? That it’s less work and more just something that you like to do? JT Yeah. Yes, I love what I do. It’s so natural. Like, the work part of it is gathering the options and doing the homework like checking the packages in and checking the packages out. It changes every single day, every single second. Like, I have assistants that put together schedules for me, and I’m a very visual person so I even actually [have print-outs] in my hand, and within two hours, it’s changed. There’s tons of emailing, probably between 300 and 400 emails a day. And there’s just a lot of activity, and—I don’t know—a lot of time with tailors! But when it comes to the creative time with the client, it’s always magical. TM Would you say that it’s that busy everyday or does it come in waves? JT Let’s use this week’s vacation [as an] example. So, my husband finally booked the tickets for our Cabo trip with another couple, but of course the second that we book the tickets, four huge jobs come in [for me]. It comes in waves, and the waves just happen to come in when I’m leaving town! [Laughs] TM What are some of the hardships you’ve encountered being in the business—I guess, aside from jobs coming in when you’re going on vacation!
This page: Sweater, Kenzo. Previous spread: Polka dot blouse, Saint Laurent. Leather pants, Balenciaga. Patent pumps, Jimmy Choo, Diamond necklace, vintage. Chainlink necklace, Ashley Pittman. Initial pendant, Helen Ficalora. Dog tag, Jennifer Fisher. Rings, Shylee Rose. Pricing for all items in this feature provided upon request.
58 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Here’s the thing. Touring with Britney was so amazing. It sounds glamorous to have the career that I’ve had, but going on the road [to tour], there’s only two wardrobe assistants. We’re dealing with eight dancers with thirteen costume changes. Britney has fifteen costume changes. We’ve got a band—they have three costume changes. And we’re resetting in a new city every single day. There would be days when I’d be pushing these crazy cases out to the buses at midnight, going like, ‘Wait a second. What is going on here?’ And I’m a very small person—small but mighty—and I came out with [arms] like guns. I was fierce! TM What would you say has been your most memorable moment with a client? JT It’s hard to choose [just one moment] because the nature of styling is so intimate. You’re literally in the most tender time when people are undressing with you. You see all of the flaws, any of their most uncomfortable moments. But there’s always just these magical moments when the right outfit happens. You figure it out, and you’re like ‘Oh my god. This is it.’ So I guess I have memorable moments with everyone. TM What’s a scarier memorable moment? JT A while ago, maybe two years ago, I was dressing Audrina Patridge, who was on The Hills. She was doing the carpet for the MTV Movie Awards [as] the fashion consultant or something—I don’t know—the girl on the carpet. Anyway, we had to have this Isaac Mizrahi completely embellished dress that was SO insane. The end result was great, and [Patridge] hit, like, every single best-dressed list. But as I zipped her into the dress…I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, but her body’s pretty much a 10. And even with that body, what happened was, the zipper—for whatever reason—zipped right off the dress. And [the MTV producers] are pounding on the door. That was really nerve-wracking. But thank God I’m a handy little [seamstress] and was able to sew her into the dress. It took a few minutes longer than I’m sure the producJT
ers wanted, but that was a memorable moment just because it was so stressful. TM When stressful moments like that happen, what do you do? JT I actually work best under pressure, but in those moments, I don’t want to talk or explain anything to anybody. So fortunately, I am so blessed with having a good team around me, and they understand how I work. For instance, in that moment [with Patridge,
“I think that people have a misconception about the fashion business, that we’re just all hanging out and trying on pretty dresses. The reality is that we’re all working really hard on being innovative and redefining ourselves and redefining the way people see fashion and the way that we see our bodies.”
my associate] Cheryl was able to deflect the real problem and go ‘Oh my god, Audrina, these Balmain shoes are so amazing. Let’s talk about them.’ In the moment, I become so acutely focused on solving the problem that I’m not even available to even talk about it emotionally or anything. TM Is it less stressful to dress men than it is to dress women? Do you take a different approach when styling for men? JT The process is somewhat the same. An individual is an individual, so you can have a man or a woman and both are going to have issues. Like, a man can either be too tall or too short or their arms are longer than what they cut a suit for. There are obstacles getting anybody dressed. TM As a celebrity stylist, how do you approach body issues? JT Before I go into any job, I get really thorough notes about the person and their preferences and any specific details that they need 59
60 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
This spread: All same as previous. Next spread: Halter bodysuit, Michael Kors. Trousers, Stella McCartney. Necklaces, same as previous. Bracelets, Tierneyâ€™s own.
me to know about. So, like, if somebody’s issue is ‘I don’t like above my knees’ or ‘I don’t like my elbows’ then you pull accordingly. You pull pencil dresses that hit the knee or threequarter sleeves. You just try to tailor your fitting [to that person]. TM It sounds like you’ve got the process down. Is there a moment when you finally realized you ‘made it’? JT I have two answers for you. I am insatiably motivated and drive myself to be the best I can be. I want to make a difference in my fashion community as a contributor. You
“The nature of styling is so intimate. You’re literally in the most tender time when people are undressing with you. You see all of the flaws, any of their most uncomfortable moments.”
know, I want to make a difference in the community that I’m a part of. I never really feel like I’ve hit the success that I’ve dreamt about from [when I was] a child. But then I have those superficial moments where I’m sitting in a desert shooting with Patrick Demarchelier, drinking wine at 4 o’clock in his trailer. It didn’t matter because I was on set with him, and I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve done it.’ I’m still working every day as an artist and every day defining myself as an artist. You know, I want to make a difference. It’s so funny about fashion. It’s such a superficial thing, but actually, it’s just such an incredible art. TM What advice would you give a rising young stylist with that same insatiable drive that you have? JT I have a lot of interns, so I interact with these rising young stylists daily. My most important advice would be to take a lot of notes and stay organized. It’s really a lot of hard work, and I think that the key that all of us who are in the arts need to remember is [that] the
62 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
reward is the journey. You have to really just love what you do because it’s not really that easy. I think that people have a misconception about the fashion business, that we’re just all hanging out and trying on pretty dresses. The reality is that we’re all working really hard and working on being innovative and redefining ourselves and redefining the way people see fashion and style lines and the way that we see our bodies. TM What would you say can and cannot be redefined about style? JT I think that the fundamental of styling is understanding your body type. Some of my clients, like, they love little girl dresses, but they’re not 18. So although little girl dresses might be on trend, if it’s not on-trend for your body type—it’s really understanding your body. It doesn’t matter what size your body is. You can hit it out of the park; it’s just putting the right silhouette on your body type. Experiment with different style lines, [but] even when experimenting with new style lines, it doesn’t always work for your body type. So experiment with prints. Experiment with different colors. TM You’ve called yourself a ‘shoe monster.’ Are you a flats girl, a heel girl? JT Okay. A lot of people see therapists. A lot of people in LA see therapists to, you know, feel better. My therapy is walking through the shoe department. My office is across the street from Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus. Sometimes I will get so frustrated in my office, I’ll literally have to walk away, and I walk directly to the shoe department because I literally just, I’m obsessed with shoes. I am a shoe stalker. It doesn’t matter if it’s stilettos. It doesn’t matter if it’s flats. It’s just shoes. I maybe own around 70 pairs of shoes, but they are pristinely edited. TM You travel between New York and Los Angeles. How would you characterize the difference between east and west coast style? JT The nature of California is we’re a beach community, so I think that the skirts are may-
be shorter in California. But there is fashion here. You know, it is interesting. There is a difference between common styling in New York and LA, but if you’re in the fashion business, fashion is fashion. If you’re a stylish person, you’re wearing the right clothes in LA; you’re wearing the right clothes in New York; you’re wearing the right clothes in Paris. Fashion is international. I feel like if you really are a fashionable person, what you’d wear in LA might be similar to what you wear in New York on a hot summer day. If you understand fashion, you understand fashion and it translates coast to coast, country to country. TM You’re obviously a fashionable person, but if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing? Maybe still stand-up comedy? JT Maybe! But maybe some obscure painter living in the outskirts of Paris. TM So what’s next for you? JT Right now I’m revamping my Haute Street website. It’s definitely an international fashion community that we’ve put together. We have contributors from every major city of fashion giving us profiles. It’s similar to Instagram, where they’re giving us a daily dose of what they’re doing. For instance, one of the girls is traveling all over Europe right now. We have a contributor in Iceland. We have a contributor in Moscow. Right now I’m obsessing over international contributors and how to bring everybody together on a fashion, lifestyle, [and] pop culture platform. TM Speaking of pop culture, do you have a dream client that you’d like to work with? JT They have to be alive, right? I’m just gonna be that girl, and I’m gonna say I think it would be an interesting experience to style Angelina Jolie. TM Oh, I love her! JT I love her too. And I think Jen Rade does an excellent job, but I think it would just be interesting to see what I could do. I styled her ex-husband [Billy Bob Thornton]. They were married, right? I think a vial was involved.
64 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Story by Sarah Krupczak Photographs by Caroline A. Wong
lags ripple in the ocean breeze as families mill around the dock, eagerly awaiting the ship that would bring back their loved ones. Red, white, and blue balloons bob up and down, riding the currents of the air as grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters claim their spots along the white railing, dragging their balloons in tow. People are waving American flags, big ones spanning several feet, small ones attached to little hand-held poles. Little children grasp the hands of their mothers, waiting to catch a first glimpse of their father, brother, cousin. Wives and mothers stand silently, the wind ruffling their hair in the sticky salt air, tears barely contained above the rims of their eyes. I stand at the back of the crowd, distancing myself from the others, imaging that I would be easier to see that way. My parents stand in front of me, closer to the crowd of people. They catch the first glimpse of the aircraft carrier in the distance and a roar erupts. I used to picture this moment, over and over, imagining how it would go. Now, those musings can’t come close to the reality that awaits me and my family. It seems like yesterday that he was still here, the two of us playing video games on our comfy leather couch. I never knew that this would be where his life would take him. Clutching a small bundle of balloons, I turn my eyes back to the sea as the ship inches closer to us, the horizon spanning uninterrupted behind it.
The July sun bore down on the small backyard where two children sat playing. A mess of coarse brown dirt covered the ground; the yard was being re-landscaped. The boy, about seven years old, was lying in the dirt, pushing it around to make a field for his plastic green men to fight on. He was devoted to his army men, positioning them
68 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
in ranks—one group of tiny soldiers hidden behind a hill of dirt, another group frozen mid-march as they made their way across the dusty expanse that would eventually become the battleground. The boy’s sister, not more than four, stood away from the piles of dirt, playing instead on a clean patch of patio with her mother. Clutching a small stuffed animal, she watched as her brother began to move the little green men into battle. Their father joined him, taking up a place in the dirt and contributing to the battle cries and explosions made by the boy. The girl laughed, too young to understand what it all meant. She ran over to where her dad and brother were playing, nearly knocking over the remaining soldiers. Plopping down in the dirt, she made her stuffed animal join the battle, toppling the little army men. The giant bunny had become the new enemy, decimating everything in its path. “Careful there, you’re going to end the battle too soon,” said the father, watching his little girl fondly, but knowing that his son would be upset if she continued to interfere with his game. The little girl, oblivious to her father’s words, continued to swing the stuffed bunny at the army men. Her brother sat back, watching her take over his battleground. “No, she can play if she wants,” he said even as his face puckered into a pout.
The air craft carrier is still too far away to see any of the sailors, but the eager anticipation in the air has increased incredibly making the excitement tangibly electric. After that initial sighting, silence settled upon the crowd. It’s as if everyone is holding their breath, waiting for that moment when they can hold their loved ones in their arms again. I’m afraid to breathe, afraid to shatter the excited tension that’s building up.
Looking around me, I see faces wearing the same excited mask as mine. A young woman, not more than ten years older than me, holds a baby wrapped in a pink blanket, her mouth frozen in a perpetual smile, her face turned towards the sea. I imagine she’s eager to introduce her husband to his new baby daughter. My dad wraps his arm around my mom’s shoulders, almost holding her up, both of them waiting. My mom holds the banner we made last night, the knuckles of her fingers white with tension. My aunt and uncle are there too, clutching their balloons like me. We all wait for the same thing, that moment when the excitement tumbles over into sound, when the cheers erupt, when we finally see the faces that have been absent from our lives for so long.
shouted back and forth to each other, almost overpowering the voices in the game, which sounded like they were coming out of real military radios. The boy’s sister watched from the hallway, listening to the rattling and clanking sounds of a tank-like machine as it wheeled its way through the game. Her brother looked up from the game and saw her watching. Shouting above the noise, he called to her. “Do you want to play?” “No, not this time. Some of my friends are coming over soon anyways.” Her brother returned to his game. The other boys, much too involved in what was happening on the TV screens, hadn’t noticed the exchange. The girl smiled, happy that even with their separate friends, her brother hadn’t completely forgotten her.
Several years had passed and the mounds of dirt were replaced by a soft blanket of green grass. It was summer again, but there were no children playing with stuffed animals and army men. Instead, teenagers swarmed the yard and the inside of the house. The boy was celebrating his sixteenth birthday with his friends. The hoard of boys had consumed the party food and they were moving on to play Halo, charging through the house like a tornado, leaving a wake of destruction behind them. They crammed themselves into the small living room that had been equipped with another TV for the occasion. The boys broke into two groups, each clustering around a TV and an Xbox. With the surround sound and the noises of the game, the house seemed like it was in the middle of a warzone. The room certainly looked like something had exploded within it. Teenagers were spaced throughout it, some sprawled across the floor, others draped over chairs. Wires from the gaming consoles and controllers covered the floor. The guys
The weather had turned colder in those days after the winter holidays. The smells of an Italian dinner mix with the crisp air outside as people flood into the house, letting the aromas of the birthday feast escape from the confines of the kitchen. Christmas and New Years had passed, but there was still one last day to celebrate. The girl was turning sixteen, and the house was filled with family members gathering for a home-cooked meal. Further within the house, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents warmed up by the fireplace. A few gifts were piled on the living room coffee table, surrounded by almost empty plates of appetizers and bowls of chips. Dinner was just about to be served. As the collection of family members sat down to eat, the girl could not help noticing the one absence that mattered most to her. Her brother, on his first Christmas break of college, had decided to take a skiing trip to the mountains with his friends for New Years and was supposed to return home the next day. This was the first birthday of hers that he
70 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
had missed. Looking around at her family, the girl’s glance fell on the seat at the table that had always been her brother’s, which was instead occupied by her cousin. With a sigh, the girl turned her attention to the head of the table where her father sat. He made an awkwardly formal toast in her honor, and she smiled vaguely in recognition, raising a glass of sparkling cider to her lips. With one last look at the faces surrounding her, the girl started to eat. Comfortable chatter and laughter rang throughout the dining room as the dinner progressed. Just as the conversation came to a lull, the girl heard the back door open. She looked up briefly, but figured it was just her Aunt Lisa, late to family functions as always, and returned her gaze to the half-eaten plate of food in front of her. It wasn’t until she heard surprised cries from her relatives that she glanced back to the hallway again, a smile lighting up her face. There stood her brother, his duffle bag slung over one shoulder, holding a birthday cake in his hands. “Sorry I’m late. There was traffic coming back. But I couldn’t miss your birthday, could I?”
The ship is close enough for me to just make out the silhouettes of the sailors as they line the edges of the carrier. They are dressed in their white service uniforms. The crowd around me can sense that the moment they’ve been waiting for has almost arrived. People are starting to fidget, almost overwhelmed by the anticipation. I tap my foot as the tension starts to get to me. I don’t know what to expect, but it seems like I’ve been rushing towards this point for so long that I should have already figured it out. I try to stop my foot, to remain calm and take deep breaths, but like everyone else here, I can’t control my nerves, my excitement.
72 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
The breeze has picked up. The salt air stings my face as I look out across the ocean but I hardly notice. Like everyone else, I’m only thinking about the shrinking expanse of blue water still left between the air craft carrier and dock. The woman with the baby steps forward as if drawn by a magnet, no doubt wishing to be that much closer to her husband. The entire crowd seems like it’s being pulled by the same invisible force, unconsciously moving closer to the oncoming ship. There are only a few minutes left now…only a few minutes left.
The air around the house had grown harsh and blistering with a mid-winter chill once again. Christmas lights lined the edges of the roof, their various colors creating a rainbow of glowing orbs in the night sky. Inside, the girl sat by the crackling fire watching TV. She had just celebrated her eighteenth birthday a couple days earlier. Her brother, who was out with friends, had turned twenty-one a couple months ago. As the girl sat in the living room, she could hear her mother moving around the kitchen. The girl was just standing up to get a book when she heard the kitchen door open as her brother came home followed by the sound of her mother’s startled shriek. The girl ran to the kitchen just in time to hear her mother voice the very question that was on her own mind. “What happened to your hair?” The boy mumbled some sort of reply, saying that he had wanted to cut his hair, that he’d just decided to shave his head. The mother sighed and went back to her work. The boy wandered back towards his room and the girl remained in the kitchen, getting a glass of water and reading her book as she sat on one of the bar stools at the kitchen counter. Finding it hard to focus on her book, the girl watched
as her mother put things away in the refrigerator. Her mother seemed distracted. After a while, the boy came back out to the kitchen, looking for something to eat, his head covered with a layer of hair as short and as soft as peach fuzz. After a few minutes, the mother turned back to her son and asked, “You didn’t enlist did you?” The air in the kitchen was silent and immovable. Both the girl and her mother held their breath, each of them fearing the answer to the question. They exhaled as the boy responded, “No, I didn’t enlist. I just got tired of dealing with my long hair.”
Finally, the aircraft carrier is docking. Cheers once again erupt all around me as the silence of the crowd finally breaks. Flags and banners snap in the breeze as shouts and yells fill the air. Like everyone else, I find myself looking for that familiar face. The sailors are making their way off the ship, pouring into the arms of family and friends. The young woman who had been standing next to us finds her husband. He holds his daughter in his arms for the first time. The woman smiles as she watches them. People are crying, laughing. It’s insanity, but the best insanity possible. My aunt, uncle, mother, and father are eagerly searching the white-clad sailors for our own. There. I see his face. But this isn’t the face I had been picturing. My cousin forces his way through the crowd, embracing my aunt and uncle, then my mom and dad, and finally me. I can feel my tears, and happy as I am in this moment, I had been expecting a different reunion with a different boy. One that would never come. My aunt refuses to let my cousin go, insisting on holding onto some part of him—a hand, arm, even just a corner of his jacket. My own parents watch. Are they thinking of what it would have been like to welcome their own son, my brother, back? I don’t know what it
74 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
is to lose a son, but I know what it is to lose a brother, a best friend. I can’t imagine the thoughts running through my parents’ heads right now, but I can guess that they aren’t that different from my own. I’ve lost my very own hero, the brother I looked up to for so long, the person who had been my best friend all my life. All those childhood memories we shared—I’m the one that will have to remember them. And I will have to remember them for both of us now. I move to join my parents, taking my place beside my mother. Suddenly, I remember the balloons, their strings still wrapped around my hand. I guess I had forgotten about them until now. I loosen my fingers, letting the wind snatch up the balloons and take them high into the salty air. Lifting my face, I watch as they get smaller and smaller, drifting away.
blackmilkclothing.com 75 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
Somewhere Sweet Photographer Kimberly Wong shares a shot from recent explorations of Waimea Valley in Hawaii. Go ahead and plan your own vacation today. You deserve something sweet for yourself!
76 Tastevin Magazine August 2013
A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu