Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sound Off: Dark Girls

You know, I found this video almost literally the day before it started blowing up all over the web, and I had planned to do a big write up and explain my feelings about it. But in the long run, I don't think that a whole lot needs to be said.

The 10 minute clip of this documentary says so much on its own that I don't think that I need to add my two cents to the conversation. To me, I'm West Indian, and I'm black. The two are not mutually exclusive. And one of the things that I learnt really early on being in the US, is that the Afro-Caribbean experience is drastically different from that of the African American. 

I've never had to deal with these things. I've never even really been aware of my 'degree of blackness' as it were. But seeing this clip, and listening to these testimonials.... it breaks my heart. I almost feel guilty for not having had this experience, and for not being able to stand beside these women and say "This line of thinking is damaging to me too." And that's ridiculous, and i know it is, but I almost cannot conceive that this kind of thinking is so pervasive. I've never encountered it. And the worst part is that this self-hate is internal. It's coming from us. black men and women. no one else.

The most heart-breaking scene to me was of the little girl who had already internalized the 'white is right' attitude at such a young age. Isn't it sad that at no more that 5 years old, we've already taught her to hate herself? The two other clips that struck a cord with me were the clips of the young man saying he disliked dark girls, and the young woman saying that natural/kinky hair was nasty and disgusting. I've had my own struggles with my body image and what i thought was 'pretty'. When i was younger i wanted long blonde hair. But recently I went natural and started dreadlocks. the only regret i have is that i didn't do it sooner. Hearing someone say that; that I'm now ugly for a cosmetic choice i've made.. it troubles me.

From the looks of this clip, this documentary is going to be powerful. I cannot wait for it to premiere and I will be first in line to see it. It is shining a light on an issue that not a lot of people focus in on, sumply because they do not see it as an issue.

In the mean time I leave you with this quote from a poster on the upcoming film's facebook page

"If our beauty could be bottled and sold, it would be. Oh, wait they do sell it. Women getting injections for fuller lips, the new butt enhancing implants and risking cancer to tan skin as dark as possible. So, I am born with all that naturally and yet I am seen as less attractive than someone who buys all that? I 
thank God for making me, me." -Linda Caples

to learn more about the origins of colourism and discrimination based on skin clour, read this entry on wikipedia and then watch the documentary short below for some extra context about the same issue in other cultures.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Soundtrack Saturday: Dreams Money Can Buy

Dreams Money Can BuyI'm not sure how i've managed to go all this time without doing a Drake song for SS (and yes, i DO know that today is in fact, sunday) but I'm glad to be doing one now. my itunes is very top 40, but i do like some darker more meaningful music too. drake is one of my favourite artists and he's actually the one who made me appreciate rap music. even before i got hooked on my girl nicki.

in any case. this set is based on his recently released/leaked? song, dreams money can buy. it's a slightly different sound than his album, but it's really close to the so far gone mixtape that made me fall in love with him in the first place. this song is pretty much everything that made me love drake. it's a little more understated and it's quieter, simpler. a perfect blend of rap and R&B.

this is the kind of song that makes me just close my eyes and feel the music. i got this really strong image of just sitting on the stoop with huge retro headphones and chilling out. not that i have or have ever had a stoop to sit on... but in any case, the image made me feel that coloured denim was pretty much a necessity. after that rest of the outfit was pretty easy to come by. i had a pretty hard time deciding so i chose denim in the most fun colours, and crop tops that matched my musical personality. my favourite part though was choosing the dunks to go with everything. i've never been much of a sneaker person, but i like bright colours and being on a hip-hop team for 2 years gave me a fondness for dunks.(my favourites are the purple/black pair above the orange denim)

the headphones were of course required, and i'm DYING for a pair of beats. i'm not sure that i'm happy with the chain that i chose, but it isn't terrible, and it's not like i actually have to wear it! i chose basic silver hoops for earrings, since i didn't think anything too fancy would mesh well with crop tops and dunks... 

i AM very excited about the rings i chose however. i'm a bit a ring fiend, and the yellow gold ring is gorgeous, (which it better be at $13,000) and so are the other two rings. i especially love the 'doll' ring, because it strikes me as the perfect balance of sassy, kickass and demure :)

but what about you? how does this song translate into fashion for you? do you listen to drake? what song makes you want to sit on your stoop and just take in the music? let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cover Wars: Anna by Nikolas Ventourakis for Ozon Summer 2011

Anna by Nikolas Ventourakis

Happy 2nd Birthday inkblot*photography!

even though i'm almost a month late in doing this, i wanted to make sure that i took the time to set aside time to mention my 2nd blogaversary. yep, it's officially been two years (and one month) since i started this little doohickey, and i'm so glad that i've managed to stick with it through all this time.

i'm SO proud of what i've accomplished. i remember starting this blog freshman year at a time in my life when i really needed something to give me focus. being alone at college and feeling like you have no sense of purpose is hard (as i'm sure that anyone can attest to) and in more ways than one, this blog gave me a purpose, or at the very least something to aspire to.

there's really not much else i want to say other than thank you to all the people that have supported me in the last 2 years. thank you to my readers who keep finding a reason to come back and see what i have to offer, and to all you lovely ladies over at FBFF who've helped me discard my training wheels. it's been a great two years and i'm excited to keep going.

other than than i'd just like to take a second to mention the blog redesign. it's something i've been toying with for a while now and i've finally managed to pull the trigger. firstly, you'll notice that i've switched to  a white background. this was oddly painful for me to do since i've had a black background since this blog's inception. (my best friend once told me that smart people only write with black pens, so to this day i equate black with being taken seriously. i'm odd, i know...) the white honestly is a huge step in make the design look cleaner, wider and less cluttered. that's eye/brain trickery for you.

i've also nixed the sidebar. i really wanted to have a cleaner more simple template that was easier to navigate and less visually confusing. said sidebar is now the "footer bar"(?) or as phillyD likes to say the "pants bar". this part i'm afraid is still a little cluttered, but i've tried to organize it as logically as i can, and i'll continue to weed out unnecessary things as time goes by. i've also (finally) figured out how to put in the easy sharing buttons on each post (thanks again FBFF!) so feel free to like/tweet/tumble anything you find here that inspires you.

lastly, (there will be more on this later) i've decided to open up soundtrack saturday to any other bloggers who wish to participate. this is not an attempt to create a blogging meme or gain personal recognition. this is just me, realizing that i'm not the only blogger who is looking for a way to better integrate more of her other interests into her blog. i started SS because music is such a huge part of me and my life, and i wanted to find a way to include it in this blog in a way that didn't deviate from its intended purpose (ie. focusing in on fashion and photography) i figure that there are at least one or two other bloggers who feel the same way. fashion blogging relies so heavily on community, so creating a community is definitely something that i want to be a part of.

the details will be hashed out later, but i'm hoping to get that started soon. i hope that some of you will join me, even if it's purely out of curiosity.

Cate <3

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Soundtrack Saturday: The Edge of Glory -Lady Gaga

The Edge of Gloryagain, i've managed to go an entire month without doing an SS post and i'm bummed about it. but i'm not bummed about my song choice for this week's post. the edge of glory is my new favourite song and personal anthem. i LOVE this song in a ridiculous way. it just makes me want to get up and sing. the song is amazing and i knew it had to be next song i did for SS.

if you haven't heard the awesome sax solo at the end of the song listen to it below. the song is pretty much a power song and it has such a feeling of hope and expectation for the future.

at first i had a really hard time imagining how to translate the song into fashion, but eventually i just though about what i would be wearing if someone gave me the chance to grab a mic and perform the song in front of tons of people. i'm not sure the outfit reads well, but i'm happy with the results.

i'm not sure why, but i pictured this being performed in like an underground music bar that was grungy and dark and filled to the brim with people. in my head there's lots of head banging to the backbeat and general jamming out on stage :) lots of foot stomping and running around and interaction with the crowd. it's what it would look like if ke$ha performed a lady gaga song in a britney video. odd, i know...

but after i came up with that visual, the rest was easy. i imagined dressing ke$ha for a britney video! the crop top and suspender shorts are of the ilk, and the heeled boots are an fair compromise between ke$ha's style and gaga's. the rings are because i love rings, and i envision lots of jewellery and decoration, but my favourite part is the makeup.

i'm not sure why purple shadow comes to mind, but that plus blue liner and purple lips seems perfect in this instance. the gold polish is just a fitting tribute to the uplifting nature of the song. and who doesn't love gold polish?

i love this song and every time i hear it i want to get up and jam, imaginary mic in hand! listen to the song below, and then tell me: do you think i got the feel of the song right? how did you picture it and what would you have done differently? happy soundtrack saturday!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Run the World (Girls)

i don't have the energy to write a full review of this video, but here is an amazing one that pretty much does the trick. i like the video and i will probably love it after i've watched it a few more times. love me some beysus.

the next time someone annoys me i will respond with beyonce's high fashion epileptic fit.

Friend Friday: Blogging Pet Peeves

As you start navigating the blogging world, one of the first things you notice is how many different ways there are to go about doing the same things. It can be overwhelming for a new blogger to see how many options are available and even more difficult to figure out what is actual content and what's just bells and whistles. In the 2 years that I've been blogging, i've accumulated a vaguely abstract list of pet peeves about blogs. (as have most bloggers). Stuff like this is entirely subjective (for example, i know that some people hate my dark background) but this weeks in #FBFF, we're talking about the things that tick us off about other people's blogs; all the things that make us click away before we even manage to read anything. Here are my pet peeves:

1. Autoplay Music:
I HATE this. it's so annoying to open a webpage and suddenly have music blasting at you. it's especially annoying for me because i'm usually doing several things at once and so i have several tabs open. Now I have to go hunting for the source of justin bieber so i can eliminate it. it's highly irritating. i don't mind if you have a playlist in your sidebar that i can choose to play, but autoplay is annoying and potentially inconvenient. (What if I like to read your blog while procrastinating at work?)

2. A Cluttered Interface:
One of the disadvantages of having a dark background for me is having to deal with this a lot. The black always seem to make everything look closer together and jumbled. i've actually been experimenting with switching to a white background. This is a legitimate problem. it's confusing and distracting to the eye to feel like everything is battling for the same piece of real estate on your blog. it's important to remember that reading on the web is a whole different ball game. you have to take into account the varying sizes and brightness of other people's screens and the effective that will have on their reading experience of your blog. it's best to go with a clean simple design.
also, i know that there are professional bloggers who rely on the ads in their sidebar for revenue, but i really hate ads on blogs. like i REALLY HATE ADS ON BLOGS. the smaller ones are ok, but rows and rows of ads turn me off.

3. The Social Media Bars at the bottom of your Screen:
I'm not sure why, they just tick me off. i hate them. they're distracting.

4. If I can't find your "ABOUT" section, or said section is not adequate:
One of the first things i do when i find a new blog is read their about page. if their content grabs me, then i want to find out more about them. i want to know what inspires them to create what they do or what got them started in said interest. if you're a blogger who creates amazing fashion illustrations and uses them to make 3D sculptures (or something equally amazing) and your about page just says "I like to draw and that friday song is pretty sweet", i'm going to be annoyed. the fashion pawn has a great post on how to beef up your about page.

5. You no haz a grammar:
I'm pretty lenient about capitalization. i don't mind if you start you sentences with common letters. i DO mind if your subject and verb don't agree. i DO mind if you don't know the difference between "its" and "it's". i DO mind if you do me the disservice of forgetting to spell check. i'm not the world's best speller. (i still sound some words out every time i spell them) but i DO take the time to proofread when i'm finished. that's the difference. i can't take you seriously if you don't bother to properly articulate what you're trying to say. and yes, i am a grammar snob.

6. You don't like "U":
this is related to the last one but it really only applies to me. I learnt to spell the british way so when i see "color" and "favorite" i start to twitch.

7. You don't source your photos:
Despite my best efforts i'm still guilty of this sometimes, but i HATE when a blogger makes no effort to source photos. or ANYONE for that matter. as a photographer,and journalist, i know how important a byline is. not giving credit where it's due is pretty much punishable by death as far as i'm concerned. even a simple backlink will do. and if you're unsure if to use a photo, this should help.
(funny story: there is "lifestyle magazine" on my campus that credits all article photos to google images. i wish to smack them)

8. You think you look really great today and feel the need to prove it to me. From every angle. Several times:
I recently commented on one of Vahni's posts that i hate blogs that have a bazillion shots of the same outfit. i feel like i come across very anti-OOTD sometimes because i'm so vehement about my distaste for this trend, but the truth is, it feels like you've substituted pictures for content. so i'll say again here what i said there, "i see no problem with ‘one shot wonders’ as you call them. i’d MUCH rather see one great shot of a fantastic outfit, than 5 bazillion shots of ANYTHING."

9. All pictures and no text:
This is almost the same as the last one but not quite. it applies more to bloggers who travel a lot i suppose and post pictures of the stuff they've found. while this is well and good, 50 pictures with not text to give it context is essentially, useless. don't do it. group themed pictures together and write a little story about why these things were significant enough to post about.2-3 lines will do.

10. Unrelated and/or out of focus photographs:
REALLY? this should be a given.
in my media law class last semester we talked about a case where a girl sued because her photograph was used in a magazine about promiscuous sexual activity in teenagers. the article explicitly states (in fine print) that the photos are separate from the story. my questoion was, why the hell would you use the photos if they're unrelated? it can be hard to find pictures that are relevant for particularly obscure topics, but the internet is a vast place. keep looking. also, ifb to the rescue! keep tabs on the new ifb flickr pool. it isn't functional yet, but the aim is to help you avoid exactly this. 
also, any toddler with a P&S can take a focused picture. and that's coming from someone who hopes to make a living from taking pictures. don't sell yourself short. you don't need a fancy camera to take great shots. all you need to the know-how to operate the damn thing, and the patience to get the shot.

Head on over to Modly Chic to read her answers, join the fun and read the answers from other members of FBFF.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Editorial: Saskia de Brauw by Matthew Brookes for M Le Monde

Saskia de Brauw by Matthew Brookes

STUNNING. that's really all i can say. this editorial is mesmerizing. she has a gorgeous face.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Cover Wars: Vanessa Cruz by Nyra Lang for Deutsch #45

Vanessa Cruz by Nyra Lang

Cover Wars: Islein Steiro by Jørgen Gomnæs for Costume Norway June 2011

Islein Steiro by Jørgen Gomnæs

i don't know too much of iselin stiero's work, but i definitely love what i've seen so far. her face is stunning. i hope we see more of her soon.

Cover Wars: Hyoni Kang by Ji Yang Kim for Dazed & Confused Korea May 2011

Hyoni Kang by Ji Yang Kim

love how dark and edgy this is. captures your attention immediately.

Cover Wars: Lady Gaga by Inez & Vinoodh for V #71

Lady Gaga by Inez &Vinoodh

perfect way to start the day.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cover Wars: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott by Mert & Marcus for Industrie #3

Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott by Mert &Marcus

obsessed. my life will be made when i meet these two. i want to work for them, inhale their amazingness. ok, that's creepy, but i LAHV them.

Cover Wars: Stella Tennant for i-D Summer 2011

Stella Tennant by Daniel Jackson

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Editorial: Fernanda Tavares by Jacques Dequeker for Status

Fernanda Tavares by Jacques Dequeker

favourite editorial in a while. hands down.
it's the perfect combination of dark, dank, hardness with fashion and sex appeal.

Photojournalism in Review: Tornadoes kill Over 200 in the American South

Judy Cook, who lost her home, is comforted by Chase Soraldin in Concord, Ala. April 27 (Jeff Roberts/ Birmingham News/AP)

Saturday, 7 May 2011


everyone is all up in arms about this video.
i lahvs it.
there is no controversy here. only beauty.
that is all.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks from Donald  Glover on Vimeo.

this is the most random thing i've posted in a while, but i found it today via phillyD and i'm obsessed. i love when people surprise you. i've been watching donald glover on community since it started and i've loved him and the whole time i never knew he was into music too. the best part is that he doesn't suck! do enjoy. he's very good. slightly nsfve (virgin ears).