Do you remember me? There are things I’ve been doing well lately, but blogging definitely hasn’t been one of them. I’m always trying to find better balance in juggling my multiple “hats,” but lately I got to a point of overwhelm and burn out. Mainly because I’ve been putting all of my creative eggs into one basket, which is my clothing line, HOWL Brand. I’ve been making some updates there and getting ready for this year’s fashion events. It’s been a lot of REALLY DEEP mental work regarding branding, vision, and planning that just left me depleted. I spent this past weekend way more relaxed than I usually let myself be, and all of the sudden the brain fog cleared and I saw the solution to so many problems and decisions I’ve been trying to make. I may need to evolve this corner of the internet to move with me as that continues to take up more and more time, but I’m trying to let that evolve naturally. In the meantime, I’ve pulled together some evocative images that really speak to my brain’s current state. A focused blend of exhaustion and epiphanies that, for the time being, is yielding results. Updates on everything HOWL to follow this week, so please stay tuned!
Rain gets a bad rap. It’s the weather you wait for to pass so the “good weather” can come. But I’ve always been partial to a rainy day. I love an excuse to cancel plans and curl up and watch a movie instead. And there’s no better way to fall asleep than by listening to raindrops hit the window. So while this has been the warmest and rainiest winters I can remember in my lifetime, that’s okay with me. I think rainy days are pretty darn cool. My hair, however, is telling a very different story…
Welcome back to the weekly roundup! It’s been a while since I posted my regular roundup, and I’ve missed celebrating my favorite links in style, art, design, and more from around the web. Here are some of the finds I’ve been loving lately.
1 I’m crazy about the thoughtfully-layered items in Anna Valdez’s still life paintings, especially the intricately patterned rugs. They feel so fresh and vibrant, but also homey and comfortable. (Anna Valdez) | 2 Do you like to read the original book before seeing the big screen adaptation like I do? If so, here’s a list of 10 books to read before they hit theaters in 2017. (The Everygirl)
3 These DIY rose petal bath salts seem pretty simple to make and would make seriously gorgeous gifts for your friends on Valentine’s Day. (Paper & Stitch) | 4 This Brooklyn home tour has loads of creative inspiration and organization ideas for the home that’s big on artistic vision but short on space. I’m particularly fond of this rolling rack/plant hanger/book shelf combo. (Apartment Therapy)
5 Sometimes I like to share thought-provoking videos to make you question your entire life’s philosophies. This is not one of those times. I hope you’re all okay with that situation. (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)
Greenery is in as the official Pantone Color of the Year for 2017. According to Pantone, the bright, zesty green with a hint of yellow was chosen for it’s ability to evoke spring, a fresh start, and to “revive, restore, and renew.”
Green is often considered “nature’s neutral” because of it’s abundance in our environment and omnipresence around the world. From far eastern matcha tea powders and tropical palm leaves to the grass and trees in your own back yard, it can at once bring a feeling of exoticism and comfort. A color so universal evokes a sense of both global oneness and personal vitality.
How do you feel about Greenery as the color for 2017?
For a color so universally abundant, the response has been a bit more polarizing. I’ve seen lots of comments from people, likely put off by the yellow tint, who can’t see a hue like this being incorporated into their wardrobe, decor, or day-to-day life for fear of it being unflattering. If you’re on that side of the fence, I’ll be exploring the versatility of Greenery next week with different color combinations and ideas of how to incorporate into your current style. So make sure to check that out. And if you’re already team green, here are some items to shop to kick of 2017 in Pantone-celebrated style.
Whether or not you take part in resolution-making, it’s pretty hard to deny the power of the new year for motivating change. If you caught my Resolution Blueprint post you know that this year I’m focusing less on breaking habits and more on adding one simple positive action to add growth and happiness in areas of my life that I’d like to improve. These cute-yet-powerful illustrations by NY-based artist, Jeremyville, fall right in line with that positive momentum. Started as a daily online art project, these Public Service Announcement prints aim to “explore such concepts as self empowerment, personal growth, human virtue, love, loss, and what it means to be human, through simple imagery and words.” I’m digging that. Happy 2017!
For this week’s vibes I wanted to share the work of Caris Reid, whose most recent exhibition, Time & Tide, is as meditative as it is bold. I love her use of historical symbols and iconography to express femininity and spirituality. The vibrant colors and imperfect symmetry add to the charm of her pieces.
A lot of designers are talented and make beautiful clothes, but Vivì Ponti, the genius behind the label Vivetta, goes beyond that: she makes my soul sing! Her surrealistic clothing and accessories (those collars!) seem both classic, with their clear Schiaparelli-esque style notes, and entirely modern. I mean, have you really ever seen anything like these pieces? Vivetta is fresh, dreamy, and completely inspiring. I. AM. OBSESSED!
You guys!! I got to live out one of my lifelong dreams last Sunday and I’ve been dying to share these pictures with you! I was so excited to not only get to flex my design muscles creating a Howl brand collection for Columbus’ Alternative Fashion Week, but when Shiree Houf (my co-designer on this collection) and I arrived at the venue, we found out we were closing the show! It was SUCH a cool experience!
The opportunity itself was really exciting, but I felt especially thrilled to get to share it with some super-talented family members. My li’l sis, Brooke, came along as my assistant because she’s a crafty godsend and just the best ever. I love having her at these types of things because no matter how high-stress a situation, she always keeps it cool, which is just exactly what everyone needs. Zach’s li’l sis (and my future li’l sis), Madison, was one of our models. She’s pretty new to the modeling world and it’s just been so cool to watch her grow. You can see her stomp it out for us in this video (and like her modeling page while you’re there!). Also, my brother-in-law’s sister (that’s a mouthful), Dominique, and her stylist friend, Rachel, came and rocked out our hair and makeup. Dayton-area friends, if you need a stylist, I’d definitely recommend checking these ladies out. Not only is Dominique the only person who ever gets my platinum just right, but both the girls were just a complete blast to be around! It was a sisters’ and extended-sisters’ weekend! Go team!
After a lot of fun backstage, it was time to hit the runway! We had a couple of major themes in this collection. First, and most importantly, is color! We went heavy with the white and denim, but made sure to throw in lots of pops of rainbow colors! Silver was tied through as a glam touch. Seriously, how major are those pleated pants?!
We also added lots of athletic touches, using quilted sweatshirt material and classic sporty trim. The white dress with the rainbow buttons over the sweatpants was one of my favorite looks. Paired with the silver turban, I think it gives a really great sense of the overall vibe of the collection.
We also put a lot of time and effort into hand-crafted details. In this image alone, we’ve got the sporty cropped cardigan, which was made out of hand-woven velour, a quilted vegan leather top with custom-dyed fringe over a patchwork skirt, a hand-embroidered denim top, and, while you can’t see much of it here, the white skirt and pants were painted and embellished by (you guessed it) our own (tired) hands.
Closing out the show was so cool! And I was SO proud of the models! Overall, we just wanted this collection to be a total explosion of happiness and fun, and that’s exactly how it came out! The girls danced and spun on the runway to Mika’s Grace Kelly (I could be brown, I could be blue, I could be violet sky- a perfect compliment to our rainbow collection) and it was one of the most purely happy moments of my life.
I’ve gotten many questions about purchasing pieces and the wheels are in motion! The silver turbans and some other accessories will be available VERY soon! I’m still working on the details regarding clothing production, but I hope to also have some of these pieces available in the near future. You can show support for the brand and stay up-to-date on the latest collection news by following HOWL on Instagram and Facebook!
If you keep up with the blog, you know my outside life has been a little crazy lately with design (more on that tomorrow). And because life-imitates-art-imitates-life, that’s basically the inspiration behind this month’s lists: art, design, and getting creative! I’ve got some finds I’ve been coveting lately as well as my ULTIMATE playlist. The one I put on when I want to get lost in work. First up, all the things!…
Seriously, how much fun is this list? I don’t know why I love that astronaut or those hand curtain tiebacks so much, but I do. I’m also loving the fun shapes on this Gorman necklace and Poketo planner. And don’t you love how some retro things just never go away? Case in point: Converse shoes, a forever classic. I especially love them in this photo print called Motel Pool. Plus, how great is it that mood rings are a thing again (and again and again)? I thought this one from Olivia Kane was gorgeous. And in a real twist of retro-made-new fate, is anyone else dying for a Polaroid camera, mainly to make cool photo layouts like this one for Instagram? It’s a little ironic, isn’t it? Printing photos for a digital IG image? Regardless, I’m all about it. I’m still crazy about mud cloth prints, and thought this throw was extra lovely. I’ve also been dying for a letter board for my home. The possibilities for endless amusement are just too tempting. I think I’d use mine for rotating Kanye tweets, because why the heck not? The man is a comedic goldmine. Speaking of word art, how great is this candle? It’s fig and tomato scented, which sounds so weird that I’m entirely intrigued. And lastly, have you all seen these lettering videos on IG by @kellycreates?! They put me in a trance and are major #lifegoals for me. So obviously, I’m going to need a set of brush pens, like these from Kuretake.
Now for the music! This is a snippet from my work.create playlist on Spotify and it’s what I put on ALL. THE. TIME. It’s pretty random. Some songs are new and some are old favorites. Some are slowier and moodier and some are full-on dance party songs. The only real premise for this list is that the songs have to make me feel something. I need to literally be inspired. On the full playlist, through this link, I’ve got over 70 songs and 4 1/2 hours of “get creative” music. And if you like it, let’s connect! I’d love to hear what’s on your radar!
What are some of your favorite artists to listen to for inspiration?
I have a very draining creative cycle. It basically involves having big events and deadlines, like Sunday’s runway show for Alternative Fashion Week, and working kind of obsessively for weeks, not sleeping nearly enough, you get the drill. Then the event or deadline passes and I’m in massive recovery mode for a couple of weeks, needing to catch up on rest and all the self-care that I neglected the weeks before, until the next big event or project is on the calendar and it’s back to the cycle. While I have definitely been resting up this week, I’m trying not to fall too deep into recovery mode. I instead feel like I just need more structure and balance at all times, looming deadline or not. This is the constant creative struggle for me.
I love these swimming images because they’re basically how my mind feels right now. Or, I suppose, how I aspire for my mind to feel. I’ve never been much into swimming myself, but I love how swimmers seem to have this perfect balance of zen mindlessness and focused purpose, kind of like meditation. The repetition of motion and pattern in these images is speaking to my quest for routine while the overall vibe is reminding me not to obsess or shut down, but to patiently and continuously keep pushing into the next phase. Just keep swimming.