cait +tiff


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C/ TIFF IS COMING TO LA!

lady time.jpgI can’t really focus on anything today because I am so excited that Tiff lands in LA tomorrow morning! I could barely sleep last night. We are going to be very busy eating things, walking to things, looking at things, and talking about the things that we ate. There are going to be a lot of photos of tacos, and a lot of selfies in the next few days, so if you follow us on social media, get ready to be bored of us.

Mostly, I am so thrilled that Tiff is coming across the planet to see me. I miss my friend and I can’t wait to make a big embarrassing show about it at the airport in the morning.

OK SEE YOU TOMORROW! SORRY FOR THE YELLY CAPS.

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C / how not to see the superblooms

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If you live anywhere near Los Angeles, you are probably tired of hearing people talk about the superblooms. If you don’t have any idea what I am talking about, the superblooms are the wild flowers that are currently in full bloom in the California desert because of the crazy rain the state has had in the past few months. It has been potentially over-documented on social media, and there are just under fifty thousand photos with the #superbloom hashtag on Instagram. As the kids say, it’s a thing.

My LA Yoda, Lila, suggested to drive out to an area, just near Riverside to see the blooms a few Sundays ago. The adventure went as follows.

We had decided early in the week that Sunday morning would be the perfect time to head out. Most people are not early risers, so we figured we might be able to creep in before the thousands of girls in flowy dresses descended upon the fields to look just slightly away from the camera. As it turns out, we aren’t exactly morning people either, so we decided to go a little later, after coffee.

We each had coffee and around 10am, realized that we should probably go to the 11am pilates class, since we both bought the month unlimited class plan, and we are sort of losing money of we don’t go. So we went to pilates.

After toning our cores and lengthening our spines, we had to get ready, and have lunch. By about 1pm, I walked over to Lilas house, because I am always down for some lazy cardio, and figured we would get out of there by 2pm. Well, when I got there, she had the AMAZING idea of going to IKEA, since it’s on the way. It’s not everyday that someone willingly offers to take you to IKEA, so I sat on her floor with that catalog and got to circling things I cannot pronounce. We left her place about 3pm.

We decided on an hour in IKEA, which might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever typed. We spent an hour running through the showroom death maze, and then we were hungry, so we had to have dinner. Why would I even go to IKEA if I’m not having meatballs? By the time we got out of the cave of wonders, it was 6pm, I had $200 less than I came in with, and it was starting to get dark.

We checked the time of sunset, and with 30 min to spare, I drove quickly out to where ever the hell we went. The turnoff was promising, as there were tons of cars and a few ice cream trucks, preying on the weak.

We had a choice of two trails, the one that most people were walking up, or the one that you had to climb over barbed wire to get to, that had some trash on the side. Because I don’t want a bunch of randoms in the wistful photos of myself I planned on putting on the internet, we took the sketchy-looking way. This was not the right choice.

It got dark pretty quickly, and there was about as much trash as there were flowers on our special trail, so we made the best of it by using our “Instagram voices” and being idiots. We stayed for a solid 15 minutes, took some shitty photos, found the spotwhere a bunch of people had clearly laid down to selfie with six flowers, and took off when it got too dark to see anything. What a magical day, nature is truly amazing.

Here are some professional photos of the #superblooms.

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We did a terrible job seeing the super blooms, so please don’t follow my lead if you are into flowers. If you are into being an idiot on a Sunday, this is a very good game plan.

caitsig

 


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C / a little Disney magic

castle.JPGI have had “A Whole New World” stuck in my head for days. You know, super normal adult stuff.

It all started last week when a friend came to town for her birthday, and we went to see the new Beauty and the Beast, followed by a trip to Disneyland, on a Monday. It was a lot of Disney, all at once. The movie was honestly pretty fantastic, but I like Emma Watson and am super into talking appliances, so don’t trust my opinion.

At Disneyland, we went on all the fun rides, got fast passes, inhaled churros, and impatiently waited in the never-ending lines. It was so much fun. Fun is great.

I am writing about it because for a while there, I had sort of forgotten about fun. It’s not that I have been living in a deep sadness all by myself or that I don’t smile or laugh or anything, I just sort of lost track of the things that make me feel like me. It’s easy to get lost in the constant mind spaghetti of “figuring it out,” which has sort of been my life the last year. Figuring it out blows, and constantly working on myself and through issues that I don’t really want to deal with is exhausting. Disneyland snapped me out of it.

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both normal faces

I giggled. I screamed on Space Mountain and ducked on the Indiana Jones ride when it felt like there were arrows being shot out of the wall. (It’s apparently just air.) I screamed and laughed and tried really hard to keep my arms up on Thunder Mountain. I insisted we go on the Teacups, because they RULE, and I may have gone a little crazy with the spinning and made everyone sick. Sorry guys!

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Disney is problematic, obviously, especially in the 90’s when most of the movies they put out seemed to be in competition with each other for “most racist and anatomically unreasonable.” (I think Pocahontas won.) I will forever have bizarrely unrealistic expectations for love and cleavage, but those stories are a part of my childhood, and screaming my face off on rides inspired by them was the most fun I have had in a long time.

So thanks for that, Disneyland, and the rest of the Disney movies I have seen this week. It doesn’t matter what they are, mind your business.

PS, I am really proud of myself for not using the phrase “inner child” once in this post.

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C / two things I learned yesterday

I have been taking meditation classes for the past few months. It’s been helpful to have a class every week that helps me be less of a spaz while I am going through a bunch of transitions in life. (Note: transitions take a damn long time.) I am taking a mindfulness series at The Den, which is a little haven of beautiful things and nice people, right near Mood fabrics on LaBrea. The class is taught by Heather Prete, who is the kind of wonderful that people pretend to be. If she started a cult, I would be first in line to drink the Koolaid.

Anyway, the classes are wonderful, and though I rarely feel like I am “doing it right” I am loving it, and the practice has brought a lot of good stuff into my bouncy brain. We just started a new series last night, and the class focus was on equanimity.

I am going to be honest here, I didn’t really know what equanimity was until last night. It’s basically the ability to keep a balanced state of mind, despite the conditions around you. You are able to accept what is, but not in a way that you ignore it, or avoid it. You can still have a discerning mind, and have opinions on the issue at hand, but you keep it together. It’s the ability to accept the situation without adding more layers of stress to it. This definition is clearly from my class notes.

This is kind of a hard one for me, because I love to judge my judgements, and I pile all kinds of stuff on top of seemingly simple issues. It’s my favorite. During the class, Heather said something that really works for me.

“Everything is perfect, just as it is, and it could use a lot of improvement.”

This was said by someone, whose name I forgot to write down.
I constantly feel like I am behind on my life. Switching careers in your 30’s is not a great way to feel “caught up.” When I think about it, and I am feeling rational, I know that there is nothing to catch up on, and there is no place that I am “supposed” to be. When I am NOT feeling logical, I compare myself to others, feel like I have wasted my life making other people happy and now I am looking for work at 33 and everyone else is like 5 and went to art school and is better than me and they have a thigh gap and I maybe this haircut wasn’t the best idea and how the hell do you write a cover letter and this is what a spiral looks like. Ta-da!
I like this quote because its a linear way of resetting my brain, that I am where I am supposed to be, that I am not running late on my life, that I’m not doing it wrong.
The other thing that was said that really stuck with me was this:

“When we lose our equanimity and become deregulated, it means something needs attention.”
Heather said this, and it’s basically a way of saying “THANK YOU,  FOR THE POWER TO LOSE MY SHIT.” That’s how I took it, at least. When we become deregulated and feel overwhelmed, it’s our brain poking us in the face and saying “Hey, dummy. Stop it, I don’t like that.” Then your balanced, chill brain can be like “Oh hi, spaz brain, I see you there. I smell what you are stepping in, and I am going to take care of it.” So while I can try to stay equanimous (new word, 5 points!), listening to how you feel is also super important and your emotions are sort of a warning system for physical or emotional danger.
I am not totally sure if that all made sense or not, but it was super helpful to me.
Love, California Cait, who has totally buried herself in every cliché and is going to do pilates and drink green juice now. Maybe yoga later, who knows?
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C / Wonder Woman

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When I was in 7th grade, I went to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm with the school band. Between pretending to practice my trumpet, and figuring out how much gummy candy and churros I could buy with my weekend stipend, I looked for cool key chains. I know, you are sitting there like “Cait, stop bragging about how cool you used to be!” Sorry, I don’t mean to look down on you so obviously.

Anyway, while I was there, I DID find a cool keychain that reminded me of my mom. She has always been one of the people in my life that can seemingly do anything, so I picked up the Wonder Woman keychain and brought it back to Tucson with me. I was super proud to give my mom a present, because when you are 12, it’s hard to be not poor, and cool moms deserve cool keychains.

Fast forward 20-ish years, and I am going to Disneyland next week, and watching the trailer for the Wonder Woman movie, and completely psyched for it. The movie looks stunning and empowering and feminist and all kinds of badass. I’m excited.

This all proves that nothing really changes, my mom is still awesome, I am still a band nerd on the inside, and this lady is getting ready to go nuts on churros. #deepthoughts

Cover photo

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C / LA top 5 for February

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Photo by Barry Feinstein 

When I moved to LA, I promised myself I would take advantage of all the cool stuff it has to offer. I was going to go see art, go to live music, and really get involved in the neighborhood. Instead, I know a lot about Netflix and have really enjoyed the view of the park from my window.

In an effort to get out of this ridiculous, wasteful rut, I have signed up for yoga, become a member at a museum, and I am making friends with the nice ladies at the juice shop. I am starting to carve out my little life here, and it’s important to me that this little life is filled with the things that I was (constantly) complaining about missing in Cambodia.

My favorite things in February are:

  1. The basics class at Urth Yoga, with Ivette. I love yoga, and have been doing it pretty regularly since college. This class has me making my schedule around it, because of the amazing teacher. For each class, there is a specific message/intention/vibe that she focuses on, and weaves in throughout the practice. It ends up feeling a little bit like stretchy therapy.
  2. Cool Haus ice cream sandwiches. You know when people find out about something delicious but unhealthy, and then they say they wish they didn’t know about it? That does not apply here. These are so delicious, and make me so happy, that the endorphins released into my body while I am eating them, actually sword fight the sugar, fat, and whatever else makes these little bitches so amazing. It also happens to be a woman-owned company and they started their empire out of a truck.
  3. Echo Park lake. Every third photo on my phone is of the lake. I spend most of my mornings walking around it, and trying to figure out which dogs I want to steal legally adopt in the future. It’s full of every kind of person, and at night the taco trucks a vendors line the park and the whole neighborhood shows up.
  4. LACMA. I have a membership here (super cool holiday gift) and I have been trying to go as often as possible. It’s a massive space, with a number of different building and all kinds of art. They rotate the exhibitions pretty regularly, and recently took down the “spaghetti” which is actually the Jesús Rafael Soto piece,”Penetrable.” When they were taking it down last week, they gave pieces of the spaghetti away, and I got one! Now I have a dirty yellow tube in my kitchen, and it counts as art.
  5. The Den MeditationSo, I have never been able to meditate, and I don’t think I have ever really been in the place to try. When I arrived in LA, my brain was the equivalent of emotional scrambled eggs. There has been a lot going on in my brain and heart, and when these classes were suggested to me, I was like, “okay, hippie.” But then I started going, and it turns out, carving out time to be kind to yourself and fully address things that stress you out, is healthy. I am doing classes on mindfulness and self compassion and it feels pretty good to be slightly less of an asshole to myself. Who knew?

So that’s my top five for the month. Because I am such a newb in town, I wouldn’t dream of doing a city guide or anything like that. But I will be doing this little top 5 every month to share what is going on in my world.

Big hugs!

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C / a year ago

show

A year ago today, I was in a car with my parents on the way to Kep. I was exhausted, because the day before, I had put on my first fashion show.

I think it took me a while after the show to figure out how I felt. I know this, because people kept asking me, and I would just stare into the distance and say “good, really good.” Lies. Nothing profound came to me because it was the beginning, and no one ever realizes what is happening at the beginning.

I do, however, remember everything that went wrong with the show. Every stupid detail.

  • One of the models didn’t even walk because the dress was re-fitted too many times and I tried to save it but I couldn’t.
  • A few of the dresses that were dyed turned out too light, and I hated the sad-lavender color that I couldn’t change.
  • One of the dresses ripped before the show.
  • The makeup took longer than we thought so we didn’t have time for a proper run-through before the show and no one got touch-ups before walking.
  • I really wanted all the models to be comfortable so I ended up designing things more for them and less for me.
  • One of the shirts was made with a neckline so small, the model had to take out her hair, that had just been done, and wiggle her way into it.
  • There weren’t enough drink tickets.
  • At one point, the damn DJ came down to the runway DURING the show to take photos for himself, and missed the cue for the finale. He only came back up to his booth after seeing my head explode with expletives. He had one job. One. Job.
  • I said bad words really loudly.
  • I wanted to include more people but I was worried that the venue was too small so I had to say no to people when they wanted to come support me.

I remember being sweaty, and chugging champagne, hoping it would take hold of my brain, or at least take care of the nerves. I remember being mad at the champagne when it did neither. One of my lovely model/friends did a little toast for me before the show, and it was probably very sweet. I, of course, don’t remember anything she said, because I was SO not in the moment and instead, running through all the scenarios where everything went wrong and someone caught on fire and died and everyone hated the clothes and Anna Wintour was there and said “you will NEVER make it in fashion” in front of all of my friends who by then, of course, hated me. None of those things happened, but welcome to how anxiety feels.

The entire night I felt an inch away from tears, and it was exhausting. Fashion is so glamorous.

I did cry when my dad gave a speech at the end of the show, in front of everyone. It was a happy cry, and my heart still fills up when I think of it. I cried when I saw Tiff walk, because she was the person that pushed me into designing, and had an incredible amount of faith in me when I deserved none of it. I also cried when my mom walked, because it was my MOM and she was walking in my fashion show and how do you not cry? And…I might be crying now, whatever. Mind your business.

In any case, I really didn’t enjoy the show. But I am SO glad I did it. I was scared of it and had no idea what the power of vulnerability would do for me. Putting things out into the world to be judged has never been something I am comfortable with. I even tried to bribe my high school english teacher with two papers, so I wouldn’t have to present in front of the class. When we started the blog, I would tear through every piece I put up, scared that someone might see it and scoff. I’m sure that happens, it just doesn’t actually matter. But I would have never gotten to the place I am now, on my couch in LA, if I hadn’t done the show. The show made me a designer, for real. I designed a collection, my friends walked a runway lined with fake candles, and we had photoshoots and made a damn look book. How legit is a look book? So legit.

So I am thankful for the whole experience of the show. Would I change things? Of course, there was no world where I was going to walk out of the door and make it perfect. But it’s a place to grow from, and I like my cozy little starting point. It was kind, full of people I love, and I got free french fries afterwords. Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be perfect. I can’t handle the pressure of constantly creating perfection, I’m not Adele.

If you want to see photos from the show, they are here, here, and here. I will always be grateful that my messy little show was full of so many incredible ladies. Thanks, guys.

caitsig

 

 

 


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C / busy head

I can’t seem to write a damn thing today. I started a piece about how I look for inspiration in other people’s work, and how fun it can be to cruise through Moda Operandi and pretend I have 4k to drop on a dress. Then I started a piece on how dance had been an amazing source of power and beauty for me this week. I was excited to write it and then realized I had nothing real to say about it. I just like it.

I have felt that way a lot in the last few weeks. I can’t decide on a photo to use for a header, I can’t decided how to arrange things in my apartment, and I can’t decide what to do for the next 10 minutes. I have started writing again, after not doing so for about a month, and that has given a bit of clarity to my days, but I’m out of my groove, and trying to wiggle my way back in. I’m sure a lot has to do with still settling into a new place, job stuff changing and feeling out a new life, but the incredible lack of structure in my life right now is turning out to be more frustrating than liberating.

So I decided to add more structure, and signed up for over-priced pilates classes that will make me feel bad if I don’t go. Hoping that works.

Open to ideas if you have them, have a good weekend x
caitsig


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C / art helps

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Look who’s blogging again. I took a break because I really needed it, and now I’m back.

For a while there, I couldn’t think of anything real to say. This is technically a design/fashion/storytelling blog, and the only thing coming from my brain the last few weeks was a string of expletives and blank stares. It’s hard for me to talk about fashion and design thingies when I am worried about the absurd and hateful things happening in my country.

I went to The Broad museum this morning to look at art and get inspired. I also really wanted to take a photo in the Infinity room I had heard so much about. I showed up a few minutes late, got in the wrong line, and my outfit wasn’t cool enough. The cattle herders outside took pity on my confused face and let me in anyway.

When you go into the Broad, it feels like you are going into a giant, square, alien brain that happens to be full of Jeff Koons bubble art and some pretty dark cartoons. The long escalator ride up into the main exhibition hall added all the drama I wanted and I landed at the foot of what looked like giant candy dipped in liquid glitter. (Clearly an art critic here.)

As I walked around more, I saw a gold and white statue of Michael Jackson with a monkey, a few Warhols, some badass sculptures, and a photo of Batman from 1955 which I am pretty sure proves he is real. I also saw revolution in the art. I saw a lot of pain, struggles with oppression, silencing, slavery, racism, and a big ass collage of white dudes in hats that scared the bejesus out of me. Most of the art in the museum is older than I am, but the themes still ring true, and in a way, seeing these pieces made me feel better. Not better in the “everything is ok” way, but like when you would get in trouble but all of your friends did too. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s how I feel.

This is a little bit of what I saw, with my own reactions an no proper citations.

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Puppiessssss!

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It’s so true, for all of us, but mostly you. 

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Misleading rainbow vibes on fatalist prose. 

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Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions

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Ugh, I know. 

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The caption next to this says something like “the bird is angry because it’s plaster.” Yeah man, I would be angry too if you gave me plaster snacks. 

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In my head, this woman was one of Elvis’s girlfriends back in the day. I also want her hair. The Warhol is cool too. 

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Most original photo in the history of the world that I really love. Wish I wore something cooler. 

Art made me feel alright today, and it made me want to write again, which I haven’t wanted to do for a while. See art if you can, and if you can’t go see it, make it. Then make your friends look at it and pretend they get it.

caitsig