Tag Archives: opinion

Floating Life

Floating Life: Sunday Thoughts
Olivia of WangGuk

This week has been one of floating. I’m floating currently. I have goals and dreams, but I also don’t really care if none of them work out. Not in a depressing way haha— in a contented completely full kind of way. I would LOVE to see any number of the many dreams I have for my life come true. But I also welcome the idea that none of them may be for me— that my life may actually include a bunch of dreams I haven’t even dreamt yet. Floating, but not aimless.

Having a floating life feels rather free most of the time. But sometimes it can get heavy. It only gets heavy when I start to feel ill-contented. When I start to get anxious, like I need for something to happen. If I remain just simply grateful for whatever happens to be in front of me at the moment, I’m fine. More than fine: I’m not worried about anything in particular. And that’s a good feeling; a state of mind to be envied. Anxiety is a constant battle— a stifling kind of paralysis— one which, if you let it completely take you, is like putting a cup over a match and watching the flame die slowly.

The opposite of complete anxiety is complete Peace. The holy kind. The kind that sweeps like a salty breeze from the ocean through a dusty house. It is hard to let that holy breeze run through you completely and constantly. For most of us it is fleeting and we live simultaneously craving it, but not willing to totally let go of control in order to let it in again.

A floating life is a scary thought for a lot of us, especially those of us (like myself) who have a really difficult time not craving control. But floating is not actually scary. It is, yes, unpredictable, but in being unpredictable, it’s a completely open life. Ready for anything, and accepting of everything. Once a floating attitude is achieved, you’re never really scared or disappointed. You’re just you. Waiting for more of you to evolve and develop, whatever that includes. Floating, but not aimless. Waiting, but not anxious. Anticipatory, but not specifically expectant. Content, but ready for any challenge.

Appreciation: The Dying Art

Appreciation: The Dying Art
Free-Thoughts Thursdays
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This compilation of Thursday thoughts seems to be bursting out of me. We live in a world of both instant and constant gratification. We’re therefore a bit lacking in the appreciation department. It sucks. I see it at work, at school in my little kids, at home, in the attitudes of my friends, in relationships, in myself. We’ve become a thankless society. And you know why? Because we never have to live without. We’re never really without anything we need— or even anything we really want. It’s just there. No need to be thankful for something that’s always around, right? That’s the attitude. That saying, “You don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it” is remarkably true and so relevant today. We’re so lost. So wound up in ourselves. No one is thankful just for breath anymore. I’m guilty too; I’m not exempting myself. We’re lost. It’s that inward curvature of the heart. Sometimes I think everything that’s wrong with us can be rooted back to self-centeredness. Pride. Pride kills a lot of things.
Please remember also that this is too true where I live. You may live in a completely different corner of the earth where appreciation and thankfulness are woven into every moment, and that’s wonderful. But not here. Here, it is a dying art. And I miss it.

Passion Fruits

Free-Thoughts Thursdays: Passion Fruits
Olivia of KingdomClothing

Hello all friends, old and new. For whoever still reads, enjoys, follows, and comments, THANK YOU. I took a long hiatus for so many different reasons, but the root reason— the real reason— is that I wasn’t committing myself fully to this work. And by “this work”, I don’t mean just writing here in this blog arena, but I mean I wasn’t fully committing myself whole-heartedly to my passion, which is my business (www.etsy.com/shop/wanggukclothing).
Today’s post is going to be about this kind of devotion to our dreams and why I think some people, like myself, shy away from pursuing their dreams fully. If you have been following us from the start (again, thank you), you know that this blog was intended to be a kind of sister-site to my shop on etsy (wanggukclothing). Here, I share a bunch of my passions with others who like the same sorts of great things: KPOP, fashion, fashion history, occasional brief free thoughts or opinions, and culture questions. This week, as I was staring at my instagram account profile, I noticed my press website (this) was still in my profile, and I felt a tinge of guilt mixed with my usual anxiety triggered by things I feel like I need to do but haven’t, and I thought to myself, ‘Why haven’t I written in so long?’
Well, the surface answer is simple: I’m busy. We’re all busy. We all have “things to do.” In Southern California, where this blog takes place, this is even more true than most other pockets of Earth, I feel. Busyness is a drug for people, coupled with an obsession with productivity. But what I’ve noticed, sadly, is that a lot of our busyness doesn’t really result in productivity. A lot of people, especially here, think they are the same thing: busyness and productivity. But they aren’t. You can be busy with anything. Being busy doesn’t equal being productive. For example, I could be really “busy” eating chips on the couch so when someone texts me and says “sushi?” I have to tell her “sorry girl, i’m BUSY tonight.” I could also be busy painting my nails or shopping at the mall for things I don’t need or trashing up my room and not cleaning up my mess or looking at stupid (or non-stupid) videos on instagram for hours. I could also (as a rather more extreme example) even be busy out slicing someone’s tires or egging a house. Are any of those things directly productive? Minus some arguable grey area, NO. None of them are. But I could be busy doing any number of them, possibly for hours. Many people refer to time as they do currency: spending it, wasting it, saving it. But what I think is the missing ingredient for so many people I observe on a daily basis is enjoying it— making it really worth something.
And don’t get me wrong, wasting time sometimes and not being so productive is healthy. It’s good to just forget about building and kind of just let yourself be for a moment. Days like that are good for us. (Note: days, not whole stretches of time where we do absolutely nothing good with ourselves). And also, sometimes we have to be busy with things that are productive and do matter, even if we don’t enjoy it that much…like a day job that we have to work to pay our bills. That contributes to busyness as well, and it may not be enjoyable 100% of the time (or sadly, for some of us, even 10% of the time), but it’s a necessary busyness.
But I have noticed, in a lot of my friends’ lives after we got out of school and joined the “real” world, they didn’t really enjoy what they were doing. Not all of the people I know are like this, but honestly, a vast majority are. They either accepted the job they’re at now because they liked the benefits, the “security,” the paycheck, the convenience. But when I meet up and have lunch with some of them, they never sound like they actually love— or really even like— what they’re doing day-to-day. I’ve been at jobs like that too; I know what it feels like to be making money or to have some sense of “job security.”
But here’s the thing about lots of money or employer-provided benefits or “job security”… none of it really means security. You can still lose it, your bank can still fail, natural disasters still happen, and benefits most of the time only go so far. Yes, if you have a family already and you’re providing life for someone other than yourself, then you really do have to think a little bit more about your job than just “hmm, but do I like this?” But, if you are still wondering what to do with yourself and you’re tempted to choose a job just for the paycheck or the supposed security you’ll be reaping, I’d advise you to not do it; at least not before you’ve considered what loving your job really feels like. No, I don’t spring out of bed in the morning at 6:30, ready to mold minds at school or drive all groggy to go shoot photos for the shop or help my friends with disabilities. I don’t wake up without an alarm (or 5). But once I’m there, I’m loving myself for choosing my jobs based on how they make me feel inside instead of the steady fatter paycheck I could be making.
The fruits of our labors should be more than just money, benefits, or supposed security. If you’re not absolutely loving what you’re doing or loving the difference your job makes in the world, why do it for years upon years? I think some of us just get stuck. We get comfortable. Whether it be financially comfortable, comfortable within a certain lifestyle or routine, comfortable enough to think “yeah I don’t really need anything else.” I’ve been there too. I know what it feels like to be just comfortable enough not to change. But that kind of comfort is dangerous because it leads to complacency. And then it’s really hard to change your lifestyle, or job, or whatever, once you’re there.
I know I’ve talked about chasing passions in the past, but I kind of want to reopen this conversation. I’m also planning on talking about this again in my next Free-Thoughts Thursday or on future Tuesdays where I kind of just talk about whatever I want. Chasing dreams is a subject that I think a lot of people think about and maybe even talk about, but that the realities of which are sadly overlooked. What do you guys think? Leave thoughts, if you please ❤ 🙂

Greasy Grungy Fall

Fashion Review Mondays:  Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015
This needs to begin with the disclaimer that this review is mostly full of disapproval and lack of admiration. Usually, I only post positive fashion reviews for Fashion Review Mondays, so I try to pick a collection that I actually feel positively about. But this time, I am sad to say that this collection from AWang left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t think it would. There are, in my opinion, some positive aspects, but overall I was not impressed.

I would highly encourage anyone taking the time to read this to go watch the actual show, not only to— most importantly— formulate your own opinion of it, untainted by another’s slant, but also because I’ll be referencing specific parts and times of the show. To start, the show opens with an all-black tailored blazer, little high-neck leather top, wide-leg gaucho pants, and chunky platform creeper-type boots. Hair and make-up: disheveled chic? I was confused right away. Let us start with the actual clothes. They aren’t bad; they just weren’t that impressive to me idea-wise. What’s ground-breaking? The high-neck leather top is simple, modern, and versatile. Nothing not to like. The jacket, again, isn’t bad… it’s just not that exciting to me either. And now we’re at the pants. I really have never figured out the allure of the gaucho shape. It is a style that simultaneously cuts every woman—no matter how fit, healthy, or slim— the wrong way and also is just an incredibly awkward pant no matter what outfit is built around it. Now again, remember that this is my opinion and if you love gauchos and think they are the bees‘ knees, by all means, wear them to your heart’s content. I am sure they are comfy (comfort is really the only positive I can mark for them). But as far as elevated and innovative shapes go, I’m sorry but I don’t think they cut it. The shoes. Oh my word, those shoes. I’m trying to think of a really forgiving and also eloquent way of saying they are HIDEOUS. And please note that this comes from a person who really does appreciate a good creeper, even a platform one. But these are awful. It wasn’t even so much how they looked, but how they moved. The models looked ridiculous. The way they had to walk to accommodate the shape and height of them made them look incredibly awkward. All I could think when I saw them walking was “chunky duck feet.” Too bad elevated height didn’t translate to elevated taste.

At 0:55 of the show, there’s this look that is a beautifully tailored jacket paired with the prolifically over-occurring gauchos and sky-rise creeper boots. This is one of many examples of a look that could have been so beautiful, had not the weird gaucho pants and platform duck feet held it down. The jacket is gorgeous, wonderfully constructed, has an interesting studded high-neck, and is undeniably a great piece. It’s interesting but a classic. But paired with these odd others, the look just looks silly.

Another situation with a similar issue is the coat-and-gaucho combo at 1:15. I’m all for nontraditional pairing and the shape isn’t what bothers me. Again, perfectly beautiful coat; the shape is perfect. But the styling turns this look around a hideous corner. That coat, with its perfectly curved lines and its heavy structure could have really stood out, but instead, I again could only concentrate on the awful greasy tousle and the awkward gait that was allowed by the chunky duck waddlers. I mean, if I may be so blunt, the model was walking like a caveman in those shoes. It just wasn’t elevation of taste. It made me want to look away.
I will say that there were some amazing bags in this collection. I especially liked the studded leather backpack and clutch. There were also some looks that, save for the awkward duck shoes, were completely gorgeous, like the quilted mini-skirt and coat combo at 3:30. The sweater underneath is an amazing Fall piece as well. I loved that look. It wasn’t all bad, just the majority was unfortunately a bit amiss. Sometimes, it was simply the styling and weird pairing that screwed up a look, not so much the pieces themselves.

There’s another huge issue with this show that I must address: the choice of hair and make-up. I’m sorry, but… what? I read a comment in the comment section that said ‘oh are we bringing strung-out cocaine-chic back?‘ which were really my sentiments exactly. I know what grunge-chic looks like and also what bed-head disheveled chic may even look like, but this just looked like the girls hadn’t showered in a couple of weeks, had been backpacking out in the wilderness and were an oily greasy mess, but they still had a fashion show to work, so they just walked out looking like that. Their hair is literally plastered to their faces. They probably all broke out instantly after the show. It didn’t even look remotely attractive. And I do understand that sometimes, the point someone might be trying to make via high fashion does not always include looking ultimately attractive, but all this said to me was that 12-day-old hair is now in; looking like a grease-ball is all the rage. I think a statement can be achieved without looking disgusting. Plus, I don’t believe he was going for a bigger statement here; it was just bad styling. It was grease-chic. And it wasn’t working.

The real problem I have with all of this is that it didn’t feel like Alexander Wang for me. While I was watching it, if I didn’t already know whose show it was, I don’t think I could have guessed correctly. He has always been an innovator of shape and androgynous character, but has always accomplished this in a perfectly polished manner. He could make a statement while still maintaining an extremely elevated taste and impeccable craftsmanship. But this show truly was a miss to me. Where was the elevated taste? Where was his signature polished flare? Nothing looked well-put-together or attractive. It was different, but not in a good way. I’m sorry to say that, this week, my review cannot not be a completely positive one. From a great AWang fan, I have to say, I was far less than impressed.