Posts Tagged ‘arts’

Some Scrappy Artists

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023
The Lantern Bearers – Maxfield Parish

Interview my stylish and paid stylist friend with me

Hanna decided at fourteen she was going to move to the city, as long as I moved too. I noncommittally agreed. I asked her why New York, she said, “I like fashion,” and that was it, that was all the reasoning she gave. She liked fashion. Many people have the same sort of instinct, we all grow up with an abstract impression that if you like to paint, write, sew, sing, you move to a city. It’s just what you do. I was much less compelled by this instinct than Hanna, but the years went by, she applied to colleges in NYC, and I casually followed suit. 

We ended up moving to opposite ends of Manhattan and I often wondered what she was up to thirty minutes away. In high school we’d have sleepovers on Friday nights, pizza and coke cans and movies. And every Saturday at 7am sharp she was up and looking through my closet, throwing together outfit after outfit. Some days she’d try to get me to try them on, I’d groan and pull myself from the covers. Some days we compromised; she’d try on the outfits as long as I opened at least one eyeball and muttered a score 1-10. The variations of outfits often decided my wardrobe for the week. A certain black t-shirt must be worn with the medium shade of jean skirt, not the light-wash, and it must be worn with a certain undershirt that would pop perfectly out at the collarbone, and I was not allowed to wear any matte black shoes with it, only the glossy black boots, and hair accessories was a lucky privilege, I could pick those out on my own. I didn’t give a lick what I wore, but Hanna was meticulous and passionate. I imagined her having the same routine with her college roommates now and the thought made me laugh. 

Two years later and I’ve watched her go from dressing me, a lowly recipient in comparison, to being paid to dress models and red-carpet attendees. Some random weekday I’ll see her posting about styling “so and so” for “so and so’s” shoot and I’ll swipe up, amazed that said “so and so” is actually someone with millions of instagram followers, working in partnership with a big name brand. 

Here is a brief part of our interview: 

“At what point did you realize you could do something with your hobby”

“I was taking fashion classes as soon as I got to school, learning about this designer and that designer. I spent so much time engraving the names in my head and the different season collections and this and that etc… I just assumed that these people were what you aimed for in fashion school, the Madonnas of fashion. But then I was like, how the **** am I supposed to get there and what if I never do… but styling people is its own art, you are wrapping someone in your knowledge, of who made what piece, what fabric, etc, not just your own taste, that’s when I realized it was a job, because it wasn’t about what I liked, like I wasn’t just like ‘Oh I’d put her in this top because I like the pattern’, it was, ‘let’s put her in this top because it references this one 89’ Spring show, where this pattern was paired with this color and heralded in the papers as the best combo of the time, let’s reference that in a cheeky way’… that isn’t about taste, or subjectivity, it is a job”

“So it wasn’t like you got a styling job handed to you on a silver platter to decide, it just seemed like a necessary course of action?”

“Totally, I didn’t bump into Anna Wintour and have her offer me an intern position. I realized I needed to look. You can’t wait around and hope you end up at the top of your profession, you have to first realize the worth of the lower level work. Styling isn’t low-level work, but I needed to start low-level obviously, low paid, low profile jobs”

“Still though, do you think you excelled because of your previous hobby/talent?”

“Oh definitely, high school girls, minus you, are a lot harder to style than real clients. In high school when I’d dress people, you say… I don’t know, Vera Wang, and they look at you with a blank expression. My little hobby and the way I liked clothes in high school made me feel much more of a resonance with work once I did start to be surrounded by people who spoke the same language as me. It wasn’t a struggle to know fashion in a way small-town people didn’t, but here, in New York, you learn a lot really fast. Your natural inclinations and ‘talent’ are half the struggle though, they’re what keep you ‘in the game’ so to speak, they keep you going back to the struggle, they keep you interested enough to push past the imposter syndrome and critical feedback.”

Nothing will make you feel more productive than a smoothie bowl and Union Square.

Olivia Sully is a Junior studying English Literature at New York University. Olivia spends most of her school and professional life writing and reading, but she likes to decompress with her paintings. 

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Let’s Dance: Inbox full?

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

As I was procrastinating on yet another final paper, I decided to check my email to see if I had any exciting messages. While I didn’t have any messages from my professors canceling finals, I DID have a lot of emails: all about upcoming performances and arts opportunities!

As a dance major at my school, I get all the emails our department sends out – the latest company updates from around NYC, opportunities for discounted events, and most importantly, upcoming events. You don’t have to be a part of a college dance department to get these updates, however. Almost every company, dancer, singer, show, and venue has their own email blast that you can sign up for.

So if you have some extra room in your mailbox for mass emails, consider signing up for the e-newsletters of your favorite performers and venues. I’m signed up for City Center, Alvin Ailey, and the Pointe Magazine newsletters in addition to my departmental emails… and probably a few others, too.

My time’s up for finals procrastination, but I’ll be sure to let you in on a few more email secrets later. For now, I leave you with this tip: Check out the City Center website, they offer a GREAT money saving program for students called Peer 2 Peer, which is when they email you with cheap ticket opportunities from time to time. More on that later, once my theses have been turned in to full-length papers!

-Meghan Q

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Let’s Dance: Alwin Nikolais 2010: From the Horse’s Mouth

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Welcome to my section of the Campus Clipper blog: all of my posts will have the title Let’s Dance because that’s the title of my own blog that I’ll be keeping up with after this publication is done. Yes, it is a reference to David Bowie: but it’s appropriate, because I’ll be giving advice on dance performances as well as other arts and entertainment opportunities throughout the city. To start off, here’s some information on a performance I just saw!

On April 30, 2010 at the Abrons Arts Center, there was a performance celebrating the life and work of famous modern choreographer and teacher Alwin Nikolais.

According to the program,

“From The Horse’s Mouth is structured so that only four people are on stage at one time. Sitting in a chair center stage, each performer tells a brief story relevant to their past or current involvement with dance, then performs his/her own movement phrase – first in place then traveling through space, sometimes improvising with another dancer. A chance element is introduced by picking a card from a box. The card suggests how to vary the phrase. These sections are juxtaposed with stage crossings with the performers appearing in full costume. Some costumes depict a favorite dance; others represent a costume they have always wanted to wear.”

Overall, the night was intriguing to someone who has studied Nikolais technique for a year while in college – although those not familiar with his improvisational ideas and emphasis on space, time, motion, and shape may not understand some of the jokes or movement on stage.

Still, even those not familiar with Nikolais and his approach to dance were sure to have a few laughs. You did not need to know the importance of Murray Louis or the company history to appreciate many of the stories told. Several of the former (and still practicing) dancers were eccentric characters – especially Beverly Blossom, who made the audience erupt in laughter incessantly.

These experimental dance performances are a great treat – not everyone has the patience to sit through an evening-length ballet, but an event such as this often incorporates humor and movement that even a non-dancer can find amusing.

The piece also related directly back to the theater – the Abrons Arts Center was once under the direction of Nikolais, and many of the recollections were of learning and performing in the very space the audience was sitting in. It was a charming, old space. I had never been in the theater before, but it was full of character, comfortable, and seems to have a varied line-up set for the coming weeks.

To reach the Abrons Arts Center, take a bus or the F train to Delancey Street. It is a relatively short walk over to 466 Grand Street – and tickets for the events can either be bought online or at the door. Leave some spare time to get lost if you’re not familiar with the non-gridded downtown streets: I myself ran a few minutes behind schedule after taking a quick detour down a wrong street!

-Meghan Q

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