Thursday, June 22, 2017

What I've Been Listening To: SZA

I must confess that I’m not a music aficionado.  I can’t identify a Nina Simone sample on a Kanye track without the help of Genius.com.  I don’t describe beats as “hiccuping” or synthesizers as “glitched-out” with the finesse of a Rolling Stone editor.  But I know what I like: clever bars and a beat that makes me unconsciously diddy bop (thus my proclivity for trap); and what I don’t like: aggressive techno and country music.

And what I love?  SZA. Ctrl.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An Idiot's Guide to Black Culture

If you’re a frequent reader of Otis Unfiltered, you’ve likely noticed that there have been a fit of starts and stops.  What can I say, managing a blog while taking three courses pass/fail your spring semester senior year of college allows much more time to let the creative juices flow than adulting.  Back in February, I started an outline for an article about three things to do this Black History Month that don’t involve learning about George Washington Carver, and then life happened and I never got around to actually writing said article.  While February has long passed, I figured, why can’t we learn about black history and celebrate black culture any month?  So voila, here’s  an Idiot’s Guide to Black Culture (which is by no means exhaustive!!).
Hank Willis Thomas, "Black Power," 2006.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup

Inspired by the Man Repeller's "the best of the Internet" and Cupcake and Cashmere's "Links I Love," I'm bringing you six of my favorite articles, gifs and videos from the week.  I hope you find the links as equally inspiring and thought provoking as I have.


1. Paris Hilton Invented Everything You're Doing in 2017, and She Knows It -from selfies to celebrity culture to shameless self promotion.
2. How to spend $638,412.97 on Gucci in 3 years. And I thought I had a problem.
3. Is an open marriage a happier marriage? Maybe we've got it all wrong.
4. Just when you thought you reached peak Met Gala, Frank Ocean goes and releases his 35mm shots.
5. Watching a black girl put on sunscreen and not look chalky? Sold. Thanks, Glossier.
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is Minimalism Dead?


Recently, I’ve found myself on an anti-minimalism kick. What I used to classify as simple and elegant now feels boring and stale. Credit the cyclical nature of trends or the fashion set’s collective embrace of Alessandro Michele’s maximalist designs for Gucci, but when your closet starts to non-ironically resemble Steve Jobs’, full of Levi’s jeans and black turtlenecks, it’s time to go shopping. Some may extol the virtues of having a go-to uniform, but I say snooze. At what point do basics become...basic? While I may not be ready for my full blown Rihanna moment (although #goals) of Gucci lurex bodysuits at Coachella or her Comme des Garcons look at the Met Gala, here are three trends that I’ve been coveting.

 1. Kitschy T-Shirts
The white t-shirt reigns supreme as the go-to basic. Some may credit Dem Franchize Boyz for the white t-shirt’s ascension with their 2004 banger “White Tee.” Others may contend that Hanes cornered the market eons ago. Nonetheless, the white tee is long overdue for an update. Enter the kitschy graphic white tee.

1/2/3
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Am I Basic?

Confession: I frequently wonder if I'm basic. Walking into a room full of Outdoor Voices-clad yogis on Saturday afternoon at Sky Ting Yoga, I thought to myself, “How did I get here?” I don’t particularly love yoga, unless we’re talking the hip hop variety (Y7, I’m talking to you), but here I was, at a studio that I found on Instagram (how millennial!), wearing Outdoor Voices leggings, a brand self-proclaimed, and not incorrectly, fitness wear for the it girl, before meeting up with friends for...brunch! Oh, the horror.



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Sunday, February 19, 2017

What to Do When You Discover Mahershala Ali is Married

A few weeks ago, my friend texted me, “How do we get to know Mahershala Ali?” in equal parts seriousness and fantasy, followed by “do we know what his relationship status is.” Editor’s note: For the uninitiated, Mahershala Ali is the “it” actor in Hollywood at the moment and the favorite for the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Moonlight. Not to mention, he’s simply a beautiful specimen. Cue our mutual disappointment to discover that he’s married. This discovery shattered my worldview in which everyone is single and therefore fair game.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to Navigate Sale Season


“Winter is coming! Winter is coming!”  It’s not.  But, sale season is here!  And if I the SAT’s reinstated analogies, commit to memory that Winter-is-coming is to Game of Thrones fanatic as Sale Season is to me.  And friends, we’re in the throes of it.  Before you prematurely blow through your budget, here’s the rules of navigating sale season.
SSense
1. What is sale season?

Retail’s seasons hark back to a bygone era where customers shopped for their entire season’s wardrobes at one time. Cue coats being delivered in August and wedges in February.  If last winter was any indication, the industry has finally recognized this is not sustainable (when it’s still 60 degrees in December, no one is buying that Canada Goose) and are trying to move to a buy now, wear now model.  But for now, you’re in luck!  By the end of the season, the retailer needs to clear through their inventory to prep for new inventory. And here’s where the discounts come in.


2. When does it start?

Memorial Day Weekend! Begin to expect an onslaught of emails about sales in the 40% off range.  For the retailer, there’s still time to clear through some merchandise, and they’re not trying to erode their margins.  Here’s when you hop on that item you’ve been diligently stalking all season. It’s probably been in your wishlist or shopping cart for months, so just go for it! The time is now.   If you’ve genuinely been coveting it and would be upset if it sold out, don’t hesitate because this is your chance.  If you’re more willing to wait for further discounts, hold off until the Fourth of July. Here’s when stores take an extra discount a la 60% off range.  It’ll be harder to come by your size, but talk about savings.  Now if you’re truly a bargain shopper, you’ll wait until Labor Day Weekend when stores are 80% off.  Expect it to be piece-y, but trust me it can be well worth the wait.

3. Does everything go on sale?

No! Note that if you’ve been coveting a Chanel 2.55, it won’t go on sale. In fact, it’ll probably be more expensive in a few months. That’s why they call it an investment piece. However, if you’ve been dying for the Fendi Buggy Bag, that will go on sale.  

Stella McCartney Slides Was $770 Now $231
Robert Clergerie Sandals Was $650 Now $389

Chloe Sandals Was $795 Now $477
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