What It Means To Be A Woman

Rachele

One woman can change the lives of many women, but it takes many women to feed the confidence and broaden the intellect of each groundbreaking woman.

It’s like the age old story of how a flower can’t grow on its own; it needs water, soil, sunlight, and then pollination of course to continue its legacy. So, women are like flowers. Beautiful, blooming flowers.

They are delicate yet strong. Unique and unpredictable. Growing and wilting with the seasons. Endless, and relentless.

There is nothing more breathtaking than a field of blossoming, florals.  They’re an army standing against nature. Feeding into one another, feeding off of one another, growing with one another.

The women in my life are the sunlight, the soil, the water I need to bloom. The women they give me the opportunity to touch are the pollination that will take my words and the words of other great women and pass them on. They criticized and empowers me to grow from a tiny little seed. Everyday they push me to develop into the most magnificent flower I can be in order to stand amongst the unstoppable field of flowers that is the women of 2017.

What does it mean to be a woman?

It means not only being the flower, but the oxygen to grow other flowers in a field we are proud to call ours.

Accepting criticism. Criticizing society. Building a better home.

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for those who are stuck

Rachele

I’m stuck. I have been for a while and if I’m being quite honest, I’m kind of over it. Everyone around me seems to have their life together you know? And I know I’m not the first person to feel like they’re the only one who doesn’t know what comes next, but when you’re the one sitting in the hot seat it sure feels like you are. I call my current state: Nick-from-New Girl-when-he-cant-finish-his-zombie-novel. So like I said I’m stuck, but I’m on a mission to find my way out.

Lately the ladies of v+v have been passing around what inspires us and what gets us in a creative state of mind in order to produce some pretty awesome content on here. This got me thinking about just a few short months ago I was spilling with ideas and new creative endeavors to pursue but time got the best of me and school, work, and other life responsibilities seem to have muffled it all.

Now here I am with what seems like no originality left. A creative rut if you will. And sure it would be easy to hop on any social media site and mildly twist a variety of content I find there and call it my own. It’s oh-so common to do so, we see it everyday. A slightly different take on something someone else has already said or written about.

I need something different. Authentic creativity. Something I thought of and something I feel confident calling my own. I am about to have a break, I feel it. I’m on the edge of a cliff and if I can find the inspiration to give me one last push, I will finally fall upon all the ideas I’ve been hiding beneath my own nose. So, an ode to my little room that is giving me the cozy space and inspiration I need to find that last push—

This one goes out to the ones who are also stuck. Don’t worry. Sit in your most creative space and just believe you will figure it out all in good time.

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books in progress

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current favorite pieces

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inspiration wall

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reflection  journal

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modern art history class books

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pinterest board favorites

poems for the people

Rachele

Rupi Kaur’s book of poetry was real, raw, and uncovered the painfully honest yet undeniably true side of poetry. My love for “Milk and Honey” and all things poetry inspired me to attempt my own version of these strategically sketched  short works of art.

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a poem for the people who were told all they are is a “pretty girl”

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a poem for the people who have felt pain you cannot see

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a poem for the people taking back themselves

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what you need, do you know I got it

Rachele

Take a breather. You deserve it! Grab your girl group, some of these summer essentials, and reward yourself for being you and making it through the first half of 2017.

denim shorts. But not your average everyday denim. Unique denim is all in right now. Fringe, frayed, ripped, embroidered, you name it and I bet you can find it.

sunhat. big, billowy, and wide brimmed. Nobody wants a sunburned face in the summer, especially with it being prime Instagram time and all the events that come with summerDSC_0413

retro sunnies. retro is back and better than ever this summer. vintage frames and bright colors are an amazing way to rock the trend in a subtle way.

high waisted swimsuits. keep the vintage vibes going with a high waisted bikini to match your sunnies. you cant go wrong this summer with popping colors and throwback patternsDSC_0408 (1)

platform sandals. of course sandals are a must in the summer, but keep your summer look interesting with a more out-there style.

polaroid camera. the best way to instantly capture your awesome summer moments with your friends. later when summer is over, they are perfect memories for hanging on your wallDSC_0409

playlist. the most important thing to to get hyped for summer is the playlist that goes along with all of your best memories.DSC_0412 (1)

un-styled and free of trend

Rachele

Trends easily define every aspect of modern life, we know that. Not just fashion but music, food, books and anything pop culture. And trends are great guides don’t get me wrong, but more and more often we are becoming defined by the trends established on the runway and in stores. The fashion world is a crazy place with overwhelming creativity and what seems like an endless supply of fresh ideas, yet these new ideas are put in boxes by people who are looking to determine their “personal style”.DSC_0649In any fashion oriented environment you can expect to be asked what your “personal style” is and to me this was one of the hardest questions to answer. For years I have been trying to label and lay out exactly what it is I like to classify myself as based on my style, but this style never really seemed like mine at all. I would look online and determine the latest trends, what’s “cool”,  what others at school were wearing, and then try to stick these qualifications along with my personal and creative outlook on fashion into a tiny box labeled something like “preppy”, “girly”, “bohemian”, “classic”, “sporty”, or “grunge”.IMG_3744The term personal style started to lose the personality when I was trying to find my niche in a predetermined look and ended up altering their interests in order to fit in. You have to be able to let go of what others are doing, even what fashion experts are doing, because in no way are other people’s choices going to help you make yours. Not to say a defined sense of style is something to avoid because if you do happen to know exactly what makes you feel powerful and confident then always go for it– as long as it’s you.DSC_0762 (1)

Time and time again I have put an item back on the rack when I absolutely adored it because it didn’t fit the style I was going for or it wasn’t on trend. And there’s no use in spending hard earned money on clothes that feel empty or useless because you bought them in a trendy, fast fashion store. Gather the things you love and take inspiration from them in order to find out who you are in your style. Step outside of the comfort of fast fashion and experience new stores or discover the timeless, recycled pieces of a thrift store.

IMG_3747After experiencing fashion abroad for three months now, where it seems as if everyone dresses for themselves and dresses to impress, I have finally gotten the boost I needed to be confident in how I portray my enthusiasm for fashion. We are not meant to be divided and limited by style stereotypes, because fashion is is a string of trends, interests, and inspirations decided by the individual. Wear what makes you feel comfortable whether it’s on trend or not. Buy what you love simply because you love it. Your style is what you make it so explore new things, be adventurous, ignore your comfort zone, and make fashion fun again because it should never be a chore if it’s something you love.DSC_0239Dress out of the ordinary and ignore the expected, because without that fashion will become everything but extraordinary.

she wore blue velvet

Rachele

Lana Del Rey is the ultimate definition of a beautifully sad yet ever enchanting celebrity and style icon, portraying her endless longing for love, fashion and beauty through her music. She has the effortless ability to bring together her outward femininity with classic Hollywood style in her own unique way. Del Rey always consistently conveys the trials, tribulations and struggles of a female growing up in a world captivated by the so-called “perfect” beauty image and ideal. Though some may view her music as controversial, she integrates topics such as fashion, beauty and the idea of outward appearance in her music to explore her own emotional response to the obligations society thrusts upon women.

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I have been following Lana Del Rey for years now, and have grown to admire the way her music makes people think and feel. She leaves messages behind in her words that are extremely influential to girls growing up and feeling exactly what she is writing about. Often her illusions and references to physical beauty encompass what someone is wearing and how make-up and nail polish equates to the way these things make them feel: empowered, strong, independent, feminine, young, carefree, girlish. Del Rey frequently mentions the color red and explores characteristics inspired by it, insisting its power inspires confidence.

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h&m tank, ovs jeans, forever21 sandals, tiffany’s necklace

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While recently wearing my favorite blue velvet tank, the first thing that came to my mind was Lana Del Rey’s rendition of the song ‘Blue Velvet’. Known for its beautiful, simple and mysterious lyrics, the infamous song was originally written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris in the 50s, and has since been covered by a multitude of talented artists. Though Blue Velvet is known for its memorable lyrical style, Del Rey has left her mark on the music industry by sharing meaningful stories and contributing to important conversations through her music. Her willingness to use her songs to discuss fashion, beauty, self-love, acceptance, coming of age etc. leaves a bold impact on those who are willing to listen and absorb the lyrics.

pretty in pink– and in every color

Rachele

My mom once told me I had an old soul, and 13-year-old me could not have hated that any more. Then, at 16 a palm reader told me the same thing. Now, 18-year-old me has  finally come to accept and embrace that part of myself. This meaning I have succumb to my nearly dangerous adoration for the traditionally romantic, resourcefully unique fashion, and the entirety of the creative era that was the ‘80s. The sheer magic that encapsulated the movie, music and fashion industry at the time has no doubt influenced and inspired the generations before it to this day.

DSC_0662 (1)DSC_0657 (1)In particular, scenes from the ever-so-classic Pretty In Pink have been inescapable. Molly Ringwald plays the remarkable Andie, who, in 96 minutes taught me exactly what I needed to hear as a millennial struggling to bear confidence and fearlessness in myself, and my style.

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u2 band tee, forever21 choker

DSC_0606 (1)Do not think you need to rely on anyone else. You are your own greatest advocate, and nobody can knock you down if you simply get back up and show them that you won’t let them.

Shamelessly express yourself through your stylistic personality. What you wear, the music that inspires you, and how you tie these together to present who you are or want to be is completely and endlessly up to you.

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forever21 palazzo pants

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Italian street market sneakers

DSC_0630 (1)Scrappiness and creativity is key to success in a generation where competition is an inevitable obstacle. Socioeconomic status says nothing about character nor does it have a hold on your ability to display your individuality through fashion. Your ability to make beautiful art out of nothing induces necessary creativity in your own style and builds confidence in your abilities to produce the amazing.Molly-Ringwald-Pretty-In-Pink-Movie-Style-1 (dragged)

You have one, single, little life to do you… so dress quirky, listen to the originals, and be unapologetically you.

I took some random pieces from my closet and put together something that, for me, was highly daring. When I bought the ever-so-bold pinstripe pants I thought “what would Andie do” and then I did it. I bought the adventurous pants and matched them harmoniously with an old U2 band tee to create something all new. Completely not my typical style choice, but it felt very right. It didn’t look like much on the hangers, but what stitched together and brought to life, this outfit made me feel creative, inventive, unstoppable.