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C / Landline

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Image via The Hollywood Reporter

I have been trying to bring back the phone call for the past two years. I am one of about 6 people who still prefer talking on the phone over texting, but there is something about actual human communication that I am into. My push to get people to talk to me, is often not welcome, and it’s honestly not working that well. My friend Nitika told me the other day that she “hasn’t made a phone call to someone since 1993.” Whatever, I am holding onto this.

This morning, I saw the trailer for Landline, a new movie with Jenny Slate. It’s set in the 90’s and its sort of a romcom-looking thing, but with Jenny Slate, so it’s clearly going to be amazing. This has to be a sign, a sign that I am right about the proper form of phone communication, and I feel like I am about to be vindicated by a movie set in the time of non-ironic scrunchies.

Call your friends, they will hate it.

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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 / 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.

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T / tiff picks TIFF 2016

Photo Credit: Matt Barnes for TIFF.  All of these were taken on an iPhone 7!

Photo Credit: Matt Barnes for TIFF. All of these were taken on an iPhone 7!

It began sometime in junior high.  That’s basically when I knew I had a taste for this.  The movies never have to get big.  That’s not the point.  But the films I chose wound up getting known.  That was more important.  I guess I knew early on that I was a serious ENFJ.  And that I wanted to be an arbiter of the visual medium.  And my namesake, the Toronto International Film Festival, was my ultimate playground.  The festival is in full swing in my hometown right now.  Christian Bale is photobombing everyone’s festival selfie.  I’ve been making my annual tiff picks for TIFF since I was 13, so why stop now?

Before I get into it, here are the Honorable Mentions.  The films that didn’t quite make the cut, already got too much attention, or don’t have a trailer yet.  But all I can say right now is that I can’t wait to see party girl Anne Hathaway get all monstery.  Here is my other shortlist:

Nocturnal Animals, Colossal, Mascots, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Rehearsal


Moonlight

This film had me at hello and it’s been on my radar since way before TIFF.  I don’t know what it is.  No I do.  It’s all the intersections.  The mumblecore nature.  Boyhood, sexuality, depressed economies.  Everything.  And it just looks so rich.  Yet it all seems balanced at the same time.  I can’t wait to see what comes for everyone who made this film happen.


Maybe it’s because we did visit Nepal this year.  And the fact that I want to go back and experience more of it (as well as see this girl).  White Sun has a powerful plot line.  Perhaps it’s also because I share the feeling of the prodigal child coming home.  In any case, this film evokes a new voice to me and I can’t wait to lay my eyes on it.


The Road to Mandalay

I’m always on the lookout for cinema from southeast Asia that really has power. I think it’s because I’ve always wanted to share the sights and sounds and feelings of living and working in this region with all of my loved ones. The cinematography in this film just gets it perfect.  I know, I know.  I’m not a Burmese migrant worker.  And The Road to Mandalay is heavy on the romanticization, but damn, it’s gorgeous and it gets the heat, the intensity of the experience, and everything just right.


It’s Just the End of the World

There is Canadian cinema. And then there’s Quebecois cinema.  And then there’s Xavier Dolan. So I don’t care if this film is populated by really big French actors (hello my favourites: Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux), nor the fact that it’s based on a French play. I’m still counting this as Canadian.  It looks beautiful.  It was shot on 35mm and you can totally tell.  The light is just perfect. I can’t wait to lay my eyes on this one.


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C/ The Get Down

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Photo via Tube Filter

With the advent of Netflix in Cambodia, a whole new world has opened up to people that sometimes just want to stay inside. Sometimes, those people are me. My current Netflix bright spot is The Get Down, a music-laden series on the beginnings of hip hop, life in the 1970’s Bronx, and of course, love. Everybody loves love.

The characters are raw, imperfect, beautiful, and silly talented. The lead love story is between Ezekiel and Mylene, played by Justice Smith and Herzien Guardiola. The two of them make me feel like I have accomplished nothing in my life. Most of the cast members are new names for me, with the exception of Jimmy Smitts, who I have loved since his days on LA Law, and Jaden Smith, the prodigal son of never-aging beauty-robots, Will and Jada.

Also, and I understand that my focus might be different that others, but the clothes are amazing. Some of the disco suits are hilarious and cringe-worthy, but there are so many pieces that I want to snag for myself. You could pull a lot of these outfits and wear them now, and my affection for the high-waisted, booty loving, denim culotte is only growing.

I highly encourage watching this show. It has had mixed reviews, but if you are into hip hop, the historical side of the greatest city on earth, and Donna Summer, get down on it.  (Sorry.)

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C / textiles and tiny elevators

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Last Friday, my instructor told the class that if we could make it to Premier Vision in Paris, we should absolutely go. A few people in class said they were going, a few more expressed frustration for now being able to go, and I googled it to find out what they hell they were all talking about.

Turns out, Premier Vision is the biggest textile trade show in the world, probably something I should have known. Its held in Paris twice a year and they have events in China as well. People from all over the world come in to buy and sell prints, silks, wool, cashmere, cotton, buttons, zippers, trimming, leather, synthetics and basically anything else you can jimmy-rig into a piece of clothing. Because I love an unexpected filed trip, I bought a ticket, got my portfolio together and jumped a train to Paris for about 36 hours.

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Premier Vision was completely awesome, and completely overwhelming. I tried to touch everything I could and make notes as fast as possible, but mostly just wandered around letting the “oooh pretty” side of my brain navigate.

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(The photos above are intentionally scattered and disorganized, as to accurately represent my brain during the event.)

The facility itself was giant; roughly 6 football fields full of different textiles. They had set up some really interesting exhibits on texture and color and mood, and I got in trouble more than once for taking photos where I wasn’t supposed to. (I’m sorry, nobody looks on the floor to see if there are “no photography” signs, AND those signs were just a rectangle with a line through it. It could have just as easily been a “no brick throwing zone” or a “do not be a rectangle” zone. Get it together, design conference.) I did manage to get a few photos of the place, and some of the pretty things I got to touch.

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I’m glad I went, because I got to see the millions of different fabrics that are available, and who is doing what. There were not as many sustainable fabrics as I had hoped and a lot for furs than I expected (yuck), but it’s good to know that I can pretty much get anything I can dream up. Next time I will go with an idea of what I want to get, rather than human-ping-ponging around until I collapse into a pile of croissant crumbs and 7 coffee. Oh and I went to see the Eiffel Tower at night and I liked it.

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All photos by Caitlin Decker, from her iPhone. If you would like to use them for some reason, please ask. There are probably better ones on the internet.

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C / street style stuff

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Walking around London is like wandering through an after party at a runway show, that ran into middle-aged crowd leaving Cirque de Soleil, during pride week at the UN. In simpler terms, its extremely colorful and awesome. There are tons of great street style photographers out there who document sartorial genius, and I recently came across someone I hadn’t heard of before, Tommy Ton. He’s been doing amazing work for a long time, I am just late to the party. He’s Canadian photographer who shoots for his own blog, Jakandjil.com, and for publications like Style.com and GQ.

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I love street style, which is not an original thing to say, but I pull a lot of inspiration from people who put it all out there in daily life; something I wish I would do more of. One thing I really like about Tommy Ton’s style of photography is that he photographs the people as well as the clothes. That sounds confusing. What I mean is that he is able to capture a person’s mood and overall vibe as well as the clothes. A lot of street style photos show a person standing in the middle of the sidewalk, acting as a human hanger for some cool clothes. Tommy Ton captures the human part. Maybe that still doesn’t make sense, but to me, beautiful clothes are wasted on boring people, and he makes everyone interesting, which makes the clothing better. Maybe just look at the photos and go to style.com for a great collection of his recent work.

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All photos by Tommy Ton, obviously.

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C / progress report #1

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So it turns out, if you do things you love and care about, it’s really fun. I am in my third week of school at Central St Martins and it is going very, very well. My first week of class was an introduction to London Fashion, and the instructor took us all over this wonderful city, from the Victoria and Albert Museum to Brick Lane vintage, and Portobello Market treasure hunting. I learned a ton about the history of fashion in London, and why it’s become such a hub for young designers. Fun fact: Margaret Thatcher is responsible for a big portion of the UK’s investment in the arts. She saw, early on, that Paris and Milan fashion houses were bringing in buckets of money and attracting international investment. London was behind on this at the time, so she shuffled some things around and re-allocated state funding to go to the creative industry and promoted investment in young designers. There are still programs running that she set up to search for new talent, so you go Miss Lady, thanks for that.

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Homework from Alexander McQueen and a final project from John Galliano, from the CSM Museum vault.

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Flowers in Shoreditch.

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Finding inspiration at the V & A.

Week two was a class in make up for fashion. After taking this class, I have a whole new respect for this profession. I don’t have plans to be a make up artist, but it was great to learn the basics of make up in the industry. We did color matching and skin science, talked proportions and face shapes, and finished the week with a master class at MAC and a photo shoot. It was great for me to learn technique and terminology, and I now know how to create a “smoky eye” and avoid the “black eye” that used to happen on my face.

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Make Up for Fashion final project with Kristina and Abe.

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Portobello Market field trip, for research.

I’m in my third class now, Central St Martins Fashion Design Summer School. I linked to the Facebook page because if you click on it, you can see the progress and work of past and present students at the school. I will be posting on there, so I don’t flood the blog, and we will be creating a solid portfolio over the next 4 weeks. This is the core class of what I am doing here in London, and the instructor, Julian Seaman, literally wrote the book on fashion design. Actually, he has written 4 books on it. I can’t wait to dig into this course and create things every day. Will report back again in a few weeks with more show and tell. Come visit me.

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Master selfie-taking-skills at Windsor Palace.

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First day project from Fashion Design Summer School.

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C / Melissa McCarthy for president

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I love Melissa McCarthy. She won my heart in Bridesmaids, made me snort-laugh in The Heat, and sealed the deal with Tammy, when she straight up made me SOB during that scene with Susan Sarandon on the lawn chair. She is well spoken, hilarious, and fantastic in pretty much all ways that matter to me. In case that wasn’t enough, she is now starting a clothing line, for women of all sizes. There is not much information about it yet, but it will include plus-size clothing and is bound for awesomeness.

She nails it on the red carpet, pretty much every time, and has given a very strong, very appropriate, middle finger to critics and designers that refused to work with her because of her size. There are some stupid people out there. As evidence here and here, she knows what she is doing and I can’t wait.

I’m thrilled this is happening. When I think about what I want to do with fashion, I think about making clothes for all bodies. In the work I have done so far, I have worked with ladies from petite to boobalicious. Making clothes that make everyone feel awesome is important to me, so basically this post is an ask for Melissa McCarthy to hire me.

When I find out more about the line, I will be sure to share. Probably over-share, because I get excited.

In other news, her new movie, Spy, is killing, because of course it is. Suck it, Entourage.

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T / happy monday / “to the baking heart of America”

Photo Credit: Darren Cools via Unsplash.

Photo Credit: Darren Cools via Unsplash.

Good morning everyone!  I hope those of you coming back from Khmer New Year holidays are slip and sliding back into the thick of things like a six year old at a family BBQ would.  And for those of you who don’t benefit from 60+ public holidays annually, I wish you the same.  This morning, Cait and I are giddily catching up with each other after a week’s separation (a preview of a summer-long separation coming this summer).  And I am very much catching up on social media after a whole week away from the grid and the grind.

One item that caught my eye was the beautiful cinematography in a new film coming from British director, John McLean.  As many films have, it captures the story of the Western migration during the early days of the USA.  There are horses, guns and some very wide open spaces. But the negative space that McLean employs to capture the story and the scenery matches so incredibly well.  Places like the rugged landscape of North America just beg for that negative space. But it’s never actually negative, is it?  Anyways; this movie caught my attention.  It also makes me want to embark on a grand tour of that country just below the 49th parallel.

Also Michael Fassbender.  And that theme song (which I know you’re wondering about).  Slow West, you have me.