In defense of fashion collaborations

By Camila Abisambra

Since Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, fashion collaborations have become something we look forward to year after year. In a world constantly seeking innovation it’s become a bit predictable for certain people. They think it’s been done and overdone and the time for collaborations is over. Well I beg to differ. In a world where most of us can’t access designer atelier, a collaboration that’s more pocket friendly is an opportunity to own something by a designer we admire without getting evicted for not paying our rent.

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Fast Lane

By Camila Abisambra

After a year working on his debut album. the London producer Rationale has given us his first single. It’s incredible! I am finding myself drawn more and more to these chilled out songs. I think this one is particularly beautiful. The vocals are magic and the instruments are always on point. I also really like the idea of someone going out there and trying something new. I absolutely try to live my life trying to do new things everyday and sometimes they don’t work, but for Rationale this new facet definitely works! I also thin this song is perfect for Sundays when the only thing in your agenda should be to chill out.

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It’s all about the denim

By Maria Alejandra Ortiz

Denim, denim, denim, we can see it everywhere. It looks like a new trend but in my case I don’t feel like it is. Denim is part of my culture and we use it practically for everything: work, college, parties or weekends, sometimes for better or for worse, it has always been here.

The good thing about denim becoming a trend is the many possibilities designers give you to wear it and how they use the fabric for more than a pair of pants. Now we can see it in bags, shoes, jackets, dresses, and we not only have to use it with a pair of sneakers, stilettos and lace-up shoes can add an interesting twist.

With the collaboration of Alexa Chung for AG Jeans, this trend is going strong this summer and it’s good to see fashion making classic things look even better.

Here are some pieces on denim that you can try every time and everywhere:

Spadrilles by Tabitha Simmons

Denim shoulder bag by Stella McCartney

Converse

Alexa Chung for AG Jeans

Patchwork Skirt by Zara

Borrowed from the boys

By Camila Abisambra

Ever since Bianca Jagger immortalized the suit for women, the borrowed from the boys look is one of the best ways to look cool. There’s just something incredibly cool about re-inventing classic mens’ looks and making them your own. I also think it’s about time guys played with traditional female garb, aka, thank you Jaden Smith for being an innovative voice. As for me, when I found my vintage levi’s jeans I became a little obsessed with how to style them. I got inspired by Bianca and decided to borrow from the boys since they are loose legged style and go for a simple white shirt and Chucks.

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16 times your BFF just got you

By Camila Abisambra and Gabriela Santamaria

Sometimes life gets tough. For those hard times your best friend will have your back. Whether you need some tips on how to get over a rough break-up or how to make the bikini wax you just endured hurt a little less, your friend’s got you. She’ll deal with all the crap life throws at you and will inevitably make you laugh, rethink your bad decisions and overall make even the worst days feel fun. Most of all, she just gets you. For all those BFF’s out there who share weird conversations and know every tiny secret, this one’s for you.

1. When you realized Patrick Bateman is us. Should we feel so in sync with American Psycho? Because we really get where he is coming from sometimes.

2. When you agree that mermaids are real and they’re out there.

3. When you have weird debates like “do Aliens have capitalism?” (We still can’t agree over this one. Cami say they might, Gaby says probably not).

4. When life gets confusing and you both agree that ITunes shuffle is a perfectly good psychic and can absolutely predict your future. Just ask a question and the song that comes up is the answer -and your fate-.

5. When they know the best breathing exercises for the times catastrophe strikes. AKA the first time you find a bug in your apartment (the bug may have found you, the jury is still out on that one).

6. When you hated on the world together. Because honestly, we came here to have a good time and we’re feeling so attacked.

7.  When you realized the government might be reading this and you wonder if they think we’re weird (Yes, yes they do).

8. When you’re just dying of boredom and it’s their job to revive you.

9. When you comment on other people’s lives (and by people we mean famous people and by comment we mean talk about it incessantly -Scott really loves Kourtney okay? You don’t just help someone shave if you don’t love them forever).

10. When you make travel plans. London BEWARE.

11. When you share songs and love them together. Because life is always more fun if you have someone to dance with.

12. When she encourages you when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

13. When they deal with the ups and downs and all the amounts of crap you go through with you: “and you know, we’re on each other’s team”.

14. When you’re weird together and there is no judgment (this gig just represents us on our daily existence).

15. When you stalk each other’s exes (and remind them they’re so much better off. But seriously who tries to friend you on LinkedIn??? Just no).

16. When you got way too personal and she was like cool, I got you babe (like that time she helped you pick out the best underwear for your date and was like hot damn).

And honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Living with narcolepsy

By Sylvana Peña Saffon

Ever since I was a little girl sleep has been a weird subject in my life. My ability to fall asleep whenever I wanted came extremely handy. However, when I was about 17 I started falling asleep everywhere. I was always tired, and the impulse of falling asleep was starting to become uncontrollable. Suddenly, my sleeping habits and cycles weren’t normal anymore. They just couldn’t be. A couple of years passed before I was diagnosed with narcolepsy. It has been a real challenge, trying to balance my everyday life with its manifestations. Nowadays I have learnt how to deal with it and I’ve taking it as a humorous thing.

Not many people know what narcolepsy is. And when they do, sometimes people think it’s a made up thing. Well, remember the Argentinean man in Moulin Rouge that would fall asleep all of a sudden no matter where he was? He suffered from narcolepsy. It is a chronic sleep disorder in which the brain can’t control the sleep- awake cycles properly. Therefore, excessive daytime sleepiness is experienced through out the day, to the point of sudden irresistible sleep attacks. Causes for narcolepsy are not precisely stablished yet, and one person in about three thousand suffers from it.

When people finds out I suffer from narcolepsy, their immediate reaction is feeling jealous because I get to sleep for extremely long periods of time. It actually isn’t a good thing. Going to bed and waking up 16 hours later and feeling like you slept for half an hour is not a good feeling. And it can get pretty depressing having to depend on a pill every day just to stay awake.

When I was still in high school the daytime sleepiness I started to feel was overwhelming. As long as I would be on a relatively still position, like sitting down, I would just fall asleep. During class, at the school bus, at home reading on my desk. And I was always tired, no matter how much sleep I had got during the night. My friends would tell me that I was complaining a lot, and I obviously was, but seriously, It was exhausting. Narcolepsy is very easily misdiagnosed, and It took me a couple of years before the doctors got it right. So those few years were exasperating.

I wish I could tell you that excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks are the only symptoms from this disorder, but they are not. There are other three main symptoms, and only 10% of people with narcolepsy experiences all of them. Care to guess if I am part of that 10%? Of course I am!Because not only did I get narcolepsy, but all of its symptoms. Cataplexy, sleepy paralysis and hallucinations accompany me trough out my everyday life. But enough of medical terms, I am not going to bore you with concepts and definitions. What I am very grateful for is that my case of narcolepsy is not as acute as it could be. So thankfully I have never been walking down the street and suddenly fallen asleep. As long as I am doing some kind of movement I will be able to resist the impulse of falling asleep. The downside is, since my brain can’t regulate properly the sleep cycles, I don’t get the proper amount of time in each one of them, so being tired most of the time is extremely normal. However, even though it is a chronic disease it is not degenerative. Oh and it is not contagious, in case you were wondering.

So, how do I deal with these manifestations? It hasn’t been easy. Finding the right kind of treatment for you specifically takes time. I had to try several pills before I got to the right one that actually helped me control the excessive sleepiness, which is the one symptom that most influences my life. It also helped me to sleep better. Nonetheless, in moments of too much stress my brain will go into strike and symptoms will come back as strong as they did at the beginning. So while I was in college I would always have to tell my professors on the first they of the term that I had narcolepsy. And I apologised before hand if I ever fell asleep in their class, because lets face it, it was meant to happen. They would always look at me in some kind of bewilderment, not knowing wether to be sorry for me or maybe to just laugh at the funny story of the girl that had a medical excuse to fall asleep during class.

Going to law school, double majoring with philosophy and working as a full time model was very exhausting. Add the narcolepsy and the picture becomes extreme. So I had to accept my limitations and I made the decision to drop the double mayor and I turned philosophy into a minor. I had to learn to go to bed early, thought it is still now very difficult for me to do so, sometimes I take naps during the day. I also had to start exercising and I found out that yoga helped me a lot. So practicing Bikram Yoga became a huge part of my life.

Now, after about five years of being diagnosed with narcolepsy I have come to accept that it is something that will accompany me for the rest of my life. And I can not let it bring my mood down, no matter how annoying it can be to sleep for many, many hours and still feel tired, most of the days. I have come to take it as a funny thing, and to laugh about it, because seriously, the girl that just falls asleep around can be very comic. And lets face it, how many people can actually say they know a narcoleptic person? Well now you sort of know one.

Oh and if you want to laugh watch Rusty, a narcoleptic dog:

Wonder Woman: feminism, corsets and movies

By Gabriela Santamaria

Female superheroes have it harder. They’re fewer, not as famous or popular (thanks Superman) and they have to do their job in the most uncomfortable outfit ever (God knows why). But it’s undeniable to see that DC Comics have won the battle with Wonder Woman. Beautiful, smart, a warrior princess capable of taking on the world wearing a corset. Her impact, or that of her costume, hasn’t swayed over the years. The world hasn’t been the same since Lynda Carter took on the role in the seventies TV series. Thousands of women have dressed like her in the hopes of emulating a bit of her assertiveness and undeniable charm.

(Lynda Carter as the iconic Wonder Woman in the seventies)

Don’t get me wrong Marvel has a lot of powerful and complex female characters likePeggy Carter and Black Widow who have recently taken the mainstream media by a thunderstorm. Actually compared to their competitors they even have an upper hand in terms of representation, in their midst they have a female Thor (who has made an amazing revenue) and a black and latino Spiderman, just to mention two. In the meantime DC is currently in a rocky transition from their once traditional and sometimes outright misogynistic comics to a more feminist and modern take, most notably with the new retelling of Batgirl. They seem to be making a true effort to appeal to a new and powerful audience of potential female, LGBTQ and other minority consumers. And it was about goddamn time.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, because both of the graphic novels powerhouses share one problem: Where the hell are their movies with a female protagonist?

According to press releases in 2018 Marvel will release Captain Marvel, the story of Carol Denvers also known as Ms. Marvel. Huge progress. And finally wising up, DC will release the movie for Wonder Woman in 2017. I’m ecstatic to say the least, but it’s kind of depressing when you think about it. Marvel announced the future release of TWELVE major motion pictures, but only one of which is exclusively about a woman. And of the ten films that DC announced for the future, also only one has a female protagonist. Which is ridiculous because they OWN Wonder Woman. Why hasn’t this come sooner? Why hasn’t this been a priority? Why is this still not a reality?

The trajectory of Princess Diana of Themyscira since she appeared on 1941 has been groundbreaking. Despite their best efforts, it’s hard to argue that any of the female superheroes Marvel has created is as iconic as Wonder Woman. At least in terms of pop culture and sales of iconography. So because I love her dearly and because I want everyone to know why it matters I’m going to share a little overview of her history.

Psychologist William Marston began working in 1940 with National Periodicals and All-American Publications (which would eventually merge together to become DC Comics) developing a new hero. Now Marston was a very progressive academic for his time: he believed women were superior to men, was a supporter of free love (he had two wives and the three of them lived together) and he struggled with the rigid academic world of universities during his entire career, being exiled from plenty of research teams because of his radical ideas about gender and psychology. Gaining inspiration from Elizabeth and Olive, his wives, he created the idea of Wonder Woman, a superhero who would triumph throughout love instead of firepower, who would wield a lasso capable of extracting the truth from anybody (he was inspired by his work perfecting the lie detector) and who would inspire other women to be powerful and lead society into a better future. Many think that his work was the one the first mainstream feminists propaganda.

(Me wearing my Wonder Woman costume last Halloween. I felt like I could beat up The Rock.)

I think that part of the reason that Wonder Woman has maintained her popularity has to do with the context of her first publication. The ideals the comic defends in many ways aligned with the birth control activists that were being persecuted in the United States (which was no coincidence, Marston was connected to the founders of Planned Parenthood) and that transgression has continued through the different revival stories. The struggle for a more feminist society isn’t over and Wonder Woman knows that.

Even something that might seem inconsequential, her outfit, is a big deal. More to the point during her career DC has attempted to change her outfit numerous times just to return to the original design sooner or later. In Wonder Woman #600 she ditched the tiny corset for some leggings and a jacket, pretty reasonable for a superhero who wants comfort whilst fighting. But after that in The New 52, Princess Diana was back in her old style.

(Wonder Woman #600 (2010))

And even though she was recently redesigned for the new Wonder Woman #41 issue with a pretty kickass warrior gear, for the film Gal Gadot who is playing Diana will be wearing a pretty traditional version of her costume. Heels included, which to me is just absurd. For some reason the new outfits don’t usually get a positive feedback from the audience, who prefer a more “Lynda-Carter-style”. To me this is sometimes a struggle. On the one hand I’m really happy when women feel confident and able to wear whatever makes them happy. And I know firsthand that her costume can make you feel powerful. But it’s still troubling that heroines only get to wear tight or revealing clothes to do their jobs, they don’t need to lure an enemy, they need to beat him up. It also doesn’t help that most female superheroes have the same perfect body-type, some diversity would be nice. Let’s be real, Princess Diana was an Amazon and if we’re technical about it she should be missing one of her breasts.

(Wonder Woman #41 (2015))

In any case, one thing is clear: Wonder Woman has won all her battles and the least DC could do is amplify her representation. Till this day Diana hasn’t had one live action film (they did try to make it a TV show in 2011 but it failed MISERABLY) and although I know she has a role in the Superman vs. Batman film and her own movie is good news, it has taken too much time. Audiences are ready for this, they are ready for a strong, independent and strategic female lead. Hopefully she will beat her rivals at the box office as she has in the pages of comics.

(Gal Gadot in the outfit for the movie.)

Ps.: Actual evidence that I am Wonder Woman. Maybe. I don’t know:

If you want to know more about the creation of Wonder Woman I will leave a couple of reading suggestions here:

The last Amazon 

Wonder Woman Was Created by a Feminist Bondage Fetishist Who Wanted a Matriarchal Utopia