Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Close-up. An original Orlando Pita design off the John Galliano for Dior runway a few seasons ago.

If only the train of this dress had not been cut off...

So this is probably one of the coolest things I've done in NYC to date. As one of Orlando Pita's hair models, I had my unruly mane in shapes it's never dreamed of being before.

Let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Pita. Commissioned for haute couture/ready-to-wear runway shows for Valentino, Carolina Herrera and John Galliano for Dior (to name a few), Orlando is sought out for his innate ability to create pieces of art out of hair. As Gwenyth Paltrow's hair stylist, this fellow has earned the credibility to charge people an outlandish $800 per haircut for his angelic hands to touch their heads. Annnd prrraaise Jesus, angelic they are.

Now granted, this is coming from the girl who desperately misses her $2.00 haircuts in the Philippines and well, still does. I can, however, appreciate what this fellow does for the high fashion world. Just like the clothing and the make-up, the hair has to be a work of art - which is why it's awesome to be the model. You are just one giant piece of art.

I mean, I had my eyebrows glue-sticked and redrawn in the center of my forehead in a kabuki-inspired couture make-up design straight off the Dior runway. It's a wonderful teeter on that genius/insanity line and I think it's crazy cool.

P.S. - the gown is a Nicole Miller piece, which I was super happy to get to wear. I've been wearing Nicole Miller since forever and her designs always fit elegantly and flawlessly.

P.S.S. - All products used to create that masterpiece, from the Orlando's hair products to the styling tools, were by T3 Micro. I highly recommend Orlando's product line with T3 as my hair still smells and feels awesome even though I've showered multiple times (obviously) since the show.

Oh and one more thing... Good God I'd love a big tub of pasta salad right now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A lovely benefit of being in the profession that I am, is that I also get to learn and experience photography in front of the camera every now and then. My good friend and wonderful photographer/conversationalist, Luciano Fileti, was the mastermind behind this particular shoot. A brief bio:

New-York-based photographer, Luciano Fileti was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Upon receiving a degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in 1999, Fileti moved to New York where he worked as a freelance photographer for agencies including Young and Rubicam and Publicis.

In 2004, Fileti was presented with the opportunity to expand his experience with studio photography when he was offered a position as an assistant to legendary photographer Irving Penn. Fileti worked with Mr. Penn until 2007 when he returned his focus exclusively to his own commercial and artistic pursuits. He now shoots for magazines all over the U.S. and Europe, including the French edition of Vogue.

Haha, whhhattt a character that Luciano. Anywho, this shoot was of a nature that I've not ever explored before - in front, or behind the camera. It requires an unusual mix of both confidence and uncertainty to connect with the camera. The tricky part is being fully aware of every single muscle in your face and in your body (which as a standard, always applys), though without the comfort of material, you have nothing to hide behind.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you a randomly crafted and beautifully articulated train of thought, straight from the desk of Jennifer Bilec:

"So what is it. What is it about waves and waves and waves of people. Waves of people. Well, maybe not waves OF people, but more so people who mimic Mavericks. Now Aharv, this might be a bit too nostalgic for the majority and quite a bit surprising coming from my mouth. But bear with me (and tell the others to do as well). People come and go and come and go every single year, to hear the same horns the same strings the same sticks the same rolling baselines the same man's voice, a man who once sounded like a boy, but only now acts like one. But that's exactly the point of it all. You can keep growing up growing old growing stubborn growing rich growing flowers growing book shelves growing babies growing debt growing cold growing angry growing in and out of jobs marriage company cars turned into pickups into saabs into volvos into BMWs into living with your parents. There is something, though. And keep your hipster jeans and black framed glasses in the drawer just for a moment. Because for god sakes, even the infamous Kimberly Ellek* would tell you to appreciate these guys. Forget their genre, forget all things material just for another moment. Please, don't forget what fuels you of course. Whether that's Gwar or My Morning Jacket or The Frames or even NKOTB. You are what you eat, I guess. And what I consume in the summers, well, it's certainly not money and it's not a fashion trend. What I really just wanted to tell you was how elated I am that another summer season is rolling around. And again, I find myself in a bigger city with bigger things and bigger selections of bigger things. I find I'm once again sitting at a desk, dreaming dreaming like a little boy about home. What makes me smile on these awfully windy cold dirty days in Midtown is not how much art fashion music food from Cambodia Greece South Africa Shanghai is so easily accessible to me. You know what does Aharv? That no matter who you are, no matter how you get there, no matter the sun the rain, no matter what Rolling Stone tells you, no matter what your little Lower East Side blog tells you, at least once a year you can run to those open bowls of grass to hear waves upon waves of people asking you to come dance with them."

The moral of this story, folks, (not only is Jen one of the funniest/coolest people I've ever met) is surround yourself with people who know you and understand what you are trying to do in the world, because when you unexpectedly receive emails such as I did above, you realize that you truly have something cool going on, that you are having more of an impact than you thought, that you have friendship.**

Photo: Wall decorations at Duke's. Had a dinner event there and couldn't walk out of the place without a shot of the colors and the lines... and those delicious, delicious Nabisco morsels.

*Infamous Kimberly Ellek: One of the many great characters, born and bred in West Virginia, of Star Lake Ampitheatre, in humble Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.

** When asking if I could post this email, Jen said, "I would be honored, in fact. I'm the small voice, you're the big eyes." She probably should be guest-lecturing at colleges.

Monday, April 20, 2009

So as my Elephant Brunch post alluded to, I'm an eater. I'm certainly not a calorie-counter, but like author Lisa Lillien, I am ALWAYS HUNGRY.

Lisa is pretty fun, so if you get a moment, check out her blog!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You know those nights in a great, great city? Well, New Yorkers, this is for you. I may be a fairly new New Yorker in body, but in spirit, it feels like I've been here since 1944.

As I was working/recovering today, I flipped on TCM (Turner Classic Movies, for those of you that aren't familiar with my limited TV regimen) to find "How to Marry a Millionare" (1953) - a splendid little film adorned with high-waisted A-line skirts, full evening gowns, sashes, 3/4-length gloves, black patent stilletos and hats - lots of hats - and one of the greatest women to ever grace the silver screen: Ms. Lauren Bacall

This woman, not only intelligent, classy and stunning, captured and held the heart of one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and for that, I have much admiration. Anyone who is ok by Bogie, is ok by me. And she was more than ok, she was perfect. Please, please, please put the screen-version of Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not" on your bucket list. I don't care if you watch it tomorrow or in 50 years, just watch it and understand how it looks when a woman sees the soul of a man without even speaking to him and a man can know a woman's whole life by noting the way she's walked into frame.

I would love to give you their entire history (which I know, by heart, like a favorite fairytale), but I'd rather explain what Bacall has to do with a photograph of an old cash register, softly lit by tea candles taken by a wildly excited, slightly intoxicated photographer sitting in a bar on the corner of 7th and A.

Well, I guess nothing that standard logic would follow really...but as I stare at this photograph, I remember why I pulled out the camera, why this image was so important to me. A wonderful and fascinating soul owns that bar with the old cash register and he, he is nostalgic for something he's never experienced. My fascination is not about the machine, but his thought to put it there, the thought that it must be there to be his place. I know a few people like this and I cherish them more than anything, but this one in particular is special. With a leather-bound journal and a pen, which travels with him everywhere - or everywhere I've ever been with him, he's been able to master the art of being an astute observer as well as the lively participant. He literally writes his own history as he sees it. Whether he writes lyrics from it or not, it's the greatest art in its raw form.

Well, I didn't think this entry was going in this direction, but it just did. Sometimes writing is like that. Sometimes pulling out your camera at 3 a.m. is just like that. And this still is for you, New York.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Elephant Passover Brunch. Who doesn't want to see elephants chowing down on a salad bar of veggies and matzah set up on the corner of 33rd and 8th at 11:45 a.m. on day one (last Wednesday) of Passover?

If this doesn't interest you in the least, we probably aren't friends or ever going to be friends.

I also noted that elephants eat in a very similar fashion to myself. I don't know what that says about me, other than I'm a mess, but anyone who has ever eaten with me knows I look just as delighted as these gentle giants, even if there is food in my hair.

Sometimes I wish I had a trunk.

Monday, April 06, 2009

About to trot down the stairs of the Lorimer St. L/G subway station in Brooklyn, a wall mosaic to my left grabbed my attention.

Stopped me in my bloomin' tracks. Really, it was one of those lapses in time where the outrageous quantity of thoughts in your brain fools your body into believing you've been stationary for hours - that is of course until the actual split second draws you, in reverse, to the catalyst of that bomber squadron of ideas.

Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot... toe, heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, pivot, stop.

Faith and Fate. Cause and effect? One in the same? Mutually exclusive?

While blogging, by no means is the appropriate forum for this discussion, I'm going to graze the tip of the iceberg anyway, so bear with me. Let's start from the very beginning*:


Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust.

1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction ; especially : a system of religious beliefs faith>


Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin fatum, literally, what has been spoken, from neuter of fatus, past participle of fari to speak.

1: the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do : destiny2 a: an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end b: disaster ; especially : death3 a: final outcome b: the expected result of normal development.

The concept of faith is quite easy to grasp, while fate remains the more complex element. By many thinkers of the past century or two, fate is generally written off as a notion of the weak, unable to control their own lives, or as a device used to quickly rationalize error. Whether or not you take claim to that school of thought, it's interesting to reflect on such a lingual device that can be positive, negative, a dismissal** or an excuse.

**Avoiding the part of this conversation, where it would be necessary to talk about the "God" complex in which fate is dismissed in assuming that you and you alone can control everything that surrounds you, we'll just skip ahead.

But... Is fate not fate when there are other factors involved? Enter faith.

Is faith directly correlated to positive outcomes? I'm going to go with a big YES. Not always, but being the master of your fate simply means to stand firm in your character, and more importantly, to understand that character. As my dear friend Carl Jung said, "When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate." So, if you are constantly thinking and holding true to ideals, it's possible that the concept of fate as a whole either a) doesn't exist or b) is a synonym for strong faith and solid character and I, of course, tend to believe the latter.

And then, we will also skip the part where I talk about how this ties in with Jung's ever-popular concept of synchronicity as well as the visual aspect of a balancing boulder, because I know Rach doesn't want to read that much white type on black backing and quite probably, neither do you.

I shall leave you with 1) a brief description via wikipedia (quick, not credible - I know, I know) of synchronicity and 2) the final lines of The Police's "Synchronicity" in hopes the connect will already have been made to this whole conundrum without me writing it. Or maybe I'm just crazy. Both equally plausible.

1) The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined as the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships that are not causal in nature. These relationships can manifest themselves as simultaneous occurences that are meaningfully related—the cause and the effect occur together.

2)Effect without cause
Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause

*definitions taken from Merriam-Webster online (