every woman deserves a peaceful period

Like most women I know, I consider getting my period A Drag: it's uncomfortable, inconvenient--and to make matters worse, there's that feeling, widely acknowledged, that it's something you're not supposed to talk about. Luckily, for those of us in the western world, that feeling is mostly in our heads. My husband doesn't mind talking about it in the slightest. He always brings me treats, and when I sometimes, occasionally, get cranky or impatient, he calls me "sailor moon" (get it?) and is generally very sympathetic.

Clearly, even on my very worst days, I have it good. I'm not the richest lady in the world, but I can always afford feminine products--and even if I couldn't, the tampon dispensers in all of the bathrooms at my school are unlocked and hanging open, available to everyone (thanks, Carnegie Mellon!) I can take showers pretty much whenever I want, in the privacy of my own home. In short, I never have to worry about my health, safety, or social standing as a result of this regular event.
Yes, it's inconvenient. But, really, that's all. 

In this I am, of course, incredibly lucky. Because despite the fact that nearly half the world's population gets their period every single month, there are, infuriatingly, many many places where people are not afforded the proper care and resources to cope with it, let alone the sympathy and dignity they deserve. In an AC Nielsen study performed in 2011, 88% of women in India reported using cloth, ashes, or even husk sand as a substitute for sanitary napkins, which most say they cannot afford. Not only do girls regularly miss class when they're on their periods, many drop out of school altogether once they begin menstruating, due to the stigma associated with this perfectly normal aspect of womanhood. You may have already heard the shocking story of Asma Rubber Private Limited, where female employees were subjected to strip searches after a used pad was found in one of the bathrooms.

Here at home, the situation isn't much better for those individuals unfortunate enough to be living on the streets. A recent article featured on Aljazeera called attention to the challenges and dangers that homeless women face as a result of getting their periods. Their access to bathroom and shower facilities are severely limited, causing them to resort to unsafe hygienic practices out of necessity. Pads and tampons are constantly in high demand, but according to shelter staff interviewed in this article and elsewhere, such items are rarely donated by the public.

So, what can you do about it? Well, if you want to let Asma know how outraged you are by its behavior toward its female employees, you can participate in Kiss Of Love's "Red Alert: You've Got a Napkin!" campaign, by sending sanitary napkins--new or used--to the company. Although, due to the as-yet-unconfirmed details of the story, you may consider this to be a little hasty.

But if you're feeling productive, rather than vindictive, there are more constructive routes you might take. For example, you might organize a tampon or pad drive for homeless women in your local area (here are seven steps for doing so) or you could choose to donate directly. Start-rite offers pretty steep discounts on bulk orders of tampons, pads, and the myriad other hygiene products homeless shelters are in need of, which you can have shipped to the shelter of your choosing (here's a national directory for locating shelters in your area). It won't solve everyone's problems forever, and it might not be the kind of thing you can do every day. But it's something! Remember, every little bit helps!

image via here


Happy 2015!

Hi you guys! Happy New Year! I'm not even sure if many of you even read this anymore, due to my year-long negligence. And, as I'm currently on vay-cay in F-L-A, that's not about to change anytime soon. Hopefully, though, when I'm done with grad school, everything will be back to normal. 

In the meantime, it's my top NYR to post AT LEAST once a week. If the past six months are any indication, that will mostly amount to my being a conduit for beautiful things that other people have done and shared on the internet, but it'll have to do for now. So let's ring in the new year with something inspiring! Like this most beautiful editorial recently featured in German Grazia--a delightful publication, I'm sure, if only I knew how to read it! 

May your 2015 be similarly full of wandering, whimsy, and beautiful skirts, and I'll talk to you soon--I promise! :)


I wish this was real!

I love this editorial! It's featured in the December issue of French Vogue, by far the best Vogue of the Vogues when it comes to creative fashion editorials, imho. I'm assuming these dolls are meant to be barbies, but it reminds me of the pleasant company catalogue that always came around christmastime when I was a kid. "Valentino" looks just like my dining room! Which one would you choose?!


giving the gift of holiday spirit

Now that cyber monday is over, its important to be aware of smart, affordable gifts for one and all. Usually, I just think about all the things that I've wanted to buy all year, for myself and for others.  But now that I have my own home I really love the idea of gifting holiday items. It's fun and jolly!

The first thing I want to mention is the lovely advent calendar, pictured above, that my mum sent for Felix. She got it at the National Gallery in London, and each door opens to a different painting that hangs in the gallery. So sweet! It's nice to have special things you only put out during the holidays. It also makes sense to me that seasonal housewares and decorations make perfect host gifts. Things like this:

felted wool radish ornaments $10 for set of 3

noel, by crabtree and evelyn: the perfect seasonal combination of cedar and spice  (the incense is the best, but they don't even make it anymore)

rim cookie cutter $6.50 for 3

striped taper candles--similar here, $24 a pair

the classiest of all christmas albums, about $15 on vinyl

midcentury paper ornaments $8 for set of 2

the most delicious tin of biscuits  

I'm working on some more of these, but it's also coming up on finals week.
In the meantime, here are some gift guides from last christmas past:

the gift of gold
the gift of organization
gifts for the little ones
gifts for the kitchen
gifts for the gentleman 
gifts for the special lady 


L'instant Gratification

I've spoken before about how I feel that, under the influence of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel as a brand has shifted away from its original concept of modern, androgynous, anti-oppulent chic. While I  don't pretend to be an expert in these things, the recent discussions I've been having in school regarding "branding" have made it all the more clear to me that Lagerfeld's actions constitute a blatant break from brand ethos. After all, Coco herself said that "luxury is the opposite of vulgarity"--I wonder what she'd have to say about the graffiti backpack, for example? Trendy? Yes. Fashion-forward? Perhaps... but chic, I'm afraid, it is not (personally, I see it as an insult to the consumer to sell for hundreds of dollars something that could easily be achieved on one's own with more individuality--and almost certainly, with more aesthetic appeal) But it doesn't stop there. Lately, Lagerfeld's shows have become more about spectacle than the clothes themselves. Texas hoedownskitty-cat inspired capsule collections, and a recently-cemented brand affiliation with the extended Kardashian Klan aren't helping. It's just all so gaudy. Suffice it to say, I'm not a fan... and I'd wager Chanel herself wouldn't have been, either (pure conjecture, obviously).  

The exception to this general trend of degradation is the label's ad campaign for its line of luxury timepieces: L'Instant Chanel. Here at least, Chanel's own brand of understated elegance seems to be maintained. These ads are so simple, clever, classic--and, despite the fact that each of them depicts a certain time of day, truly timeless. Too bad watches are a thing of the past!



A very moving speech by recently inducted UN Women's Ambassador Emma Watson. Well done!


sebastian errazuris

I will occasionally complain about the limitations and demands of being a mother and a student, but sometimes it's really an advantage. For example, last saturday, Felix and I took the bus--for free, because my student id card doubles as a buss pass and he won't have to pay until he's 5--to the carnegie museum of art and carnegie museum of natural history where we also got in free, for the same reasons.

Last time, we went almost immediately to the dinosaurs, and when we finally we made it to the art gallery, Felix was tired and expressly not interested. This time around, I got smart. I realized: he doesn't know his way around! He has to go wherever I go. It's so obvious! And so I got my way, at least for a little while. 

Though we inevitably spent most of our time looking at dinosaurs, one thing we could both agree on was the latest installation by Sebastian Errazuris: "Look Again."

I had no idea that this was here in town but I'm so glad it is! It's the first-ever solo exhibit for the Chilean-born, New-York based artist, which must be so exciting for him! You should go see it if you can--it's a really comprehensive collection of his work. If nothing else, do it for his porcupine cabinet:

I love what he does with furniture and sculpture. It's novel and innovative, but it also makes perfect sense. Like the piano shelf, which is comprised of individual sections that can be raised and lowered to accommodate any and all of your stuff. Not only is this beyond clever, the lowered sections of shelf also leave a blank space of wall, framing the objects you're choosing to display. Ingenious.

This is an artists whose every work I want to mention, but if you want to know more it would be easier for you to visit his website. And don't forget to see this exhibit if you can. Inspirational!