Dior: From Paris to the World

dior

The highly anticipated fashion exhibit, Dior: From Paris to the World, will be open to the public on Monday, November 19 until March 3 at the Denver Art Museum.

After two years of meticulous curation, an A-team led by Dior expert Florence Müller, the museum’s Avenir Foundation curator of textile art and fashion, and renowned architect Shohei Shigematsu, an OMA New York director and partner, visually tells the story of the iconic French designer Christian Dior (1905-1957) and the playful path the House of Dior follows.

In 1947, Dior shocked the fashion world in more ways than one. After the devastation of World War II, Dior’s bright and colorful vision put Paris back into the international spotlight as fashion capital of the world. It was as if the end of the war allowed Dior to finally breathe and express himself freely. The result: a “New Look” of dresses that celebrated the female body (cinched waistlines, fuller pleated skirts, embellishments) and becoming a fashion pioneer by being the first to accessorize his creations with his own purses, gloves, and heels. “The world was his playground,” Müller says, as Dior was invited to India, Japan, and the Americas to design dresses for the wealthy and royal. Though Dior reigned for a short 10 years, his vision has inspired six more artistic designers to pay homage to the house he built.

The exhibit is chronologically set for the most part. At the beginning, as you pause to admire Dior’s rendition of the New Look over the past seventy years, you’ll notice the up-cycled mill aluminum backdrop, which Shigematsu says was to mimic the titanium juts of the art museum itself, but also feels like a nod to Denver’s own growing industrial feel. After checking out designs by Dior and his successor, a then-novice Yves-Saint Laurent, you’ll be stunned by “The Office of Dreams,” a wall full of suspended dress sketches made of white cotton muslin. Then take a tour of women who’ve sported Dior throughout the years (Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, Charlize Theron, to name a few) and get a glimpse into Dior’s evolving line inspired by surrounding eras, culture, and art. There’s much to see at the Dior exhibit (18th century French-inspired dresses sure to impress Marie Antoinette herself, as well as a neatly stacked rainbow wall, chock full of bold statement accessories), so visit DenverArtMuseum.org to get in on this exclusive display of fashion history today.

Written for Hand in Hand, a publication. See original article here.

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Chicago, Illinois

I spent the weekend in the Windy City to celebrate a good friend’s bachelorette party! It was one of those times where you’re having so much fun, you don’t have time for pictures.

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Where to Go When Eating Solo

Here’s what you might guess about the Boulder food scene after a casual stroll downtown: it’s alive and thriving. You might need to trust us on this one (and perhaps erase years of societal conditioning), but the scene is also quite welcoming to the solo eater. We’ve scouted five of the best spots to visit if you’re wanting to immerse yourself in an authentic Boulder dining experience or grabbing a quick bite to eat alone. So read up and take yourself out on a date; you deserve it.

For people-watching: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill
Locals, college students, visitors… they’ve all gravitated to the whimsical neighborhood bar and grill that is the Dark Horse since 1975. Its unassuming exterior obscures a playful inside maze full of knick-knacks such as mechanical gears, boots glued to the ceiling and peanut dispensers. After 3 p.m. it’s self service, so mosey your way up to the food counter to order a juicy burger, then find a seat at the bar for a local brew while you wait for your name to be called. With tons of seating space, great happy hour specials and a weekly trivia night, this bar is a great pit stop for the solo traveler.
2922 Baseline Road, 303-442-8162, darkhorsebar.com

For your weekly cleanse: Zeal
Everything about Zeal is Zen. Not only are you treating your body to flavorful and nourishing superfoods, you get to do it al fresco by the babbling Boulder Creek. Follow the never-ending signs through the tiled garden path to a quaint and intimate patio setting, complete with cavernous umbrellas and twinkling lights. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a refreshing acai bowl, wholesome mighty bowl (packed with quinoa, chickpeas, sauteed greens, sweet beets, carrots, cucumber and lentils), or filling grass-fed meatballs and zoodles in an addicting tikka masala sauce.
1201 Arapahoe Ave., 720-252-3398, zealfood.com

For a sweet breakfast fix: Foolish Craig’s Cafe
Forget pancakes and Belgian waffles to start your day: Foolish Craig’s has just the right idea with its sweet crepes (which are so good, it made that TV host with the wild hair stop by. Cough, Guy Fieri, cough.). Order “the whole thing” crepe, a sweet and spongy crepe filled with hot, oozy Nutella and topped with caramelized bananas, walnuts, cinnamon and whipped cream. Wash it down with an iced Americano (spiked version also available upon request).
1611 Pearl St., 303-247-9383, foolishcraigs.com

When you’re craving sushi: Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar
Asian fusion, when done well, is exciting cuisine. Such is the case at Hapa. Known for its delicious blend of Japanese and Hawaiian nosh, this sushi favorite has those tropical and savory flavors down. Grab a seat at the sushi bar and watch the masters craft your roll, or sprawl out on its sunny patio, where you can watch the passersby stroll through Pearl Street Mall. We go for the lunch special, which comes with a sushi roll and tuna poke salad in a fried rangoon shell. You also can’t go wrong with the Hawaiian pork sliders or Red Bird chicken katsu bowl with Japanese steak sauce.
1117 Pearl St.,303-473-4730, hapasushi.com

Where it feels like home: The Kitchen
What draws us back to The Kitchen again and again may have something to do with its always amicable staff, its perfect juxtaposition between industrial and classic design in an airy layout and, of course, its fresh takes on American cuisine. Go at midday for the seasonal lunch menu, like the Munson Farms grilled corn on the cob, topped with Aleppo chili, charred green onion mayo and popped sorghum (a type of cereal grain). Then treat yourself to a butterscotch pot de crème.
1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973, thekitchenbistros.com

Written for Boulder Weekly. Read the original article here.

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A Fresh Take on “This is America”

one thing I cannot believe people have NOT talked about yet is the impact of music videos on our youth, especially young black children. we’ve been warned in the past about how too much MTV is bad for you, but what exactly are music videos doing to children? in Childish Gambino’s “This is America” music video, we watch a stream of recurring problems for African Americans (which we are sadly desensitized to at this point), but I feel like the biggest one has flown right above everybody’s head.

there’s a reason he chose black school children in uniforms as his dancers. if they were in any other dress, we would forget that these kids are only in school. imagine being a young black child after school, scrolling through the channels. all he or she sees is a sea of white: white actors, white problems, white music. then they stop at BET or MTV or ESPN and sees someone who looks like them. they see talent, fame, and a ticket to respect. (something children clearly do not have enough of, but more on that later.)

they see these moves. they imitate them, in hopes to be as good as what they see on their TV screen. then there’s the words, the enticing rhythm and flow. violence is a common theme they rap along to. so is sex, alcohol, and drugs. when they repeat this cycle enough, it becomes the norm. then they bring it to school. they start living it out on the weekends. and when life gets to be too much, there’s the unlucky ones who take it to the streets and probably end up belonging to the streets till they hit the grave. the streets are where those music video dreams can come alive.

in “This is America,” among all the chaos and crime, the children dance as a way of expression, but ultimately represent the influence black musicians can have. Donald Glover shows how he can smile and dance and rap without taking a second look at the chaos behind him, and the teens blindly follow in suit. he’s blatantly calling out the rappers who are not using their privilege to speak the truth and break the cycle. the same can also be said for the media, which has a track record of depicting African Americans as criminals.

going forward, we should empower youth, especially black youth, to show them a way out of this false narrative. I feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary hate in this country and to fix it, we need to take a step back, think about that feeling, and learn as much about it as we can to offer a solution. rap artists should take note that they have a very difficult/important role to play, too, but rap & hip hop may very well be the bridge that brings us all together.

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Eating Rights

Three years ago, if you told me that I would be an animal and environmental rights activist because of what I was eating, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. My food writing journey has been an amazing one – sampling, sipping, and telling stories about the best food and drink you could imagine. But along the way, I began to listen to other stories – ones that affect you and me. The “local” eating movement goes beyond supporting local businesses. It’s about supporting practices that are 1. humane and 2. sustainable. And while the concept seems pretty simple, finding restaurants that follow those same ethics are not.

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Happy Hour at Araujos Mexican Restaurant

taco

Araujos’ Mexican street style fish tacos are topped with onions and cilantro and served in a flour tortilla.

If you’ve ever been to the Venice Beach Boardwalk in L.A., perhaps you lined up by the towering “fish tacos $2” sign to find out if it’s worth the wait. One bite into the crisp and lightly battered fish, and you wonder where this taco’s been all your life.

Sadly, it’s been a minute since I’ve been to sunny California, but I still think about that taco all the time (does anyone else do that or is it just me?) Fortunately, I’ve found its twin, right here in Jefferson Park. Araujos Mexican Restaurant is frequented for its breakfast burritos (a flour tortilla stuffed with meat, potatoes, and scrambled eggs in a mild or hot chile sauce), but in the evening, has a killer happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Margaritas are two for the price of one, and those fish tacos I was talking about earlier? Get them on Wednesdays for $2 as well. Venice Beach, Jefferson Park. I couldn’t tell the difference.

2900 W. 26th Ave., Denver, 303-455-3866

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Slow Fashion

Photo courtesy of Robins Photography

Just about every sector of business is geared toward sustainability these days. Sustainable agriculture, energy and tourism are all a given, but sustainable fashion is just beginning to disrupt the traditionally wasteful mainstream fashion industry.

Denverite Deb Henriksen, owner and founder of the rocker-chic brand Equillibrium, is poised to keep moving the fashion industry’s momentum forward. Her mission is to educate others about their own consumerism while bringing her sense of style to life with responsibly sourced textiles and materials.

Henriksen owns a storefront, and creates and sells clothes made of sustainable textiles such as organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. The idea for Equillibrium was born in 1998, when Henriksen began to dream of having her own eco-friendly fashion boutique. In 2000, Equillibrium began as a wholesale brand that was carried in skate and snowboard shops around Denver and Breckenridge. She opened her first store in 2004 (now located on West Custer Place) and hasn’t stopped since.

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Camp Unplugged

Photo courtesy of Shambhala Sun Camp

Dhyana Kida was 12 years old when she first attended the Shambhala Sun Camp nestled in the picturesque mountains of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Her parents had gone when they were her age, her brother has also attended, and then it was finally her turn.

“I fell in love and went almost every year,” Kida, now 21, says. Her story is similar to most who go: they find themselves returning to camp year after year, eventually becoming staff members that guide the next batch of camp-goers.

The Shambhala Sun Camp is held in only three places in the world: Limousin, France; Nova Scotia, Canada; and our very own northern Colorado. Shambhala Buddhism, which is inspired by the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness, is a philosophy that influences the camp. It stems from Tibetan Buddhism, an ancient practice that spread rapidly in the 1950s after the Chinese takeover of Tibet caused the Tibetan Buddhist teachers to leave the country. Inspired by the Dalai Lama and his practices, campers of all faiths learn about its mindfulness, meditation and awareness practices and can cultivate his or her own being — without any technology present.

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