01 December 2015
We are waking up. As a culture, we are becoming more conscious about what we put in to our bodies; GMO labeling, organic foods, buying local, reading ingredients. We've educated ourselves about how our food is being processed and are understanding the rebounding health effects.
Most of us know our skin is our largest organ, but we may not be conscious of the toxicity in the cottons we wrap ourselves in. Cotton farming in India consumes 44.5% of the world's pesticides. Cotton is also a very thirsty crop, requiring excessive resources to grow. The process of making cotton, which is a naturally prickly fibre, into the smooth textiles you buy, requires MORE toxic chemical treatment processes.
So we turn back to Mother Nature for more sustainable answers - Bamboo!
So what are you going to do with this information? Consider how your buying power this Holiday season can effect the environment around you and put your money towards a green (and blue) future!
10 August 2015
I've abandoned this blog while designing and putting into our next range, the Zingara Gang collection (Zingara - a traveling gypsy + Gang - a Balinese word for alley) as I tried to convey the spirit of a new generation of travelers. Those who have abandoned the societal expectation of climbing the career ladder in pursuit of discovery - of the world, of themselves, of new tastes, sites, sounds, and borders. Now that production is rolling, I'm packing up my bags in Bali and looking forward to the next cataclysmic experience - reuniting with my brilliant heart tribe on the powdered sugar sands of the Playa: Black Rock City, Nevada. Burning Man, break me open, light my ego in flames, and lets dance under the stars together.
Well, this is not a style guide, or a list of gear that might actually help you physically survive. . . Sorry (not sorry). This is my humble offering of an essential guide to squeezing the juice out of the Playa's lemons.
1. A clean body: And I don't mean do a 14 day Master Cleanse and then head to the dessert! Cleanse, yes, but build strength and stamina. If you're flying in from another climate, take a couple days to acclimate, (I learned this the hard way).
2. An open mind: And I don't just mean open eyes willing to watch anything. Like an open eyed meditation, try to prepare yourself to be completely present in the NOW without trying to assimilate anything into your preconceived notions or your future goals (i.e., What would my Mom think of this?! or I'm totally going to #hastag this moment when I find cell service).
3. Full Throttle Attitude: I'm bringing my Carpe-Every-Freaking-Moment attitude, which leaves me exhauuuusted at the end of the week but with a very full heart and cheeks that hurt from smiling so much. This may not be for everyone, but I do universally recommend the practice of intentional trajectory, setting intentions. Do you want to: experiment trying on new characters? Connect deeply with new people? Follow your intuition? Find inspiring art cars and art installations? Find Peace? Get really high?! Ha! As Joseph Campbell said, "Follow Your Bliss."
4. Gifts: Gifting used to be customary in every culture when arriving to a gathering, but in my opinion the economic oppression of our capitalist societies (especially in the Western world) have stomped this custom out for most younger generations. Your gift doesn't have to be material, it could be an experience like a song, a poem, a reflection. . . the most powerful moment of last year's Burn for me was a "transmission" a young woman had for me one morning on the dancefloor. Presence can be the best present of all.
5. Things and Stuff: Oh ya... Am I supposed to be 'Fashion Blogging'? Sustainability. Sunrise to Sunset . . . to Sunrise again! (I like Organic Bamboo Cotton for the daytime to absorb sweat and stay fresh + Lambskin leather at night for a warm second skin). As if you couldn't tell. . .
02 February 2015
I was walking through Pasar Kodok, better known to Westerners as the Frog Market in Bali, the other day, one of the biggest second-hand markets I’ve ever seen. Macklemore came out on stage with a full length fur coat and sang his hit, Thrift Shop and it seems secondhand shopping became 'cool' again. Finally a pop-star singing about Re-using rather than continuing the consumerism of the fashion culture worldwide. Digging through barrels of old clothes may not be for every shopper, certainly not the ones allergic to dust or prone to heat stroke, but for the thrill-seekers there may be a slight adrenaline rush when you find that precious gem.
Ah, the rush of up-cycling! Screams my inner bohemian.
As I’m routing through bins of old motorcycle jackets, denim jeans, and flower printed dresses, I found my self slightly swooning over these well-loved pieces. Especially the leather, I held in my hands a leather jacket from 1954 and it still had the sexy leather smell and the shine of many memories well-lived. While my drive to design and create is often in conflict with my ethical conscience “Do we really need more STUFF on this planet?” – I had a righteous moment at this market. Leather IS forever! I’m holding in my hands this 61-year-old jacket that is still as good, or better in my opinion, as the day it was created. . . I see a young woman holding my pieces in her hands in some eccentric secondhand market in the future, wondering what fantastic memories took place within those seams.
This is the reason I've created Carpe Noctem with the highest quality lambskin leather, even though many business consultants have tried to convince me to use cheaper leather.
I don’t want you to buy into the insatiable culture of consumerism that screams, “More, More, More!” Instead,
I want you to have these pants, this jacket, or these gloves, forever. They will probably outlive you, and end up in a place like Bali at the Frog Market, the same way a message in a bottle washes up on the shore it was meant to all along.
29 January 2015
Following the lunar calendar, Shivaratri falls on the darkest night of the month. This is when moon is barely visible to our naked eyes. The Shivaratri festival, the Night of Shiva, celebrated in Bali on January 14 this year, is a reminder of this fact: there can be no light without darkness. Shiva, usually, and quoted mistakenly, portrayed as the god of destruction, is actually the Recycler. Shiva is the symbol of creation, new beginning, and the proclamation of the coming dawn.
-Celebrating Darkness by Anand Krishna
Our society focuses on celebrating the light more often than embracing the darkness. God is likened to light and deemed the Lucent, the Luminous, and the Radiant One. Darkness, on the other hand, has always been associated with devil, with negative power.
Yet, darkness and light are inseparable dualistic fractals of the big picture - our universe. They are balanced both in the outside world, and in the deepest seeds of our being.
The Balinese worship darkness equally as they do light because they understand that the two are complementary. Without the opposing force of darkness, we would have no awareness of the brilliance of light. Darkness is the void in which light manifests. Darkness is the rich canvass on which the flecks of light are so beautifully painted. The Balinese have been celebrating darkness for ages, for as far back in time as their history is. Darkness, to the Balinese, is not something to be dreaded.
As I ride through the busy streets of Bali towards the fiery red Bali sun setting over the sea, I contemplate how much this island reminds me of returning to the origin daily. . .
Bali has constantly sent me reminders to return to MY source. These messages from the universe often come in the form of tough lessons. Be patient with people trying to understand you, and take the time to try to understand them. Be grateful for the present moment and your health, because things can change in an instant. Be humble, because when you think you know it all, the universe will show you otherwise. Most importantly, be forgiving; to yourself, to others, to the past. At our core we are all the same, we are just doing the best we can with what we are given.
Bali has a way of testing your alignment between your beliefs and your actions. Every day encounters test you to redefine what it is that you are really made of. Do you define yourself by your possessions? If those possessions were to disappear, what do you have left? A smile, a laugh, a hope? It is in our nature to survive, so we create new ways of moving through whatever obstacle may be in our path. When the obstacles are removed, we use that same creative potential to create things that draw attention to the beauty of life. We thrive! This balance between enjoying the beauty and weathering the storm is constant throughout our lives, and what is at our core is that ability to transcend through both extreme suffering and ecstatic bliss.
I hope that as you wear Carpe Noctem you feel empowered to take on whatever this crazy experience called life throws at you. That you feel connected to the organic materials like a second skin which will protect you through your full throttle adventures. And that you remember that at your origin, you are one powerful laser beam of light!