The Art of the Advertisement

I’ve always had kind of a tricky relationship with advertising. My father’s in marketing, so I understand and appreciate the work that goes into branding and selling a product, but the idea of trying to trick some poor idiot into buying something they don’t need so somebody else can get rich? Not down.

That being said, I’m a huge proponent of imaging. If you believe whole-heartedly in a brand/product/concept, and can create an advertisement that best represents its aesthetic message, then hell yeah, share the shit out of it!! It comes down to intention: are you trying to make money by following culture, or are you going to define your own culture, and if you do it well enough, have people follow you?

Luckily, pretty much any brand you’re gonna wanna buy into has accomplished this already. Here are a few ads I’ve come across recently that do a really good job at blurring the line between art and commerce…

New Classics

After years of bitching and whining about being stuck in high school, I’ll finally be headed off to the University of British Columbia this fall. I’m a generally decisive person, so I’m already super set on an art history major (with a commerce minor + grad school planned for job security).

Although this is guaranteed to change, at this point I think I’d love to focus on either Greek and Italian marble sculpture, or international art culture after World War II. Worlds apart, I know, but they’re both areas that I find interesting and more importantly, inspiring to modern day aesthetics.

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x Syd

 

Current Faves: Oct 27 – Nov 2

1. Alright – Jamiroquai

Instantly puts me in a good mood. Jamiroquai (and everything like it, Daft Punk, Breakbot, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc.) just makes me want to dance and never stop, gotta love it 🙂

2. ATM Jam (Kaytranada Remix) – Azealia Banks ft. Pharrell

A great track, perfect mix of R&B, Funk and House. I’m not a huge fan of Azealia Banks (a lil too sassy if you ask me) but she is great at what she does. Also, props to Kaytranada for making dope R&B tracks even better!

3. Battle for Middle You – Julio Bashmore

I’ve been waaaaay up on my house game this month, and this is one of the sickest tracks I’ve found. Repetitive enough to lose yourself in but fresh enough to keep you on your toes.

4. Body Party – Ciara

I’ve also been way up on my R&B game this month, and as cheesy as it is, nothing beats how sexy this song is. If only I had the ass to sustain the hip shaking this requires…

5. F Dat – Slick Shoota ft. Purple

Mad Decent is stepping onto the deep house bandwagon! I’m so happy to hear something new from my fave label, and this track definitely does not disappoint. Good mix of House, R&B and Mad Decent experimentation.

6. FDB (LAKIM Remix) – Young Dro

I think my enjoyment of this song means that my indie past life is officially dead… Oh well, this remix is sick and it feels really good to get a little ratchet every now and then.

7. Hold Tight – Justin Bieber

Speaking of R&B, Justin’s new singles have been sooo gooooood. I’m (only slightly) ashamed to admit it, but I’ve really been enjoying them, this one in particular. I think he’s really found his own as an R&B artist, and the minimal beats behind his singing really showcases his vocal talents.

8. Jump – Madonna

Find a better feel good song than this, I dare you. Almost nothing feels better than driving downtown with the autumn breeze and this song blasting. Gotta love being a girl, right?

9. Life Round Here – James Blake ft. Chance the Rapper

I’ve never been a James Blake fan – I feel like I really should be, but I can’t seem to quite dive in – but this song may change that. The juxtaposition of James’s softness and Chance’s hardness, combined with the soft synths and the strong hip hop beats really creates a beautiful composition.

10. The Paris Swing Box – Parov Stelar

Most of Parov Stelar’s songs are just as upbeat and incredible as this one, so this is more or less of a placeholder for his entire repertoire. I really need to start going to parties where they play this and we swing dance, grinding and twerking is soooo overrated 😉

11. Retro City (LOUDPVCK Remix) – Adventure Club

Then again, who can’t resist some good trap. I’ve been on a huge LOUDPVCK kick – easily some of the best trap I’ve found – and I absolutely adore this Adventure Club remix.

12. Think About It (TACHES Remix) – Naughty Boy ft. Wiz Khalifa & Ella Eyre

Back to that ever lovable House + R&B combination. I literally can’t help but dance when this comes on, whether it be in my car or in art class (I may or may not have danced around the last class… oops).

13. When A Fire Starts to Burn – Disclosure

I couldn’t pick a favourite Disclosure song, so I picked this one as an example, but any song on ‘Settle’ is bound to be just as good. I unfortunately missed their show on October 26th, buuuuut it was just announced that they’ll be coming back in January! Gotta love luck.

14. Y.A.L.A. – M.I.A.

YALA has started a revolution in my life – sorry to everyone who’s talked to me in the past week, as I’ve probably said YALA at least 20 times during our conversation. The song is incredible and I am SO PUMPED for Matangi, coming out in November.

What have you been listening to?

xo, Syd

Gutai at the Guggenheim

Our art class recently went on an art trip to New York City for a few days. The trip was filled with a plethora of museum visits-my favorite of the week at the Guggenheim showcased the works of the Japanese art collective-The Gutai Group. Out of all the art exhibits I have attended, I felt that the work of the Gutai Group held the most relevance to my own personal work. The idea of rejecting overt content, and looking to the physical matter embodying a piece to form content rather than a pre conceived concept. The Gutai Group’s work concentrates heavily on reacting to the artistic context of the time-of post war. An excerpt from the Gutai’s manifesto that encompasses the relativity to my own work:

“Yet what is interesting in this respect is the novel beauty to be found in works of art and architecture of the past which have changed their appearance due to the damage of time or destruction by disasters in the course of the centuries. This is described as the beauty of decay, but is it not perhaps that beauty which material assumes when it is freed from artificial make-up and reveals its original characteristics? The fact that the ruins receive us warmly and kindly after all, and that they attract us with their cracks and flaking surfaces, could this not really be a sign of the material taking revenge, having recaptured its original life?….”

And for some of my favorites

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Oil on canvas- Jiro Yoshihara

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xx Molly

Inked

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted tattoos. There’s something so sexy and badass about having a bit of black ink peeking out from under a bra strap or at the hem of a dress. The only issue is that my personal aesthetic is constantly changing, and although it’s stabilized quite a bit this year, I’m still unsure if anything idea I have is something I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life.

Thankfully, I’ve already got my shop and artist picked out. There’s technically no legal age limit for tattoos in Canada – although good shops usually don’t work on kids under 18 – so I knew I’d probably get it while I was visiting my hometown of Vancouver, BC. After doing a bit of research, the coolest looking was easily Gastown Tattoo in – believe it or not – Gastown. Although all of the artists had amazing galleries, my favourite was definitely Arlin ffrench as his pieces have the most incredible, modern, artistic look about them. I’m still not sure if I’d want to commit myself to something as large as his specialized pieces, but here’s a collections of tattoos and designs I find beautiful and inspiring.

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The Spring In My Step

As judged by the grave lack of blog posts over the past month, it’s pretty clear that both Molly and I have been going through a bit of a rough patch. For me, the pollen count alone (it’s been in the ‘Extremely High’ category for over a week now – enough is enough!) is reason enough to do nothing besides watch TV, eat and lounge around.

Thankfully, my motivation to shop is still ever present and I’ve picked up some great new pieces to keep my spirits somewhat lifted. Although I do prefer hot weather, I find it difficult to keep my personal style intact without heavy layers and dark colours, so Spring has always been a bit difficult (I give up on fashion completely during the Summer so only Spring is relevant here). These few bits and pieces have really kept my Spring wardrobe alive, and I hope you like them as much as I do.

Drawstring Shorts

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 8.07.44 PMAs much as it kills me, my school does in fact have a dress code which I do in fact have to follow – somewhat. I’m certainly not the type of person to wear dresses everyday, and denim bermuda shorts and entirely out of the question so I’ve pretty much resorted to wearing this type of loose, drawstring short. They’re comfortable, cute, seemingly school appropriate and pretty widely available, so it’s easy to find a cut, colour, or pattern that suits you. These two pairs (both of which I own) are from Zara.

Cute Practicality 

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 8.16.11 PMBefore this god awful pollen, we had a pretty heavy rain spell so I was desperate for a more practical jacket. I do have a proper raincoat, but there’s only so many days I can wear waterproof material and still feel cute. I opted to buy this gorgeous parka/anorak/light jacket thing from Aritzia, and I’m in love. It’s super light and I bought it really oversized so I’ll be able to wear it alone in the Summer or layered up in the Autumn and Winter.

Caudalie Beauty Elixer

url-1I’m far too cheap to buy the large, $48 bottle, but this stuff is really a god send. Like I’m sure I’ve mentioned a bajillion times, my allergies leave me feeling disgusting throughout most of the Spring and this stuff is an instant perk. It smells amazing – hard to describe but definitely minty and fresh – and keeps my skin looking dewy and fresh. I like to spray it on either right after I get after the shower or after I’ve done my makeup to set everything (it works similarly to Mac’s Fix + and really helps my makeup to soak into my skin!).

Sorry for a pretty redundant post, but there really hasn’t been much keeping me inspired these days. Maybe once school settles down and Summertime rolls on in things will get a bit better.

Also – Molly and I had our Prom this past weekend! It was dumb as crap and we hated every second (we were each others dates because we hate every boy in our school) but we looked pretty damn cute if I do say so myself. Here’s a pic with our friend Blake – far left, I’m in the middle, Molly on the right.

559904_10201049532383414_1603113034_nEnjoy! Xx, Syd

 

My Few Sanities

e710701e672603a8a01256d42d74a3b0An ode to the ever present Spring Slump. Is it just me or is there a pretty tangible vibe of ‘no effort’ and ‘no motivation’ hanging in the air. Maybe it’s the pollen… Here’s a list of a few things that have kept me going the past couple weeks:

1. This J Crew Coat

jcrew.sherpa.puffer.jacket.99.99I own it in black, but I adore this cobalt colour as well. This time last year might as well have been Summer, but this year, Winter won’t GTFO. This lovely puffer is almost solely responsible for keeping me warm and sane this past few freezing days.

2. These Lululemon Leggings

url-1I’m not really one for ‘real’ clothes, so you’ll probably find me wearing these leggings at least 4 days out of the week. Transparency issues aside, Lululemon is a great brand, and their pants are both comfortable and super flattering.

3. Vice Documentaries

Sarcasm aside, I love learning. Primarily, I love learning about the seedy underbelly of the world that most mainstream media is afraid to touch. Vice isn’t, and their documentaries and short videos are well made, entertaining, and unusual. Check ’em out here. 

4. Coffee

37363890702As said by Molly, “I love coffee. But not just the coffee, but the experience of drinking coffee as a whole. Whether at a cafe or in my kitchen at home, coffee is a way to socialize, a way of conversation, a way to sit down and think”. Not much more I can say besides that, but coffee is quite literally my fuel during busy, stressful, cold, bleak, awful times. Or anytime, for that matter.

I genuinely hope your Spring is nicer than mine thus far!

xo, Syd

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Life: London

So as I briefly hinted in the last post, I spent my Spring Break in beautiful London, England, rather than the typical beach trip. I’ve always been more of a city girl (I spent 4 years in Hong Kong during primary and middle school, and been in love with the cosmopolitan ever since) so deciding on the seemingly unusual destination was a no brainer. One of my good friends has lived there for the past year, so we had a great time tromping around all corners of the city.

Being there really made me realize one thing in particular: I adore the European sensibility. I hadn’t been to Europe since my last trip to London 3 years ago, and I loved relearning the joy that comes with sitting at a corner cafe with a cigarette and a cappuccino, or having afternoon cocktails after a long day of shopping. I wasn’t entirely keen on the typical ‘tourist-y’ things, so instead we spent our days exploring luxe landmarks; Liberty, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods included. As a total clothing addict, these department stores are basically art galleries to me, and despite the fact that I’ll never be able to afford a smidgen of what I want, being surrounded by beautiful things is satisfying enough.

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Luckily for me, I did manage to pick up one thing in Selfridges. Acne has been my favourite brand for just about a year now, so it was pretty obviously my first choice when it came to getting a Prom dress. I got extremely lucky and managed to catch the new collection the day after it came out in stores, and found (what I think is) the perfect dress. It’s simple, understated, and classic, it shows off the female figure without being vulgar, and it’s something I will quite literally have for years and years and years to come.

acne - dressxo, Syd

 

For the Love of Design

This year is going to leave me at a bit of a crossroads. I have the choice to pursue either a Liberal Arts or Fine Arts education, and to be honest, I have no idea which to choose. On one hand, I want the stability and recognition that comes with a BA. I want to be able to pursue a career in business and feel just as adept as my counterparts. However, my passions simply aren’t addressed in most academic settings. I want to study colour theory and aesthetics and the history of art, fashion, even advertising. Parson’s actually offers the perfect course (Art & Design History & Theory) but I detest New York, especially if I’d be living there as a ‘just starting out’ young adult.

While I continue to ponder what to do with the rest of my life, here’s some examples of design that compels me. Welcome to the inside of my head:

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Fuller samesame
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3 Beauty Looks

Most people who know me are aware of my intense makeup and beauty fascination. Molly calls it vanity, and although I know it’s true, I like to think of it more so as an addiction to aesthetic cohesion and the need to implement design into literally every element of my life. This being said, I’ve always thought of makeup as a fun hobby, and as cheesy as it sounds, playing around with beauty products has been the greatest distraction through some of the more difficult times in my life.

Makeup is one of my favourite accessories, and I love playing around with different looks to make any outfit more fun. Here are some of my favourite looks and current beauty trends.

13 9810837288Bold Lips, Bare Eyes

I’m usually more of an eyeliner girl, but seeing pictures like these make me want to ditch the cat eye and go for a bold pop of lip color instead. I love the contrast of the stark eye with the bright lip, as it almost reminds me of a young girl trying on her mothers lipstick for the first time. The look is incredibly modern, but also reminiscent of vintage makeup looks, when the classic red lip was the main focal point.

27123891660 bold cat eye

Coloured Eyeliner

This is one trend that I myself haven’t mustered up the courage to try out. Designers have been doing it on the runway for a few years now, and each time I think about how incredible the thin sweep of bright colour looks just above the lashline. I think the easiest colour to begin the trend with would be cobalt – it’s similar enough to navy, and blue is a colour commonly worn on the eyes – but more neon shades like bright yellow and orange also look incredible if you’re brave enough to try them out.

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Bronzed Eyes

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a black cat-eyeliner girl for quite some time now, and it really took a lot for me to focus in on a bronzey eyeshadow instead. However, the end result is gorgeous, and I now reserve the look for nights out or sexier occasions (which, who am I kidding, I have none of). This gilded, brown eye is completely universal and wearable for every woman, but the look never ceases to be exciting, sexy and sultry. I personally prefer the look paired with contoured cheeks and a nude or pink lip, but any deep red or berry colour (as in the second image) works beautifully as well for the colder months or more dramatic occasions.

xo, Syd