It’s September and it means one thing in the fashion world: “fashion week”.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about “fashion week”, whether in New York, Paris, London or Milan is where designers and various design houses unveil their collection for the next seasons. September Fashion Week showcases the Spring/Summer collection and February Fashion Week showcases the Fall/Winter collection.
Both designers and fashionistas alike would fight tooth and nail to get inside the tents in Bryant Park for New York Fashion Week, and one of my goals in life is to be sitting in the front row with my mouth dangling open just admiring the newest collections from my favorite designers.
Those who think fashion is beneath them (pretentious douches who choose to look like homeless people – and even smell like one – just to sound intelligent and deep) use words like “superficial”, “ridiculous” and “consumerism” to describe the fashion industry, but really, they’re full of shit. They have no idea what it takes to put out a collection that is cohesive (Nina Garcia’s favorite word), beautiful and inspiring.
Before the models can strut down the runway, before the clothes are fitted and sown, before there’s even a design on paper, the designers would put together a mood board, where they collate their research, inspiration, drawing, photography, colors that basically serve as a jumping off point for their whole collection.
I’m not a fashion designer but I find the idea of a mood board or inspiration board interesting. When I was younger, I loved creating mood boards by cutting up old magazines and pictures and pasting them on any board that I can find. Of course now with my life being more virtual than anything, I don’t make actual mood boards anymore (plenty of things can go wrong when you give me super glue and scissors) but I do still make them, using the magic of technology. Whether with design websites such as Polyvore or Photoshop, whenever I start work on my new book, I’d create a mood board that will serve as a jumping off point for my story. And whenever I hit a wall, or start experiencing the dreaded writer’s block, I’d go back to my board and it would inspire me to continue writing.
So today, I thought I’d share with you the things in my mood board, the things that inspire me lately. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you too.
1/ Family. The best inspiration is always the one closest to home, and my family consists of amazing people who never cease to inspire me every day with their spirit, tenacity, talent and love.
2/ French films. I’ve always loved French cinema, the very un-Hollywood nature of it is what makes it so interesting. I’m really into the nouvelle vague (French new wave) films now, I definitely have a renewed appreciation for them in the recent years.
3/ Geek chic. Let’s face it, geek is the new chic. Geeks rule the world; and have been since the internet was discovered and our lives were changed forever. I’m fascinated by the “geek culture”: from geeky but incredibly cool characters on TV and films, to geek chic fashion that has taken over the runway.
4/ Cool print ads. I used to work in advertising, so paying attention to interesting and cool print ads has become a second nature for me. My favorites are still the Absolut Vodka ad campaigns. It’s genius in its simplicity.
5/ Indie filmmakers. So many indie films have inspired me in the last few years, and I owe it all to these guys: from established and critically-acclaimed directors like Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Sorderbergh and Jim Jarmusch, the newer crop of directors making their debut at Sundance every year.
6/ Libraries. We don’t have too many great libraries (I don’t think one good one even exists) where I live, but I love the smell of old books, and just looking at so many pictures of great libraries on the web can inspire me.
7/ Love. I’m not a romantic, but I am one of the lucky ones who realize that it’s good to love and be loved in return.
8/ Modern minimalist interior. What can I say? I love IKEA!
9/ Tough chicks. I’m not talking about those girls who can beat the crap out of people, but more about women whose odds were against them and yet came out on top anyway. Women who have been to hell and back and yet they managed to stand strong, beautiful and fabulous. I’ll never stop being inspired by them.
10/ Rainy days. Even though they bring traffic jams and flood sometimes, I still love rainy days. I love the smell of rain falling on the ground, it lifts my spirits somehow.
11/ Architecture. Maybe it’s because I’m moving house soon, but I have a new appreciation for architecture lately. I love old buildings, but when it comes to places I actually want to live in, I always prefer the minimalist designs of Swedish architecture.
12/ Pastries. I don’t like to eat cake, but I do love looking at them. And every time I walk past a cake shop or bakery, I am always inspired by the explosion of colors and cuteness from the cakes, so much so that I am planning to buy plastic cupcakes to decorate my room.
13/ New York City. I think it’s pretty apparent from the fact that most of my novels are set in Manhattan that this city constantly inspires me.
14/ Fashion photography. This goes hand in hand with my love for fashion. Each day, I discover new fashion photographers and each day, I’m amazed by their talent and their vision. I’ve just discovered the amazing work of Camilla Akrans a few weeks ago, and now I’m truly hooked.
What inspires you lately?