Thursday, May 13, 2010

what are you wearing??

What are you wearing? Where did you buy your clothes? Who made it? Do your clothes represent you accurately? Fashion touches everyone everywhere. So to meet these demands clothes are mass produced in a standard set of sizes As global trade and communication grew,  designers wanted to reach a wider audience Its seems like such a no-brainer for people to shop like this but there was a time when this wasn’t anything but. Courtier’s of the past would arrange appointments to their most exclusive clients and make clothes to their liking and fit. . With the current mass-marketing modern approach fashion has become less of a personal experience and more “expendable”.
      There was a time when fashion was handmade whether it was made at home or by a world class tailor. Ther would be private shows for only the most intimate clients, where everything was created with the highest standard. From the pre world war age came Haute Couture. Haute Couture was for the distinguished woman of class. This was where all to the influential styles of movies an royalty were created.
      “the maintenance of such a masquerade required significant organizational and creative skills from a range of employees, the test of which resided in the apparent perfect finish of the product and the effectiveness of the publicity surrounding it
      fine hand sewing, beaurocratic control, and creative vision, then, underpinned the success of a couture house”
      Fast forwarding to now, the aesthetic of making clothes are practically opposite of Haute Couture. In a world of machine manufactured goods and an ever growing population, handmade clothes are a commodity. The rise of the internet and television has caused cultural trends to spread thinly over a huge audience of people. This puts everything on high demand; including clothes.
      Luxury designers design clothes that are now considered Pret-a-Porter. Clothes are now made in standard sizes and available to everyone. This in turn makes them more “disposable”. Department stores and magazines are now encouraged to sell you a “look”, rather that help you state your own.
      “…  in recent years Seventh Avenue marketers have added another element; instant style changes… the prevailing philosophy is ‘here today gone tomorrow.”
      Fortunately the age of Couture is painted in a romantic haze by surviving old time fashion designers such as Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. So there are some creative standards that still translate into the masses; if you have the money of course. Others find their individual solace in websites like Etsy and Cut Copy where allot of independent designers and crafts people make hand made items. Even though fashion is “expendable” there are still ways of creating your own, truly, individual style.

Health Care Reform: Loss of Benefits

               The new health care reform is going to change your life. Will it be for the best? Some find that this new health reform is going to make things better and affordable. But the process of making this work is going to make things very difficult for the day to day of everyone. The private sector of medicine has been bleeding the public dry on this critically important necessity for decades and this new reform is not going to change that, especially for the self-employed.

 The United States is predominantly comprised of small business owners and entrepreneurs. For a really long time these people have been resigned to buy their own health care from private subsidiaries. With the new health care reform that will not change. It’s going to be a while before the regulations will come into effect.  The major healthcare changes wont even take place until 2014 and until then anyone with previous health problems will be rejected by the current health insurance standards. 

To top it off the government is wont take the responsibility of the reform just by themselves. Self-employed individuals are the only group that will have to pay 15 percent of their yearly income to healthcare thorough taxes on top of paying out of pocket to their health subsidiaries.  Any federal reimbursements that are in effect will freeze by 2012 to cover the government costs while the, would be, previously private sector will keep its high prices rising.
No one will have any choice in the matter, self-employed or not. The individual mandate that will be enforced will mean tax punishment if you don’t have health care. Unless your under the poverty level there is no way you can get any full coverage without having to contribute in some type of way.
The United States prides itself on the American dream of being independent and capitalistic. while pharmaceutical companies get to live the capitalistic dream of cashing on the publics need for health care the bread and butter of American society, the entrepreneurs and small businesses will continue to struggle to steak their claim in a government that doesn’t provide much benefit towards their growth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MMM Alfredo Pizza

          So, what’s for dinner? How about having a delicious chicken, veggie, or pineapple pizza, with a twist? Pizzas main ingredient does not have to be tomato sauce. Spice it up with homemade Alfredo sauce instead. By the end of this, you should be able to whip up a delicious meal for your family, friends and if your greedy enough, just for yourself.
        Alfredo pizza is not all that different from normal pizza. You will need all the usual ingredients; crust (premade or from scratch), any toppings of your choice, heavy whipping cream, kosher salt and a mix of mozzarella and asiago cheese (grated). You will be making the Alfredo from scratch. Feel free to yours your standard French cut pan or wok.
Start by heating you pan on medium heat. Pour in the heavy whipping cream and salt and constantly stir until it reduces to about one quarter of its initial amount. Now is where you throw in your toppings of choice. It could be cut up chunks of chicken, broccoli, green peppers, shrimp, tomatoes and anything else your heart desires. Continue to stir the ingredients until the cram thickens into a delicious creamy Alfredo sauce.
Once your sauce and toppings are ready pour all of it onto your premade uncooked pizza crust. Spread your toppings liberally al over the crust, leaving and inch around the perimeter uncovered. This doesn’t mean you cant have fun with the crust. Feel free to brush it with your own buttery concoction of basil, garlic and some of your favorite spices.
Now sprinkle your pizza with the mozzarella and asiago cheese and set the oven for 350-400 degrees. Once the oven is preheated bake your pizza for 20-25 minutes.
TING! Your scrumptious pizza is ready for “getting down”, chowing or “nom nomming” as some of my friends like to say. Enjoy your meal and remember, you can make any night interesting with a gourmet Alfredo pizza.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Crushing Death of Alexander McQueen

“He’s dead.” I almost dropped my phone when my long time friend, Aarron, told me the horrible news. Alexander McQueen had passed away. It seemed like a bad dream but I had to look up all the popular newspapers to see if it was true. My soul was slammed with a concrete wall of hurt and shock.  With tears running down my face, his whole career flashed before my eyes. Alexander McQueen changed the world of fashion with his work ethic, his penchant for over the top presentation and his unique concept of what was possible in making a garment. The fashion industry has suffered a huge loss with his death.  
His influence has shaped me as a fashion designer and as an artist. I, among others, could only hope to match him in concept and in practice. He refused to settle for anything less than spectacular. Often never thinking much about his own appearance he would walk out bashfully at the end of his shows in nothing but an under shirt and sewing oil stained jeans. And yet he looked nothing but glorious in everyone’s eyes including mine. The sacrifice he put into his work is the stuff of legend. His work will forever be documented and used, as an example of what fashion should be.
Never to leave anyone in disappointment, McQueen always put on a show no one would ever forget. Filled with anarchy, dark humor and larger than life stage props, his slot in London Fashion Week always pushed the meaning of what a fashion show should be. He shocked the fashion industry when he used robotic arms to spray-paint dresses on pure improvisation. And yet, the eye burning camera flashes and celebrity spectacle never outshined the exquisite quality and the world class tailoring that was always present in his work. 
Despite the fame, fortune and glamour of the fashion industry, he remained a delicate and sensitive man.  Always discreet by nature, he avoided the public eye whenever he could.  He was a family man and had very few close friends, one of them being Isabella Blow; who bought his entire graduate collection and supported him faithfully until her suicide in 2007. He was also very close to his mother who had inspired him when he was under the strict expectations of his father when he was a child.  Ms Blow’s suicide two years ago coupled with the very recent death of his mother compelled him to take his own life.  He hung himself in his London flat on the 11th of February, the night before his mother’s funeral. Philip Treacy, a close friend and regular “It’s not easy being Mr. McQueen,” he continued “We’re all human. His mum had just died. And his mum was a great supporter of his talent.”
The death of Lee Alexander McQueen has broken my heart, personally and professionally. His unconventional tactics pushed my consciousness to new levels. I hope to emulate his work through mine with his work ethic and his anything is possible attitude.