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To Kimono, or not to kimono?

That is the question…

kimonooutfit

 

MEblackkimono

 

orangekimono

 

mekimonoblack1

Ever since I first realized that kimonos were coming into style, I was hooked. I love that they each one is so unique and colorful. They are also super comfortable and cozy, and they hide a lot well (and I can braid the fringe when I am bored). But since I turned 30, I have started to question my wardrobe choices seriously for the first time: should I wear leopard print jeans (probably not) should I wear tube tops and short skirts? How about sparkly things (I love some good sequins)? I can only be thankful for friends for being good hearted and not laughing in my face when I show up wearing azctec print, acid wash, holey jeans.

So this summer, while browsing pinterest endlessly for style tips, I started to notice that most women wearing kimonos or shawls were much younger than me. My thoughts were further confirmed when I was in Chicago during the Lollapoolza music festival. Kimonos seemed to be an essential piece of the 20 something’s summer music festival wardrobe, the other essential wardrobe piece: coochie hugging shorts and lots of under butt (Thanks Miley!).  Let’s just say I had some serious concern for the reproductive systems of these girls because it can’t be healthy to have your shorts jammed up your hoo-ha all day long! Think about your future ladies. and I realize I am dangerously close to wearing hoo ha shorts in the last picture, but I got tights and boots on and no under booty I promise!) 

I don’t say this all this to judge these young girls because heaven knows what I was doing and what I was wearing (mostly musty thrift store finds) when I was in college…I am all for being young and care free, exploring new things, expressing yourself and all those other things that come with the roller coaster ride that is the 20’s; I just have to remember that I am not in my 20’s anymore and maybe I shouldn’t be dressing like a 21 year old and making a fool out of myself.

BUT, all that being said…I like my kimonos and my shawls and won’t stop wearing them…but if I start asking you about molly, then someone needs to have a talk with me!

 

what do you guys think about kimonos? If anyone has a picture of their favorite kimono, or favorite outfit with a shawl, you can email me at forourcity@gm

Artist Spotlight: Photographer Peter Hoffman

This is a VERY long overdue post on my extremely talented friend and all around amazing person, Peter Hoffman. Pete and I go way back (all the way to high school!) and he is inspiration to me, as n artist and a human being. He was able to take his passion, photography, and turn it into a successful profession, while at the same time making a positive impact on society and shedding light on social and cultural issues. And taking some damn beautiful photographs. Thanks Pete for humoring me and answering these questions.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/short-works/fox-river-derivatives/

All photos were taken by Peter Hoffman, are his property, and can be found on his website: http://www.peterghoffman.com. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/bryan-house-/
Who are you and what do you do?
Not to be contrarian, but I see a question like this as very open to interpretation. My first instinct is to say something like “how the hell can I say who I am? and what I do? I don’t know. I try to make the world hate itself less while trying to make myself love the world more?”
Maybe you should change this to “What is your name and what is your medium?” – unless you would prefer the above answer.

I think what you’re looking for is “My name is Peter Hoffman and usually I make photographs”

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
 Describe yourself in five words:
Awake, tired, conflicted, critical optimist

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/portraits/
 Do you have a favorite piece of yours?  If so, why is it your favorite?
Not really. I haven’t made a work that I feel is successful yet. On the other hand, if I did then maybe I’d stop trying.

My favorite art that I have own are my photo books – right now I’m into Stephen Gill’s Coexistence, Julian Germain’s For Every Minute You are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness. I am itching to get Lise Sarfati’s and Vivianne Sassen’s recent books too – those ladies are super talented.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/chch-nz/

 Any tips or inspiring words for other artists?
Make it a point to get outside of your comfort zone, make the work that you NEED to make, and if you are trying to make a career of your art, well, figure out a way not to stress too much about your work once it’s out of your hands. Work your tail off but not at the expense of your important personal relationships – unless artistic success is more important to you than
not being miserable. Also, try not to let yourself get in the way of yourself and make sure you give a shit about something.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/characters-in-a-juvenile-study/

 Can we find you anywhere on the world wide web?

You can find me too many places on the web – it’s a necessary evil I’ve come to terms with because the internet essentially allows me to make my living by making photographs, and this is something I am immensely thankful for. I don’t get hired for commissions if people don’t know my work exists.
You can see me at http://www.peterghoffman.com and http://www.peterghoffman.tumblr.com and twitter @peterghoffman.
I also just had a piece published on CNN Photos so you can see me there: http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/22/aftershocks-of-the-christchurch-earthquake/

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
 What is your favorite: I don’t play favorites generally because they change so I will give you current interests

Color? Navy, Grey, Crimson
Animal? I’m just really jealous of anything that can flies so I think that’s backhanded favoritism. Let’s go with the Peregrine Falcon.
Movie? I really enjoyed Beasts of the Southern Wild this year. I have a short memory with films. Visually I thought Pi – Aronofksy’s first film was really great and Enter the Void was also a challenging film though I don’t think I’d watch it again.
Book? I read magazines a lot more. My subscription to Harper’s is valuable. Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling are examples of literature that is important to me though. I know it’s sort of cliché but I also loved Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance and think I need to reread it now that I have a bike that will need some soon, if only to get in the right mindset.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/bryan-house-/
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I like walking in empty places and taking pictures of natural and constructed chaos. I also really enjoy formal portraiture and have gotten to meet some really fascinating people this way.
In general I like the places photography brings me more than the photography itself. I’m naturally introverted so it has been a good medium to challenge my natural ways and has gotten me to live differently, and for that I am very thankful. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/
Name something you love, and why?
Some THING? 
I really like my trail running shoes, my old finicky motorcycle, my snowboard and my surfboard. All are vehicles for getting the wind to blow in my face which is one of my favorite sensations in the world.
If I am not limited to material objects then I love being in new places with wonderful people on a light whisky buzz. I love being outside in the summer with my good friends and family. I love stopping and looking at the trees and running in the woods.
Isn’t love just a substitute word for that which you can’t describe your feeling for? I just love when I feel alive. That can some at the strangest of times and be triggered by the most unexpected things. I love that I can’t explain it. 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/editorial/people-and-land-nnfpcenter-for-rural-strategies/

Name something you don’t love, and why?
Honestly, for me this is a dangerous question. I get pretty upset about the world in a myriad of different ways so I could answer this any number of ways depending on what I read in the news.
One of the core reasons I make photographs is to address things that frustrate, concern or sadden me.
And Anne Coulter. Heinous, wretched woman.
 

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself.  I think Sesame Street told me. That said, I’m really sorry that Anne Coulter feels free to be herself.

What couldn’t you do without?
Creating, and the wonderful people in my life. And almonds. And at this point probably running and crossfit.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/

 You’ve been selected to go on an all-expenses paid drinking binge with one famous artist, one famous writer, and one free choice.  Who would you choose?
We’ll go surfing in the Maledives and sip on top shelf whisky around a campfire at night.
I’ll go with Andy Goldsworthy in his prime because I want to see what he builds (he can start with the whisky earlier than the rest of us), St. Augustine because I still want to ask him about “Confessions” and my wildcard would be my girlfriend because I wouldn’t want to have a great experience like that without being able to share it with her.

http://peterghoffman.com/index.php/project/loop/

Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?
Definitely lick telephones. Joke’s on you – try to find me three public telephones anymore!

the 10 most beloved films of my childhood.

We all have those movies that shaped our childhoods. As a kid, you never care whether or not your favorite film was critically acclaimed or a box office hit, but you loved it no matter how cheesy or ridiculous it was. Here are mine:
10) The Princess Bride. (1987).
Wesley and Princess Buttercup. A rhyming Andre the Giant. Fred Savage. A love story of epically comical proportions.
Anybody want a peanut?
9) Hook. (1991)
Robin Williams in green tights and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. This movie version of the Peter Pan focuses on the “Grown up” Peter Pan. Peter has a family and a successful job and has forgotten the life he lived in Neverland until he pays a visit to his childhood home where Captain Hook seeks his revenge on Peter by kidnapping his children and forcing Peter to revisit Neverland and to remember the life he once lived. Along the way, Peter realizes how far he has come from the free-spirited Peter Pan he once was and must put his own children first before they forget him forever.
8) Fried Green Tomatoes. (1991)

A sad and depressingly beautiful movie, that despite my obvious taste for movies with lots of overacting, cartoon characters, and beautiful princesses as a child, I somehow managed to fall in love with.
7) The Never Ending Story. (1984)

A boy who gets picked on, escapes his tormenters by hiding in an attic and reading a magical book alone on a rainy night find himself drawn into the storyline. The hero gets to save the princess, while riding acorss the sky on a friendly luckdragon named Falkor, nonetheless. What kid doesn’t wish that this would happen to them? I think this movie inspired an entire generation of children to read. The story is amazing and the graphics are STILL better than alot of movies being made today.
6) Sleeping Beauty. (1959).

Does anyone else look back at some of the old classic Disney movies and notice how dark, depressing, and haunting some of them are? I mean isn’t the witch Maleficent just about the scariest villain? Her voice and laugh still gives me goosebumps. And what was with her creepy minions and that annoying pet crow; not to mention that long rod she bang on the ground all the time.

Kids these days have it easy…it’s all sparkly vampires and wizards.

But really, I think this might have been the first animated Disney movie I ever saw and definetely cemented that “prince charming” complex I suffered as a result.

I loved the three fairy godmothers: Flora, Fauna, and (especially) the chubby troublemaker, Merryweather.
(seriously how cute is she with those chubby cheeks?)
My favorite scene in the movie is when the three of them are trying to prepare a surprise 16th birthday party for Princess Aurora without the help of magic. Unsupsringly, a kerfuffle insues. Meanwhile, Princess Aurora is in the forest singing and dancing with the forest animals. Classic!
5) The Adventures of Milo and Otis. (1989).

Growing up, I had a VHS tape with Milo and Otis and Sleeping Beauty on it. I literally wore that tape out. I would watch one after the other over and over (great parenting mom and dad) and I was utterly distraught when the tape died. Thinking back on it now, it never occurred to me to ask for a new copy of my two “Cant live without” movies from my parents…but maybe by then I had moved on to greener and more musical pastures (see movie below) or maybe my parents were sick of me hogging the t.v.

That kooky cat and silly pup and there whirlwind adventures were mesmerizing to me. Plus, I remember thinking that a talking cat and dog was the most hilarious thing ever.

FYI: Recently, I was reading an article on Milo and Otis and found out that the movie was orginally japanese and the movie was re-edited with English Speaking dialog.

– also the same article said there were some serious concerns regarding the safety of the animals in the movie and that several animals died during its making. Thankfully, I only just became aware of this recently or I would have been traumatized as a child and the movie would have made a much different list. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis)
4) Little Mermaid. (1989)

It seems that alot of my favorite childhood movies involve dancing and singing. Little Mermaid is no exception. A sassy, independent, red- headed mermaid dreams of being human and falls in love with the handsome Prince Eric. With the help of a flustered and anxious fish and a possibly gay lobster with a French (or Caribbean) accent try to keep Ariel out of trouble. Also noteworthy cameo appearances by: a mentally ill seagull with hoarding tendencies, an overweight French cook with an anger problem and fat evil half octopus, half human villain.
3) What About Bob. (1991).

Still one of my favorite movies today, What About Bob is one of those rare movies from my childhood that I love more each time I watch it. Probably the only movie to make the cross over onto my “top ten movies of all time” list, What ABout Bob introduced me to Bill Murray and since then I have never looked back. (Okay, except maybe when he was the voice of Garfield a couple years ago or when he did Osmosis Jones).

What About Bob taught me some important life lessons:
– that having mental illness and phobias was cool.
– that stalking is socially acceptable.
– that keeping your pet fish in a jar around your neck is an excellent way to travel with beloved pets.
– that trying to communicate to your children with scary sock puppets that are creepy versions of yourself is not cool.
p.s. Someone please tell me where I can get that “Don’t Hassle Me, I’m a Local” t-shirt?!! (wait nevermind, just found it…here for $21.95 http://www.founditemclothing.com/t-shirts/dont-hassle-me-shirt.html …a little pricey, but I’m thinking this may make a good halloween costume)
Here is a clip of one of the many hilarious scenes:
2) Home Alone. (1990)

I never quite got over my crush on Macaulay Kulkin thanks to Home Alone. Today, whenever I see a picture of him, my heart beats a little faster and I spontaneously whisper “I love you Kevin.” I think enough time has past now that I can admit to the fact that I wrote him several fan letters and my dad got me a signed picture of Macaulay for Christmas one year.
But seriously, ever child’s dream. Being forgotten on a family vacation and having free roam of spacious house, free to do what ever you want, eat ice cream until you feel sick, watch rated R movies and sleeping in late. That is, until two menacing (but thankfully idiotic) burglars terrorize the neighborhood and Kevin somehow manages to make some of the most ingenious and painful traps that left audiences grimacing.
1) Newsies. (1992).
My love for Newsies bordered (okay still borders) on obsession. Featuring a young Christian Bale as a homeless streetwise but tenderhearted tough kid and his gang of fellow whippersnappers, selling “paps” on the streets of New York. Accompanied by some of the best choregraphed dancing sequences and heart wrenching songs.
Ask any girl born between approximately 1981 and 1992 if they have seen Newsies. The answer will most likely be “yes” and “YES.” And if it happens to be me you ask…be prepared for a ten minute choreographed rendition of the movie complete with ACCURATE lyrics and horrible leg kicks.
(And yes I still know all the words to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av77_epf3l4)