Feliz Dia de los Muertos, babes! This is a very important day (or couple of days) wherein many cultures around the world, as the holiday’s name suggests, celebrate the memories and lives of their deceased loved ones. Specifically Mexican in origin and aesthetic, the entire world has begun to embrace this holiday for both the flamboyant and beautiful decor it is associated with, and for its festive approach to celebrating the dead.
If you grew up in a Roman Catholic household like I did, this process has nothing to do with colorful flowers and building shrines. But, shouldn’t it?
I’ve blogged about this a few times in the past, how in recent years I’ve felt closer to this idea of celebration in place of mourning (or a healthy combination of the two) when approaching the topic of death. It seems like a healthy way to process the pain of losing someone, with the potential to not only receive “closure”, but to keep the happiest memories alive, and keep your loved ones close to you.
When I imagine my own death, and the people I love remembering me, I would far prefer to see beautiful colors, flowers, candles, decor and amazing food than a somber procession of any kind. I would prefer my memorial to reflect my life in terms of festivity and beauty. That said, Dia da los Muertos makes a lot of sense to me.
With a recent death in my own family, I am ruminating over these existential, emotional concepts even more intensely.
While Pinterest boards full of girls in face paint and cookies shaped like skulls are addicting to look at, the literal, morbid interpretation of death in this holiday is something I find truly beautiful. It is quintessentially Mexican in artistic style, but massively appealing to people of all backgrounds, both visually and emotionally.
It’s like a complex rose-colored lens through which to view the final phase in life, wherein that final phase actually extends into eternity. And how beautiful is that?
Even if you don’t necessarily celebrate this holiday, I encourage you to rethink the way you deal with death (and life) in your own minds during the next 48 hours. Think about ways to reconnect with the people you’ve lost. You might just find that a kind of peace you didn’t know you were capable of achieving.
Here’s to all of your loved ones, in the waking life and afterlife. Maybe we occupy the same terrain more often than we think…?
A great song can start your whole day off on a feel-good note, or even turn a crappy day into a good one. A good playlist? Now that’s invaluable. In the fall I become a bit introspective, and spend a lot of time alone to focus on writing, designing, housekeeping, and reviewing the year that’s about to wrap up. While it’s also a great time of the year to get festive with friends, there’s nothing like spending an evening with your favorite candles burning and your favorite music playing.
I put together a few of my favorite songs for this time of the year, from gems I stumbled across recently to the tracks I’ve had on rotation for years. They’re a little bit sentimental, a little bit dramatic, and a whole lot Libra-tastic. And since it’s so close to Halloween, I’ve included one extra to make it a lucky count of 13… *wink*
The Hey Mishka Fall Playlist
Happy listening… Leave some of your favorite songs in the comments!
Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I adore the look of over-the-top, extra-glam, dripping-in-belly-dancer-coins boho decadence. Other times, I appreciate when a high impact look comes by way of a simple, elegant statement. The “less is more” aesthetic is a breath of fresh air when you’re accustomed to operating from beneath a pile of flashy textiles and stacks of arm candy.
One designer who executes this dreamy minimalist aesthetic is Karin Rae Matthee, whose most recent collection can be seen below. It’s inspired by the sensory experiences of summer, represented by palm leaves and splashes of emerald green—so soak it in and forget the weather outside.
Images via Honestly WTF.
Keep the summer spirit alive…
The Sisters on the Runway NYC show raised over 4K for the non profit Safe Horizon this past weekend (an organization that benefits victims of domestic violence, especially women and children), and I’m so proud that my little brand, ▽ BOMBAY MERMAID ▽ Trading Co, was given the honor of opening both shows on Friday and Saturday.
The goal of my design aesthetic is to infuse a little endless vacay spirit into the wardrobes and lives of anyone who wears it, and according to the feedback I received post-show, that message came across loud and clear. Some backstage snaps are below, and a bunch more can be found here.
Thanks to everyone who helped bring this collection to life, including my amazing models, Raffael Flores-Contreras (who also DJ’d the event in addition to capturing the backstage magic), Blair Morgan Reeves (who organized the whole show), and everyone who helped inspire and motivate me along the way.
After a wildly creative weekend and the showing of my second collection for Bombay Mermaid at the Sisters on the Runway fashion show, I want to share a DIY from the runway this morning!
Here’s a simple tank I layered with a sheer ombre maxi skirt for a summery resort look. This fabric was sourced from the vintage archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology. It’s wrinkle proof and super light, which means it goes into your suitcase in a snap for your mid-winter tropical getaway.
1. Draft a pattern. To keep things simple, you can lay your favorite tank down on paper, folded at center front. Trace off the front and the back, adding 1/2″ to the side seam and shoulder seam, 1″ to the hem, and 1/4″ to the neckline.
Note: Simplify it further if you have fray proof fabric and want to go for a simple raw edge (in that case, you won’t need seam allowance).
2. Pin and cut the front and back with the center front of the pattern aligned with the fold of the fabric. Your grain (the direction of the fabric) will vary depending on your print or the effect you’re going for. In general, you should lay your pattern parallel with the selvedge of the fabric.
3. Cut out multiple tanks at the same time and blow through the simple seam-sewing one after the other to get the most out of your sewing session.
4. Stitch the side and shoulder seams together. Press your seams from inside and outside the garment with an iron set to the appropriate heat level for your fabric. I ironed on a low setting for this vintage synthetic blend.
5. Try your top on and make any necessary adjustments. If you have a serger, you can serge the hem and seam allowance to prevent fraying.
Make this tank in a heavier knit or darker color and pair with a cardigan to wear during the fall (or do a tropical print like mine, and pack it for vacay).
Can you believe October is almost over? The new Libra moon really put a wild spin on my favorite month of the year.
This autumn I’ve been inspired to infuse more color, more energy, and more love into every day experiences like getting ready in the morning, making a new playlist, or rearranging my living space. I’ve also made more of an effort to share photos and ideas with my friends and readers, and document my creative process as I work toward goals that I set for myself this year. This rich version of my usual life (which I already consider pretty colorful) has allowed me to thrive through anxiety and uncertainty, And that, my dear, is invaluable.
Here’s a little peek into my daily life via Instagram, from Brooklyn street art to outfit details and… of course, pretty food. Call me cheesy, but I love instagram for letting us create little collages of our lives in a few taps of a smart phone screen.
Leave your instagram profile in the comments! I would love to see what you’ve been up to.