I think anytime you play with boundaries of what society views as beautiful, test the trends of time, and own your own playfulness in expression, is when you discover your own expression. Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican artist best known for her self portraits is such an inspiration for cultural and timeless beauty. Her uniqueness resonates in fashion, art and home design to this present day. Just like her paintings, her style was ahead of her time and found more appreciation in the lime light after she had past. Frida’s life was forever changed when she suffered from a bad car accident. This injury caused her to turn into isolation, being limited to her home or being bed ridden. The isolation led her to her love for painting. “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
I’ve always loved Frida’s boldness. I love how her iconic unibrow, her full bodied skirts, flower crowns, vibrant colors and corsets have always poked at what society considers beautiful or fashionable. But it her artful expression and her courage that we so mostly admire. I was excited to see Vogue Mexico create an editorial inspired by her individualism and boldness in style.
Photos via Vogue Mexico
Photo: Michael Filonow
Stylist: Lauri Eisenberg
Hair and makeup: Gianluca Mandelli.
The Kochi or Kuchi tribe is easily of my favorite tribes aesthetically. Kochi/Kuchi is a Persian word meaning migration. They are a nomadic tribe of Afghanistan traveling by camel usually grazing sheep or goats. It wasn’t until I started migrating myself that I came across their beautiful handmade jewelry. Draped with intricate bead work, heavy metal cuffs, vintage coins and beautiful embroidery. Their population is quickly diminishing and their way of life is becoming harder due to natural disasters, wars and political unrest between the borders of the middle east. Today their traditional and wearable art still has many stories to tell and many miles left to travel. We’re excited to treasure them in our shop!
India has some incredible buildings, temples, mosques, and ashrams. Above are snippets of India’s well known Taj Mahal, also known for it’s symbol of love. Incredible inspiration found on all four walls, down enchanting hallways, and immaculate ceilings that are even more incredible than any photos could convey.
I write this from an ashram in a small village of Ropa nestled in a valley of the Himalayans. I’m two weeks into my ashram life of schedule and discipline, a world most foreign to me than any place I have ever visited. A journey in itself, but one I knew I needed. I’m so used to lots of reflection time, self guided discovery, and choosing to spend every minute of my day exactly how I want, working on projects that inspire me, clients whom I adore, and waking up when I want, eating however much, whenever I want. I knew my biggest struggle would be a rigorous schedule in harmony with a community of women.
My ashram life starts each day before sunrise to a meeting in our mediation room for a sating (“to be in company of truth”) in other words to gather with others who are also on their journey of truth. We focus on raising the vibrations of the room with singing and yes dancing =) followed by a guided meditation. The rest of the day is a whirlwind consisting of yoga, teaching postures, spiritual and anatomical studies of the mind, body, and soul. Next thing I know it is lights out, as me and my 3 other roommates fall asleep with our headlamps on reading our yoga manuals.
I have never felt so connected and disconnected at the same time. Wifi is many villages away, this is the first time I have felt “far enough away” to be homesick. I never realized how something as simple as hearing a familiar voice can bring you back home, until I couldn’t.
The struggle also comes with so much growth. Everyday I work on my intention of non-attachment. My disconnection with the internet has brought me more connection with the life that surrounds me. There is so much existence and stillness. The cows that I pass along the way who’s milk calms my stomach overnight, the mountain spring that fills my water bottle with an ice cold flow of life energy. The village children who run up for hugs or give you flowers with their contagious smiles =) I have realized that just because I can’t physically tell someone I love them, doesn’t mean I can’t send them my love. So from my small little village life.. I send you my love <3
Every place we’ve been, we’ve made it our intention to listen locals perform their music. My ears fluttered to Cambodia’s music as I listened to an incredible songbird belt out traditional Khmer tunes. Danced to a reggae version of Thai music from a band in Chiang Mai, and their band name was “ChiangMaica” hahah get it? =P Now we’re in India, where their music has such a spiritual soul and traditional beats and I’m gravitated into this beautiful vortex of music and it has become the soundtrack of life lately. Hope you enjoy <3
*Photo above is a Thai man and his didgeridoo
India is a huge country with so much diversity. So many religions with “over 8 million” gods, according to a friendly local. When he asked me how long I’ll be in India for, I said, “Almost 2 months… too short for India, right?”. He replied straight-faced, “Of course, why not. A lifetime is too short to see India.”
With so many places to see, where do you begin? Charmie is stationed in the Himalayas and although I love the mountains, there’s something about desert regions that I always seem to gravitate towards. I decided to spend the next month exploring Rajasthan, a desert region in Western India that is home to the Rajputs. Rajputs are a warrior clan within the Indian caste system that claims to originate from the sun, and by looking in their eyes you would almost believe it. Almost everyone I’ve talked to and photographed so far all seem to have this mysterious haze of bloodshot. I’m not sure if it’s from the constant dust storms or the prevalent opium culture. Whatever it is I’m intrigued. I feel so incredibly grateful to be here right now. Tomorrow I head off into the desert, spending the next 3 days exploring the land by camel! : )
Discovered this beautifully and ornately decorated Dropka tribe on Before They Pass Away blog. They dwell in the the villages between India and Pakistan in the Valley of Ladakh, also known as “The Land of High Passes.” Though I will be in the Himalayans, I wish I had more time to explore India. The colors of the people in the cities, in the rural countrysides, and the tribes tucked away in their mountain villages. Their indigenous style is playful and very expressive. From the floral headpieces to the intricate jewelry, just stunning!
“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.”
― Keith Bellows