The Cost of Fashion

When we talk about the cost of fashion, we consider the dent it has just put in our bank account, but do we really consider the real cost? I am sure most of you have heard of the inhumane ways sweat shops are run around the world and how young children are put to work to make affordable fashion items that are shipped to America. It also happens at home; just recently American Apparel was under scrutiny for hiring illegal aliens to pay less than minimum wage. Thousands of articles have been written on manufacturing conditions and how we are exploiting the poor. Children as young as 5 years old are expected to leave school in order to make $1 a week to help support their household. China is not the only country who is a participant in this high cost of fashion, others do not fall short. As Americans we are driving this economy and  sometimes unknowingly participating in these heinous crimes against our children around the world. Sure its cool to get a dress for $10 but next time take a moment to research why something costs so little and at whose expense.

The question to all of you is… why are we still buying low cost items at these discount stores? When will we realize the real ballot for what we believe comes in the form of every dollar we spend? I have nothing against a corporation making money and creating jobs but at what cost. Do you know where your clothes are coming from? I love fashion however, I will not allow my sense of dress to overshadow the urgency for change in the manufacturing industry. Alright, I am done scolding because the reality is that if you can google child labor laws around the world, minimum wages, and health conditions you will quickly see the realities. I am not here to convince you this is happening because you would have to live under a rock to not know this is real and happening right now. My only part in this is to help you see what you can do to change the world, one purchase at a time.

Here are seven tips to be a fashionista without participating in our current conspicuous consumer cycle that supports unethical practices around the world. Seven steps to help you and a child and/or his family on their way to a better life. You may be thinking well, how can my purchase make a difference. Simple, if we keep condoning this structure by funding it, will it stop on its own? Probably not! Take some time to research the products you buy. Where are they made, under what conditions and for the love of humanity who is making them?

1. Research Research Research Find out where things come from. In the age of information at the tip of your fingers, not making an effort to look 10 min. about a brand you buy constantly is plain lazy. What you are saying is, “I don’t care.” I know you care and there are great sites that break it all down for you. All you need to do is make an educated choice. You have the power to change injustice. Here is a great one to get you started:

2. Check out local garage sales
Perhaps, there is no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than at an amazing estate sale in your neighborhood. I mean forget recycling, upcycling is a term every fashionista should coin immediately (more on this later). Who know’s you just might find that perfect pair of Chanel glasses for $20 because it reminds someone else’s grandma of an old bf she rather forget. Note: You are also helping your fellow neighbor!

3. Vintage/ Consignment store
These can vary in price since mostly the owners are aware of the value of vintage items but searching is half the fun. Go ahead shop around and barter. The great thing about consignment stores, is that your outfit will always be unique and one-of-a kind!

4. Eco-luxury items
This is clothes made from organic and sustainable material. Even though it can be pricey you are technically helping the environment too. One t-shirt last forever because of how well it is made. Not to mention, most of these companies practice fair trade and human rights work ethics. The clothes are made in countries where labor is expensive, the makers receive benefits and are regulated by minimum wages and such. Basically, it brings us back to a time where hand-crafted goods were valued and you knew where your clothes came from. AUSE is my favorite organic designed and made in Paris, France line out right now. Check out their newest collection below…Pardon, the model I was the only non-model available during Paris Fashion Week! hehe These lines are becoming more and more popular and are even seen on red carpets these days. Check out:

5. Swap and up-cycling parties with friends
Let’s be real for a second, you know you want your bff closet? Well, why not swap for a week or trade garments forever. Come up with a list of friends whose closet you would love to raid and start the negotiations. For instance, one of my good friends has an amazing designer vintage collection and I have been dying to get my hands on it. Well, for two months and a dry clean bill – I too can have access to the tweed suit I have been eyeing for half a decade. Two things I would not recommend sharing. Shoes and Men. Too much trouble to get the stink away from both.

6. Thrift stores
This may be the least favorite among the “eeeewww girls” but the fact that you can find a gem for $5 kinda outweighs the chances of getting spotted at a Good Will. Truthfully, any savvy girl knows- that all that white lace shirt needs- is an eye for putting an outfit together (in a chic way-don’t go bonkers on me) and killer shoes. C’mon a thrift store is way better than funding a sweat shop. Plus, if you think about it, recycling old clothes makes us use less of scarce resources anyway.

7. Up-cycling and re-furbishing! There it is, the word every smart ecological girl should use. When you up-cycle it means you are giving new life to a garment that otherwise would be tossed as old goods. No one likes to think of their clothes as old and dingy, but today there are many professionals who are dedicated to the art form of re-furbishing. They can take any piece of clothing and see it’s beauty. Vintage fabrics are often luxury items to put aside because the structure no longer suits our contemporary needs. This is where a seamstress and a keen eye from a stylist can upcycle and refurbish any item into a fresh new couture piece that will make you not only fashionable, but socially aware and ecological.

My favorite store this season is Ause. They are located in Bastille Paris. and everything is handmade, designed and crafted in the city. Her prices run from 45 euros to 500 euros, so you are still getting ready to wear prices, without the uncertainty of it’s origins.

That’s it, now promise you will NEVER EVER buy something without reverting back to this article for guidance.
Happy thrifting.

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RED -What to eat this Summer!

A few (14) RED fruits and vegetables you should be eating and adding to any fashion trend:

REd apples
Ruby REd grapefruit

red peppers
REd onions

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Art Basel 2013


A few days ago as I was sitting patiently on location in Paris for the film Melchior, set to release sometime next year in France, I browsed my French Vogue and waited for the director to address me. Well, there it was, front and center on the coveted pages of Vogue, Art Basel Miami was here once again. I sat there silently trying not to distract myself from the 3 lines I had to utter in French for today’s scene, but I was distracted, wondering if I should fly back to Miami for Art Basel. Tracey Emin was showing at Moca! This could be an interesting study for my obsession for art and other topics brewing in my mind.

Social Studies: Art Basel Miami 2013

The Rive Droite in Paris, being my usual hangout, is filled with great exhibits all year round, but when it was time for Art Basel week in Miami, I said my au revoir and parted — off to the city of Eternal Summer.  From Georges Braque’s retrospective at the Grand Palais straight into Basel Week.


I opted for a different approach this year, since we are all evolving beings and all.  In past years, the gallerina in me would have mustered my energy to go see it all, or at least try. The problem with this approach is that you become over stimulated and cannot remember a thing after the week has passed. “Focus on one thing,” I said, “something you would really like to see (one artist? one piece?) and make it move you in an non social way.” Me, non social? This is getting awkward, I know! What I mean is, sometimes you must spend time alone with people, art, literature, etc. In Miami, we are all about socializing, but if you really want to be engaged in something you must spend quality time with it and really ask the personal questions. I feel art is this way, too. It is meant to evoke sentiments and make you feel things that you otherwise would not; meant to move something inside that every yogi wants, sincere feelings of joy, pain, fear, sadness, happiness or even weird feelings that we cannot describe. Art can transport us to all these places, and this year Tracey Emin got mostly my full attention.

Why Tracey, you ask? Living in Paris exposes me to literature that normally wouldn’t  come to mind immediately. My French family suggested that I read books like The Second Sex and When Prophecy Fails,  but I prefer New York Times best sellers like Brain on Fire. The compromise: Letters to Sartre and Tracey Emin. I don’t immediately fall in love with textual art but isn’t some of picasso’s cubist work considered textual? Well, what I learned was that textual art is not classified by its word play, but instead mode play. What do these words make you feel? I drifted around these walls searching for a piece of insight into this strange woman’s mind and wondered how it helped any of us to endure her angst. Is this what feminism was? How can my generation play catch up to this? I believe women are equals in every way, but, then again,  generation Y has two generations in between this revolution. How can we possibly decide what the continuation of this should be? Did feminists really have to become vulgar with sex to prove they are free? How is it that some feminists regard their body as sacred and in their control  while others set out to prove they are nothing but vessels to carry out  “masculine” agendas. I suppose it is hard for my generation to understand how radical women had to be, to be understood and heard.


We were born into equality with a few glitches in the system, many archaic men floating around and concerns of this glass ceiling, but I have never felt different than my peers. To be honest, in a sense perhaps my generation has regressed because it has nothing to do with what we believe but with the confusion that has been left behind about gender roles. I made my brain stop smack in the middle of the gallery where I was allowed to film. I took out my camera and, with not a soul looking, began to feel what she wanted to say. I saw her heartbreak, the people she seemed to love so intently, the lost soul seeking approval and, even more, the pain she endured for her crusade to feel loved and heard. At first, I felt sad at the thought of an adolescent girl with no one to turn to for guidance, but then I thought her art shows future lovers the sensitivity and fragility of a woman. Furthermore, the fragility of a man and a woman coming together (because men become just as attached).

We are equals, of course, but we are also different, and any man going through this experience perhaps would not be able to convey the same message of vulnerability. I think most would argue that men are sensitive and vulnerable, too. And they are, but a woman the creature of life is meant to be … well, here is where you fill in the blank. Be what you want! Tracey sure did and now she communicates the very animated but in the end extremely painful journey she took.  In conclusion the choices we make come with consequences — for both men and women. If you play with love, as beautiful as the feeling is meant to be, you will come out bruised, but if we don’t, we sit in a colorless, empty room. I would like to think that what I got from this art is not about feminism, but about humanism and how our own self-destructive actions can tear us apart only for the pieces to appear somewhat back together again at Art Basel somewhere in the world.


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Les Misérables

Advanced Screening

Les Misérables

I was lucky enough to experience an advanced screening of the film Les Misérables this Tuesday. I am a self-proclaimed musical theatre aficionado, so you can imagine the glee in my eyes this day. Opting for the handicap seat versus the press seats (a nice man in a wheel chair said I could have his seat) — since I knew I could feel in peace there and, well, I am also blind — I sat joyful with my bright blue stilettos in my handicap seat (don’t judge), after a full year of anticipation. The scoop is this movie has been under development since the 80’s, which makes me feel a little better about all those notes under my bed waiting to be a script.

Alrighty, now let’s get the critical things out of the way. Yes, the love story is not as powerful as the Broadway musical, but this is to create more drama in all the other subplots. Most songs/lyrics are shortened to fit cinema format. And there is of course Russell Crow. Oh dear! Russell Crow. How I yearned for Broadway’s stage actor, Colm Wilkinson. Some of us in the theatre even thought the story line should be immediately altered and his death should occur in the opening act. There were a few critical scenes that abruptly jolted you out of the moment because of careless editing. Nonetheless, we will let it pass because the naked eye could not possible catch them.

Enough with the crazy old lady hoopla, I will carry on with my enlightened thought. We are in an era where Marie Antoinette is glorified on film by Miss Copola and other pop culture events and yet our society yearns for basic human factors. Social erosion is here and yet our modern culture feeds it like a vulture. Saying that, I loved the adaptation as its own powerhouse for change. As a filmmaker myself, I can proclaim the social phenomenon this film had on me personally and hope it does for others as well.

I like to think we have little angels that drop into our lives from time to time. I have a French humanist one beside me every day and for the sake of keeping this article on track I will briefly detail his mark in my world. I considered myself a fun-loving Marie Antoinette idolizing American girl. “Let them eat cake,” I secretly joked, but indeed how could I know such pain and furthermore comprehend its suffering. But wait, how could my French humanist, who in actuality is a bourgeoisie himself, understand it? I imagine some people are faced with far more complex situations than they lead the world to believe. Unhappiness can happen in castles. I am also convinced some people are born with special compassionate hearts that change the world (mine has been forever altered by his beautiful view of the world).

The French Revolution brought times of uncertainty and many things sprung from this dissolution. Les Misérables was born from one man, Victor Hugo, who believed so long as the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood exist, books like his were meant to be written. He made us see the world through the eyes of a helpless mother, a lonely child and a man fighting for his redemption. Anne Hathaway, who portrays Fatine, is beyond compelling. Her scenes are few and far between but could make anyone realize the pitfalls we face that have little mercy on our lives. The struggles become her hell on earth, as we can all relate to peaks of darkness. Her scenes will win this extraordinary actor accolades, I am certain. Newcomer Samantha Barks who plays Éponine has my attention as well. Her rendition of On my own is precisely the way unrequited love should sound and look like. Bravo! What an amazing cast and director (Tom Hooper) for their outstanding take on this classic tale.

In lure of the recent tragedy in our country, we have somehow become more aware of the fragile lives of our children. Some thought the death of a child through gunfire in one scene could be considered insensitive. For me, it was the nerve that struck harshly and abruptly but nonetheless STRUCK! What was I thinking? Should the children also eat cake? How was this in any way human? Is this what the French humanist spoke of? Is this what a country went through to receive benefits for all? Death, poverty and despair had to force people to revolt in union? The film set in the 1800’s has a direct impact in our modern world — the type that can reach masses, not just the elite who can purchase their Broadway tickets or have the summer to read the many volumes of Victor Hugo’s book. Many people I know want to keep knowledge, power and wealth in “bubbles”, but in reality bubbles only create resentment.

In our short lives we see many things, but the “things” that matter the most are actually the people and the things they can teach us and make us feel. Few people experience or perhaps don’t believe in love at first glance. No, I am not necessarily speaking of the romantic fairy tale type. Yes, I love that type and when Cosette played by Amanda Seyfried says to Marius when they are apart, “Tomorrow you will be world’s away and yet with you my world has started,” I swooned like no other. The love I speak of is what Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman, feels for a little girl who is not his biological child. At first you think it is the lonely child (Cosette) who is the sole benefiter in this storyline and soon you realize it is her adoptive Papa who has lived a life of joy with this charming child by his side. His true redemption comes in the form of loving another unconditionally, a trait the French have under their hard façade innately understood over a sea of revolutions. I believe in the end Mr. Hugo said it best: “To love another is to see the face of God.” Today I ask you, take a glance where you otherwise would have looked away. See with your heart for an instance instead of our judgmental eyes and SEE the wonders that can unfold.

A very special thank you to surgeon Dr. Mecker Moller and artist Valerie Raquel Arauz for their input, love, and company.

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Cinnamon and Honey; Bet the drug companies won’t like this one getting around.

Note: Of course I recommend RAW, organic and without question FAIR TRADE honey and cinnamon!!!

Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a ‘Ram Ban’ (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effect
s for any kind of diseases.
Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply it on bread instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, when they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily (morning and night) one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain — and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses.

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from its root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘Ingredient’ which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before
breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

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Dear Yogi, WE need to find the time to Breathe

Yogi in Stilettos

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Holly 99 Cent Dreams.

1. Casting—-feature film femme fatal/2:50pm
2. Casting—-short film
Sweet and innocent/3:15pm
Los Angeles

This could work?!?!
I am a total optimist!
BTW Check out this magazine.
Sundance winner “souND of my Voice ****

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In a Yogi in Stiletto’sssss World!

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Art Rules & Rocks too.

yogi in Stilettos

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