Bones and Stardust

It has taken me so long to build a home of bones and stardust. And even now I feel like those flowers growing on the sides of highways. Yellows and purples misplaced and unapologetic. They simply bloom where they are planted- that is an ache I know all too well. I have planted seeds along my flesh and hoped the vines would creep around my ribs and snake their way into my heart. I have always wished to be my own home. My roots never found their way into their soil but they have always been shy of the light. Wall (1 of 1)I am those flowers that you pass along the busy interstates that carry you from one place to the other without stop. Without thought. A beautiful moment left for “another time” or perhaps “another place” or “another day.” Are they flowers or are they simply weeds with blessed with some good fortune? There is inconvenience in their beauty, admiration  from afar- comfortable. Stable. “I will not stop for you because you may not be what I wanted to pick. Your petals are not blooming from the soil I would have chosen for myself.  Your obscurity makes you dangerous and I do not choose to cross your path.” Because a home is meant to be lived in, not observed or carried like a shell along your skin. These bones have seen the best of me and the worst of me, too. I am a home among  a desert plane or a busy highway. I am a weed who chooses to see herself as a gift.Ledge (1 of 1)nip (1 of 1)meow (1 of 1)Wall2 (1 of 1) wallagain (1 of 1)-2Wall (1 of 1)-2Shirt:: Urban Outfitters// Scarf:: Nordstrom// Skirt:: Forgotten Feather// Shoes:: Target
jumpinjumpin (1 of 1) All photos by Cory Russel.

An Ode

An ode to exploring. An ode to creating. An ode to the little things like warm days and to listening to the rainfall and painting what you hear. An ode to situations that you made the best of and the people you’ve met along the way. An ode to vintage shops and high waisted shorts, bananas and friends that think the same. An ode to yoga, an ode to ballet, a sonnet to poetry and words loved and laid down again.  An ode to college, an ode to Bree, an ode to the these photos she took of me!

_MG_1730Any day I can get brunch and model with Bree is a good day. Yesterday was absolutely lovely outside, the sun was warm on my skin and there was the softest breeze. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t cold and I didn’t even have to wear my sweater. Taking these photos was the ultimate celebration of freedom- that I’m done with college! The fact that one of my favorite people took them makes it even better. My time at The Univesity of South Carolina has had its ups and downs, but I’m so thankful for the years I’ve spent here. I’ll go into more detail about my experiences a bit later, but for now I’m excited to share these photos. _MG_1793_MG_1812This is also my ~official~ contributor photo for Nylon!  Check it out! _MG_1781Shirt and sunglasses:: Urban Outfitters/ Shorts:: Hip Wa Zee/ Boots:: H&M/ Bandana:: Vintage_MG_1847_2All photos by my amazing friend Bree Burchfield.

Here’s to what’s next.

Banishing the Creeps with Little Whip

I’m small. I’m 5’6 and 110 pounds with a big attitude and even bigger eyes. I see things and I notice things and even though I may not seem like I’m always aware of my surroundings, I’m always in tune to how things make me feel. Living in a city like Columbia , South Carolina means that I’m a novelty. The biggest pick up line that people use on me is “I’ve seen you all over” or “I always see you on campus but you’re in your own world.” Fair enough- getting noticed works in my advantage (hello this is a blog after all.) But there’s a difference between being noticed and being creeped on because I present myself a certain way.A-3119

Case in point- Early Friday afternoon I was in my car outside of Walgreens, about to get out when I noticed a bro in front of my car, desperately trying to get my attention and talk to me. I furiously shook my head NO while avoiding all eye contact, only to see said bro come to the side of my window to try and talk to me. My heart was racing as I tried to plan an escape- should I just jump out of my passenger side and run for cover in the haven that is Walgreens? Eventually he got the picture and left- but not before I walked past him with a look of rage on my face without making any eye contact while going into Walgreens.

Here’s the thing- I don’t mind a compliment. I don’t mind a smile. But feeling blatantly objectified and disrespected and honestly SCARED is never fun. I don’t know who’s psycho and who’s not. I’m not sure if this bro is gonna pull out a knife or gun if I reject him- so I have to be civil. Dressing with confidence, dressing for MYSELF, does not give anyone else permission to make me feel uncomfortable. That’s not how it works.

B-3121After taking to Facebook to complain about getting hit on, I of course had another semi-terrifying encounter that night while trying to buy some flowers at Publix. I was getting out of my car and saw someone in a flannel and five panel walking towards me, while I was walking in from the parking lot. After many “hellos” which I ignored as I was walking inside (into safety) this older man decided to tell me he moved here from San Diego and had never seen a punk chic in Columbia I didn’t know what to say. I was trying to be civil as I rushed to the nearest aisle of the grocery store, while he was still following me, and then he asked if he could walk with me. I gave him the dead in the eyes look before finally saying I wasn’t interested and walking away, to which he replied “damnnnn” as I strutted down the aisle to take refuge in the wine section. After I was done shopping, I rushed to my car and thought I was safe until I looked to the car next to me as I was about to back out and saw this same man NEXT TO MY WINDOW. I started to roll my window up and he begged me not to, telling me he wasn’t a creep or a weirdo, and that he had never seen anyone like me in Columbia. I said he was hanging in the wrong area and that I needed to go. He kept calling me “so damn beautiful” as I frantically whipped my car into reverse and left the store. F-3138

SO- what’s the point of these ridiculously long and unnecessary stories? These experiences, these encounters happen to women everywhere. Not all men are like this, but YES- all women go through this sort of thing. And as a white women I can only sympathize with my sisters of other ethnicities  and races who are objectified and discriminated on a level that I will never be able to fully comprehend. We can’t just scream F*** YOU because we’re scared of what will happen when we stand up for ourselves, and that in itself is terrifying. So what’s a girl to do? People tell me I look mean, or like a bitch- that I dress intimidatingly or scary. And you know why?! Because I don’t want people to mess with me!

One of the reasons I am so excited for this collab with Little Whip is because they stand for something I whole heartedly believe in- womanhood, unapologetic sexuality and power. By wearing pieces that are powerful and sensual I’m able to tap into both of those energies as I move through my day. Add to that the fact that this shirt is one of the softest things I own, and that I can pair it with pretty much anything and I’m hooked. Little Whip even has incredible pins like a whip (what else) and red lips. I’ll be blogging about those next week! But for now, I’m content pairing my cropped handcuff tee with some thigh high boots and an attitude that is unapologetic and confident. One that says- yes I love me but no, you don’t have to talk to me. Wearing something slightly “intimidating” means giving myself permission to worry and focus on myself- and not the creeps I have to keep away. So today, I am banishing the creeps. Thanks Little Whip.E-3135 D-3127 C-3124G-3147

Shirt:: LITTLE WHIP// Shorts:: Asos// Boots: Public Desire// Mesh and hat:: VintageH-3151

All photos by my incredible sister Alexandra Herstik, @alexyael .

Make sure to check out Little Whip’s amazing pieces HERE– AND don’t forget to check back next week for PART 2 of our collab.

The Breathing Fashion Guide to Being an Outsider

You never expected it to happen. The word itself never even crossed your mind. But one day, you wrap your mind around it like a sweater that’s been sitting at the bottom of your drawer for ages- one that never fit until just now. Outsider. It’s like a cloak has been lifted- a thin, gossamer veil shining opalescent in your peripheral vision for as long as you can remember. Suddenly there’s a name for the feeling and it’s found its way onto your flesh.

Step 1: Acknowledge It1-3091It only feels off at first. Like the balance has been shifted.  As soon as you see yourself from a perspective beyond your own, you have the power to change your situation. And the thing with being an outsider is that sometimes it doesn’t even feel like you don’t belong. Sometimes the way you perceive the nuances of life are just different- a slightly different tone or melody. A color shaded a little differently. A feeling worn a little bit heavier than those surrounding you. You coexist- but sometimes you feel like you’re living life on the other side of a veil, one that’s far less inhabited than the mortal realm.  No matter how far you wander, no matter how far removed you may feel, it’s okay. Taking time to figure out the way which you move through this world, no matter how different it may be from someone else, is all you need to exist inside your own reality.

2. Own It2-3093There will never be anyone else who sees the world from your view. There is no macrocosm without a microcosm.  You are just as important as everyone dwelling inside whatever perceived bubble you may see. And one of the things about living life looking in is that you have to remember there is no outside. There is no inside. There is no us versus them. There is just you. Talk to your demons. Learn what it is they’re strangling and grip hold of it and listen to the message it’s holding onto. The only way to live life askew is to do it on your own terms. Cast your fist up to the skies, and promise yourself that in spite of everything that has made you feel- compartmentalized or less than or not good enough- the only person you have to prove yourself to is you. If you already live life as an outsider, if you already feel different or absurd, then why wouldn’t you tackle the beast of your originality and wrestle it head on? Own it. Wear whatever you want. Listen to whatever you want. Do whatever you want. There is no one left to judge you.

Step 3: Let It Go3-3094One day you’ll get it. You’ll understand why you felt like you never had a place to fit into. You’re expected to conform to a singular mold. But you are vast. Infinite. You are oceans. Fluid- unable to decide on one way to see things. And one day you will realize- you are different. Like a cloud, you will float along in technicolor daydreams wearing your vintage hat and headscarf until the bubble you have submerged yourself in pops. And you’re back to your reality- one that doesn’t confine any spiritual experience to human terms. You feel like an outsider because you are made of stars and stardust. Let it go. You were never meant to feel human in this life.6-30994-30955-30977-3106Hat:: Sid & Nancy’s// Headscarf:: Strange Magick// Dress:: Urban Outfitters// Boots: H&M 8-3107All photos by amazing twin Alexandra Herstik.

Never be ashamed of who you are.

Saturday Style::: Slips and Stripes

Sometimes you just deserve to sleep until noon and wake up as your body is ready, starting your Saturday with a slow stretch. Today was that sort of day. I woke up, made myself some breakfast and took it easy, enjoying my afternoon before slipping into a slip, some stripes and my favorite Deandri O ring choker. It’s funny, as I get older I see my interests as a child reflected more and more into what I choose to wear. I have always loved Tim Burtin, Sweeney Todd has been one of my favorite movies since I saw it in theaters when I was 13, and now more than ever I see it. I wanted to wear this slip from Ivory and it wasn’t until I finished putting my outfit together that I saw just how much Mr. Burton has influenced me. Oh that and The Craft. I cut my hair above my shoulders and now I’m feeling especially Nancy. Sick.

Super easy outfit:: Lingerie. A little cropped tee. Some kind of cool necklace. Weird sunglasses. Fun socks and some chunky oxfords. Done, done and done. Extra points if you incorporate stars and stripes into your outfit. I love wearing lingerie as real clothing- with a little manipulation and a little creativity you can pretty much double your wardrobe. This slip is floor length and I just used some safety pins to hem it a little bit. No regrets! 1 2 3 6

Slip: Forgotten Feather Vintage//Shirt: Nordstrom// Purse: Zara // Socks: Hip Wa Zee// Shoes: Target// Choker: Deandri// Sunglasses: Dynamite

Wear something good today! It’s Saturday!
Cheers,
Gabriela

Getting Schooled in the Law of Fashion

I had an interesting discussion yesterday with my business law professor and I wanted to share it because it got me all riled up.
 
Yesterday, my class had to give presentations dealing with our majors and law. My group made a PowerPoint about fashion, law, copyright infringement and all the the juicy stuff that comes with knock-offs.
 
At the end of the presentation my professor looks at me and asks “Why does this matter? Why should I care”
 

The question is valid. I get it. I did my best to explain to him that when retailers copy designers it causes a whole mess of problems for everyone involved. Fashion affects many people beyond the scope of the industry itself. If you’re wearing clothing, you should care. But he didn’t really get that response.

 
Instead he pointed out how every tee-shirt is the same, and that fashion doesn’t matter. A jacket is a jacket, why should he care about the fashion industry?

 I went off.
So besides the fact that the fashion industry employs millions of people, regardless of the fact that there are humane and ethical issues with knock offs and fast fashion, regardless if he thinks he’s excluded from fashion- he isn’t. I felt like Miranda Priestly going off at Andy about cerulean blue. Just because YOU may not like something, doesn’t mean it’s not important to someone else.

Even though my professor may not know who Rei Kawakubo or Rick Owens is, even though he may not think that there are pieces of clothing that are “different” or unique, it didn’t matter. I know people think fashion is frivolous. Everyone in the class who was laughing proved that. At this point, I felt like it wasn’t about fashion, it wasn’t about the fact that these people wanted to know what made interesting silhouettes or collections. It wasn’t a genuine curiosity.
 
It felt like because I was a woman, talking about fashion, I didn’t deserve to be taken seriously.
 The presentation before me was about a sports team and a university fighting about who owns who. The presentation after me was about someone suing ESPN for filming him while he was sleeping at a game. My professor didn’t ask either group why what they were doing was important. He didn’t ask why he should care. 
 
I didn’t just feel like he thought what I was talking about what dumb. For the FIRST TIME I felt like a women talking about what she loves, only for it to be automatically dismissed as unimportant and frivolous. Dumb. Silly. I’m a woman, so my interest in fashion is cute. It’s not important. It’s stupid.
 Although I don’t think my professor meant it aggressively or rudely, it didn’t feel good. It felt like sh**! And even though I did my best to stand up and show him- which may be why people were laughing- it still felt wrong. 
He hadn’t seen The Devil Wears Prada and asked that I email him to cerulean blue clip after I mentioned that the conversation we were having was pretty much the same as Miranda schooling Andy.  He emailed me thanking me for my rigorous defense of my position and asked to see the video. So I sent it.
 
 Here’s to learning.
 

Renaissance Magick on a Monday

Life is for sharing.  It’s for community, and family and friends who may as well be family. It’s about having plenty and giving in abundance. It’s about sharing love and light and space with souls who sing at your frequency. We have walked this earth many times, but we were never meant to walk it alone. You are not meant to carry your sadness or hurt or pain by yourself. You are meant to hold it along with others who also hold part of your heart. Find humans who understand this and life will be much more joyful.5I am so overwhelmingly thankful for Ivory and my sister Alexandra for this reason- they know me and care for me when I’m upset or hurt. Most of the time, thankfully, we spend our weekends in the best of moods, eating brunch, drinking coffee and taking photos. Now that Ivory has moved into her new studio, this means even more time and space for photos. BUT- there’s still no time for chill because Indie South Fair is coming to Columbia THIS WEEKEND, April 9-10. This means::: vintage, handmade goods, coffee, tintype photographs, lots of good music and GRILLED CHEESE FOOD TRUCKS. There will be so much fun and festivity and talent and you won’t wanna miss it. I will be there helping Ivory sell her precious items and I cannot wait. Come visit and you too can be a little Renaissance faery.1 3 241110131297All items are (except these Topshop jeans) from Forgotten Feather, styled by Ivory and myself. 

Anyway- Come out to Indie South Fair this weekend at 701 Whaley from 10am to 6pm for lots of fun! You can find the event page HERE. PS- Come say HELLO!

Cheers,
Gabriela 

Manifesting Stillness

I have been learning to slow down. Or trying to. I have been trying to find time for stillness. For silence. For steadiness. I am learning to find a mirrors in others, to find how my impatience is a reminder to love the parts of myself that still have to be polished like a precious crystal. I have been trying to take some time to honor the parts of me that are so frustrating and fast and unwilling to be spoken with. I am trying to find time to listen to myself when I get frustrated or anxious or sad with people or myself.FJ5A6499_resize (3)I have spent some time the past couple of nights honoring myself. I’ve taken a bath, facetimed with friends, done yoga, relaxed and watched movies. I’ve incorporated some simple rituals into this – namely this one from The Numinous. I’ve typed some words and I’ve had some breakthroughs simply because I have given myself enough space from what I feel and what is expected. I am trying to take my hands off the wheel to believe in the easiest way possible. I am learning and harnessing the powers I have as a manifester and I am using them to create. But I am learning to listen to the moments between the breakthroughs and love all the inconsistencies about them that make me so frustrated. I am writing love poems to myself on a typewriter only to mess it up because I have so many words all at once that I cannot slow down my hands fast enough to stop. I am forgiving myself for never stopping but I am learning to find a happy medium anyway. FJ5A6465resizeFJ5A6511 (1)FJ5A6510_resize2All photos by my beautiful friend Bree Burchfield.love poemToday’s words on my beautiful typewriter. I am slowing down.

SATURDAZE IN LACY LINDSEY LINGERIE

The newest collaboration in the Breathing Fashion universe is with lingerie company Lacy Lindsay, with crystals from The Hoodwitch and photos by Bree Burchfield. 

I present to you:
The perfect night in_MG_6007_resizePlans are cancelled. Your perfect “going out” outfit has gone to waste and the bottle of champagne you’ve been waiting to pop feels more morbid than it does celebratory. What’s  a girl to do?  Not one for the game of self-pity,  it seems as if a night in is in your cards. The obvious answer to any Saturday night dilemma is  lingerie, lipstick and lots and lots of lace. Why waste a perfectly good evening brooding when you could be fabulous in your favorite lipstick, leaving kisses on a giant glass of bubbly? Dress up and bathe in the glories that make you, you. Grab your crystals and keep them close, nothing says “girls night” like posing with your favorite quartz. Instead of (metaphorically) cursing the boy or girl who ruined your plans, you thank them. How else would you have an excuse to drink out of your favorite chalice while binge watching Sex and the City. There’s a silver line to everything, so you choose to tie a balloon to this line and to float somewhere fabulous and far far away. _MG_6011_img (1)_MG_6037_resize_MG_6024_resize_MG_6061-Recovered (1)_MG_6062_resize_MG_6020 copy_MG_6080_resizeHere’s the thing. Sometimes people mess up. Sometimes they let us down. But the one person who should always, ALWAYS, have your back is you. Spend your night celebrating everything that makes you the funky, weird, crazy human you are. And don’t forget to wear something good, and take photos, while you’re at it. _MG_5983_resize (2)
All lingerie:: Lacy Lindsey// Crystals:: The Hoodwitch// Black shag jacket:: Disturbia// Leopard jacket:: Zara

All photos by Bree Burchfield 

HELLO CALIFORNIA

Oh California!! It’s been such a lovely few days so far. I flew in on Friday, went to La Jolla for lunch, saw some seals and took in the sights. On Saturday we drove to LA to spend the day with what may as well be our family. When you’ve known the same people since you were 2, and you call their parents mom and dad and you’ve stayed in contact even though you’ve spent more than half your life on opposite coasts…you’re family. Seeing everyone was incredible, and being back in LA for the last time before I graduate college has left me feeling every feeling, all at once. 1LA has always been a very weird place for me energetically.  I was super attached to Los Angeles growing up. We moved to our home in Woodland Hills when Alexandra and I were 2, and I spent the next five years in little Gabriela,  90s Aquarius child style euphoria. My days were most enjoyed biking around the cul-de-sac, licking coffee Popsicle from the Mexican supermarket down the street and bathing in giant plastic tubs outside. Our house had the most beautiful garden, with an arbor filled with roses., that occasionally led to the most magnificent inflatable kiddy pool I had ever seen. It was always so scary running through the triumphant arc into the garden- the probability of stepping on a thorn always felt exponential, but it was a risk I was always willing to take. I don’t know how to describe this bliss spent under the blue California skies. It was punctuated by trips to Baskin Robbins listening to the Spice Girls on blast and playing on the jungle gym of our temples preschool. There were trips to Emily and Amanda’s, once I missed a play date and was so jealous because Emily and my sister collected pine cones and turned them into pets.5 4I think I’ve always been a weirdly spiritual child and it wasn’t until I got back to California that I was able to really connect to this energetically.  My childhood was colored by the backyard of my family friends. The same ones that I spent this past weekend with, laughing and crying over home videos.  I went outside to the garden (pictured above, duh) and it was just strange. Weird. Different. Realizing you’ll never be able to accurately describe your childhood experiences to anyone else and realizing you’ll never be able to relive them is weird. It’s heavy.  The eclipse and Supermoon are inviting me to step back into that curiosity, the unyielding joy I felt as a child. I accept. And I think I am being invited to bask in silence. To listen. To enjoy the moments between this phase and the next.3LAObviously I chose to go to LA in all black- with this tank top I left here over Winter Break. I am very excited to have it back. I have had these wooden soled boots from Zara for YEARS and I love them. And my denim jacket and Bolo tie felt like the final touch. The key to being energetically confused? A good outfit. I swear to god/dess if you have something you feel confident, sexy and capable in, you will always feel grounded. That’s a secret, one that I am writing at 10pm from me to you. Use it wisely. If your auras in a funk or if you’re in an emotional turbine, wear something that makes you feel like the bad b**** you are. On Monday I got my wisdom teeth out, which means I spent the day in bed, eating ice cream and watching Harry Potter.  I never need an excuse to do these things, but having one was refreshing. Yesterday I finally got out of the house for some lunch and coffee, to work on my latest pieces for Nylon and Broadly, and to generally enjoy San Diego. Andale.naturalI also tried to do the whole “natural” makeup look  thing yesterday and I’m not hating it! Of course I had to wear my zodiac shirt, you know because of the Supermoon and Eclipse. All the normal universal shenanigans going super speed and really hard. Today was spent at the doctor and eating at an amazing cafe in Del Mar, where a lovely lady from USC comes up to me and goes “Are you Gaby?!” Is this an existential riddle? AM I Gaby? Or am I just, Gaby. These are the thoughts that plague my mind. Anyway, yes- Gaby is me as I am she. Apparently she recognized me from a coffee shop I frequently visit in Columbia- and she said her friend follows me on Instagram. HA! How cool. It’s a small world. 12801205_10153285433101207_8413695245791993442_nAfter lunch, my mom, Alexandra and I went to the Self Realization Fellowship meditation garden. If you’re in San Diego- GO.  The garden is absolutely phenomenal. I definitely cried at all the beautiful flowers and their sweet faeries and the view. You walk up stairs through the most vibrant garden only to be greeted by the never ending song of the ocean and the most overwhelming view of the sea. The sun was shining and kissing my cheek. I turned my phone off and just spent time talking to the flowers, looking at all the cactus and just listening to mother nature. One of my favorite flowers was a cactus with huge spikes and the most delicate, vibrant pink flowers blooming at the very tips of the plant. You know how sometimes you just get a plant? Me too.  The garden was incredible, and after we had to visit the gift shop (duh altar tressures) and guess what I got?  A COMIC BOOK ABOUT GANESH AND ANOTHER ABOUT THE BHAGAVAD GITA. I had to. I am not sorry. Today was lovely, partially because I was singing along to the Beatles with my mom while we took in some beautiful views and partly because my face may still be a bit swollen but I put on makeup anyway.8car views7Sometimes it’s even the little things like exteriors of houses that remind you of what it feels like to love someone truly and deeply.


I hope you each find some peace today.
Until next time,
Gabriela 

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