Thursday, May 31, 2012

♥ interview with the trendy dwarf.

i first met the talented fashion photographer/blogger michael tornato (aka the trendy dwarf)
last march when we both attended a swanky blogger event at the new louis boston.

he kindly took my photo and then we got to talking about boston blogging,
life in suburbia, and the fact that he was only in highschool! 

a  tress (trench+ dress) on the trendy dwarf
since then, i have seen michael here and there at fashion-related events in boston,
 and kept up with his blog, which has grown by leaps and bounds in a year,
but i have not gotten to talk with him at length about his progress as a 
photographer and his plans for the future.

so, here is a very selfish way of satisfying my own curiosity:
an interview with the brilliant young photog himself.

i met you ages ago at the louis boston event- is that when you first started your blog?  
-i remember the first time we met! at the back of the louis boston store for the bloggers event. that was my first ever fashion related event that i attended due to my blog. i was starting my junior year in high school when i attended the event. that is not when i started my blog. i actually started my blog during my freshman year in high school in may of 2009. due to my lack of experience and lack of knowledge as to what to do with my blog and streetstyle i tried it for a year and then gave up for a year and then picked it up about 3 months before the louis boston event and went hard with it. SO essentially i've only been blogging seriously for a little more than a year and half now.  

you are still in highschool, correct? what are your plans for college and beyond?  
-i am gladly ending the nightmare that is high school. LOL! my plans for college are to attend the Art Institute of New York for apparel design. believe it or not...i don't want to become a photographer. my passion lies in fashion design. photography is only a hobby and if someone happens to like my work and hire me as a photographer...then it is what it is. after college i plan to work on my dreams of having my own clothing brand.  

your photography appears to have become more professional- have you learned new techniques or gotten a new camera?  
-i have always been a firm believer of the idea that a good photographer doesn't need a great camera to produce great work. i'm not going to lie...a good camera certainly does help. i used to shoot with an old 9-megapixel canon powershot(a point-and-shoot camera), but i upgraded since december of last year to the 18-megapixel canon T2i with the 70-300mm sigma lens. i must say however...looking back i think that one of the biggest improvements i've made is both my ability to spot the better dressed people and my eye for photographs. i used to simply ask for a picture and take i ask for a picture and i set up the shot however i want to. i direct the person as to what i want them to do...i take more creative liberties. 

tell me all about your experience in NY with fashion week and getting up close and personal with all the fashion elite! what are they like in person??  
-my first time ever at NYFW this past season was an experience i will NEVER forget! It was so memorable and a dream come true. i have been a follower of the sartorialist and tommy ton for ages...literally. so naturally i have always looked at their pictures from all the fashion weeks around the world, especially the NYFW pictures. when i went this past february i felt like i was living in their pictures and i was able to see where they shoot their pictures. i was even able to meet both scott schuman and tommy ton and see them both in action. I was also up close with anna dello russo, susie bubble, terry richardson, and much more. i think karl edwin guerre from guerreisms was one of the coolest men i had the pleasure to meet because he was so calm and relaxed and kept the conversation going. 

what are some of your favorite posts thus far? what do you hope to do next?  
-i will give you three of my recent favorite posts: 

in terms of what i hope to do next with my blog? i hope to continue attending events/fashion weeks. posting as often as possible. i will however be changing some things of my blog...minor things BUT still important things. i also hope to grow my blogs community as much as has a great following BUT there's always room for more. 

where do you take most of your images? and when?  
-due to me living in boston most of my images are taken in boston. mainly either on newbury or boylston...that's where i do my streetstyle hunting. every now and then i will go off to the harvard square area or by the boston commons. there is never really a time i take my pictures. whenever i am in boston which means mainly before any event i am attending in boston or on saturdays. 

who do you prefer to shoot- men or women?  
-both have their pros and cons. i like shooting menswear much more because i can relate. i am all about menswear. although, men are harder to persuade to get a shot and they don't like it much so they don't give the best natural poses. women are awesome because they get into it. they are delighted to be shot for their ensemble. there are the very few that hate it and give attitude BUT for the main part...they're great sports about it. they give the best natural poses and cooperate the most when i ask them do something. 

do you typically stop the people you shoot and give them your card or click and run?? 
-i used to stop anyone just to get pictures to post. i don't do that anymore. i am very careful with who i select for the blog...not anyone can be featured on my blog anymore which was something that i used to do. i put a lot of time into curating my blog to provide the best content. SO the way i do it is if i think the ensemble is all around great i stop and ask the person. if i only like certain things about the ensemble i will only shoot those details. 

what is the "monthly muse" all about?  
-the monthly muse is basically the picture i think my readers as well as myself were most inspired by from the previous month. part of the criteria to make it on the monthly muse is that the picture must be a full body shot and not a detail shot. it's supposed to be a sort of honor to end up on the monthly muse. it is also supposed to add a bit more excitement to the blog. 

what is the most exciting thing to come of your blog thus far?? 
-the most exciting thing was being sent to NYFW by  to cover one of the shows for them. i have also been working quite a bit with jeff lahen's which is a lot of fun and an honor as well. although, i must admit that the coolest thing that happened to me because of my blog was being invited to the UGG Australia store opening on newbury street which was also being sponsored by GQ Magazine and at the end of the event I received a free pair of UGG sneakers.  

free ugg sneakers? i am totally jealous.
 of that, and michael's obvious talent.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

♥ ooh la la love.

images via keiko lynn & purseblog
i know it is blasphemous to wish for fall when we are on summer's doorstep,
but the photos from kate spade's fall 2012 collection, styled by the ever-charming
 brad goreski, have me looking forward to chillier weather and 
something colorful & quirky to wrap myself in.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

♥ see it. be it.

love these poster-sized pep talks from unraveled design.
i kind of want to wallpaper my entire closet in them!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

last night, i watched the katherine hepburn classic,
sylvia scarlett (1935) and while her performance definitely stole the show-
the opening words were the ones which stole my heart.

♥ let all thy joys be as the month of may, and all thy days be as a marriage day.

 this weekend, nicolas and i took a break from city life
and made the trip to the new york countryside to see
two of our favorite friends marry each other.

the ceremony and reception took place at the historical hotel,
the otesaga,which was as grand on the inside as it was on the outside.

dan and sarah recited their own personally-written vows, which endeared us
to all of the quirks of their darling relationship, and reminded everyone
of the everlasting companionship that marriage promises.

 since the last wedding nick and i attended was our own,
we really enjoyed being able to dress up and relax (as guests!)
with a beautiful view and even more beautiful company.

i hope your weekend was every bit as lovely. xo

Friday, May 25, 2012

♥ happy long weekend!

nick and i are leaving shortly for cooperstown, ny to celebrate
the wedding of our dear friends, dan and sarah!!

what are your plans for this glorious weekend?
have you entered my eshakti giveaway?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

♥ like it? buy it. shoplocket.

i will be introducing a new element to my blog with the help of shoplocket,
 a nifty new site that helps you sell something such as this headpiece, easily &
 efficiently without the expense and time-consuming process of setting
 up a website for the sake of just one product.

 i have often considered selling some of the much-loved vintage pieces from
my own closet, but until learning about shoplocket's prettily packaged
widgets that one may easily embed into any social medium, i figured it
was a dream that would sort itself out on a later day.

 but luckily for all of us, people like alana serendipitously present themselves
with amazing blog opportunities to test out new websites and also run into
you at the park the very next day. (yay!)

for further explanation about how shoplocket works...

shoplocket is also running a giveaway from today until may 31st.
they will be giving away a $100 credit that can be used to purchase
anything on shoplocket. since they do not have a real storefront to house
all of their available products, you can see what is for sale on their
pinterest page.

to enter, simply send a tweet that uses @shoplocket & #shopmyblog stating
what you would like to buy or sell with shoplocket.

there will only be one winner, announced on june 1st, via twitter!
good luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

♥ interview with vivienne strauss.

if you scroll through this blog even a little but, you will gather quickly that
i am quite the cat person. and so when i chanced upon the enchanting work of
self-taught artist, vivienne strauss, on the kitty artist blog we say meow,
i knew i had to contact her and learn more about lady behind such
thoughtful/colorful/wonderful works.

vivienne was lovely enough to answer a few questions for us below.
i hope you will enjoy reading her answers as much as i did.

kittens lost at sea.

i would love to know about your start as an artist. i read your bio and it says your have a philosophy degree. would you say that this plays a role in your artwork?  it definitely does, i spend entirely too much time in my head musing about certain things but don't put enough thought into real life things.   for example, one morning this past winter i was cleaning the kitchen while thinking about the painting i was working on.  i literally threw garbage in the kitchen sink and the dishes in the trash before i realized it.

tough crowd.
which medium do you prefer- painting /ink collage or embroidery? it all depends on the idea i'm trying to express as to  which medium i choose to work in.  painting is about adding to whereas collage for me is cutting away.  embroidery i like to use as a way to be more meditative, there is something soothing about pushing needle and thread through fabric that isn't found elsewhere.

what do you prefer to draw- people or animals?   that too depends on my mood, animals are easier since they won't be so critical of their portraits :)

dog days.

my favorite of your work are the kitty pieces. do you have kitties?  we have 5 cats so they always provide a lot of inspiration, some are just made up cats.  painting cats especially is a real mood lightener for me.

i have a favorite book, jenny & the cat club, that your works remind me of. have you ever heard of it?  i just looked it up, no, i hadn't heard of it until now but would love to have a copy, it looks delightful!  i'm a huge edward gorey fan so that is where a lot of my inspiration comes from. i love his dark, dry humor!

are all of the painting scenarios spun from real life or something you imagined from a book/movie?  my paintings are really all of those things, sometimes a combination of several elements of inspiration.    an example of this is the portrait i did titled "Unexpected".  i started from a 1940's found photo of a couple with a baby.  i made them look more 1960s and gave them a cat baby.  as I was working, the couple started looking too much like my husband and myself so i changed it up some more.  unbeknownst to me, the end result was a portrait that looked amazingly like the folk singers, rebecca hall and ken anderson of hungrytown. someone actually emailed asking if it was a portrait of them right afterwards.  since then i have met them via facebook and they shared some photos where in fact it did look just like them!  this is also the image that ended up being used by a real estate company in japan and can be seen on posters in public transit there. that is definitely an exciting place for my work to end up for me!  


what is the most surprising place your art work has turned up?
a few years ago, the international center of photography in NY bought several of my collages for their gift shop to coincide with a photography exhibit they had, one of those pieces was then purchased by photographer tim walker who used it for his website.  the day i received an email from tim walker asking for permission to use it was definitely a highlight!

camera man.
do you have any plans for your work coming up that I could share?   i don't have any upcoming shows at the moment but writer rebecca cox has been writing some really great short stories to pair up with a few of my paintings. you can read the first one here.

thank you, vivienne!