This past weekend was amazing but very heavy energetically. The Scorpio New Moon had me feeling heavy with contemplation, examining the cycles of my life as they present themselves in new ways. Halloween on Monday meant the veil between this world and the spirit realm was at its thinnest. Halloween is the day that spirits can come and go as they please, as can faery. Halloween weekend was the first time it’s been rainy and overcast since I arrived in LA three months ago. It felt like Autumn and it was beautiful but also very strong. I was on edge and vaguely anxious but spending time with my favorite people helped- a bit of hot chocolate, seeing a little boy in a dinosaur costume, and buying a cute scrunchy also helped. The energy is still strong so take time for yourself. Take a bath, reflect on the past month, go to a therapist, make some art- do what you need to do to make sure you’re in the safest, healthiest place you can be. Wear something that makes you feel good about being in your body if you can.
Welcome Witches! Happy Halloween!
It’s our season. It’s the time of the waning year and with the darkness comes an extra dose of magick. This past Halloween weekend in LA was extra special for a few reasons, one of them being because it was actually gloomy and raining! The energy at this time of year is always thick, fuzzy with the energy that comes with the veil between this world and the next thinning. And the gloomy, dark, overcast weather lent a wonderful, although heavy, energy to the Halloween festivities. One of my best friends Cory was visiting for the weekend and being able to show him gloomy LA was the perfect Halloween welcome.
Friday for work I dressed up as Wednesday Addams, again. I already had this set and I got this harness and these shoes at Deandri’s warehouse sale last weekend- they were begging to be worn together!
Friday night was an extra special treat because I got to see one of my favorite bands, Balance & Composure, for the first time in two years. Seeing them in LA was completely unexpected but amazing. I decided to prove my commitment and dress up as Sparkle Motion which made dancing a little bit more special and way more fun. I thoroughly enjoyed channeling my inner Samantha Darko.
Halloween is the perfect time to bring out the most outlandish pieces from my closet and wear them all at once. I got this latex dress from Valfre about a month ago and was so excited to finally pair it with a fresh shave! I wore this during the day Saturday before going full Halloween that night. I also loved seeing so many random people (mostly children!) dressed up, out and about during the day. I love being able to be especially out there at this time of year, when people are less worried about what others will think, heck you can be whoever you want on Halloween! How special is that.
Saturday night I went out with some friends and decided to dress up as Black Phillip. Of course. Black Phillip is a character in the The Witch, a period piece about a family of English settlers in the early 1600’s who have a firsthand encounter with a Witch. It turns out their family goat, Black Phillip, isn’t as innocent as he seems…
I even had a book so people could sign their souls to me. I wore a vintage bathing suit, thigh high fishnet stockings, TUK creepers and a Disturbia jacket. I had to wear my horns a little lopsided but what can you do! I contoured my face with some gray makeup, drew on a nose and some freckles and called it a night.
My twin sister Alexandra was the Upside Down so of course we had to get a photo. It’s not everyday you can sign your soul away to the Devil in the Upside Down .We ended Saturday night with some Mexican food…as if I couldn’t love Halloween any more.
Sunday was spent eating brunch, walking around, enjoying the creepy and unnerving weather and modeling in front of beautiful pink walls (which I will post photos of in the next few days!) Halloween is the perfect time to wear what you want, love who you want and be what you want.Today I dressed up as my Queen and came into work! Ha! Halloween is for fun and what’s more fun than dressing up as your idol//boss? Nothing. I’m so thankful that I’ve got to dress up so much for the holiday. Tonight I will be holding a ritual and performing divination. It’s the perfect time to reflect, honor those who have passed and take time to plan on what you want in the next year.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!
Hello dear humans!
I apologize for the lack of posts. Between getting settled in LA, starting this internship and moving into a new apartment, I’ve been busy, tired and honestly a little bit lazy! I love my internship- it still hasn’t hit me that this is real. But one thing that has hit me is that I have a reason to dress up every day. Even when I’m not working, I can still hit the streets of LA in some of my favorite clothes. I haven’t gotten a single side eye from a middle aged white man since I’ve been here and it’s pretty dope! I love being able to utilize my closet and come up with new outfits so, here are some of my favorites!
When you find an X-Files shirt and neat $10 glasses within the same week- you wear them together. I’ve discovered that I enjoy wearing red and baby pink. I also appreciate obnoxious metallic clothing and accessories!
I saw The Coathangers, who I wrote about for NYLON, and a band called LA Witch opened for them. They were amazing and of course I bought a shirt. I paired it with a vintage tartan skirt for an extra kick of Viv.
I DID IT- I got my first Vivienne Westwood bag! I was pricing this and knew I needed it. It’s the perfect size, it’s sleek and it literally screams SEX. I paired it with some DIY painted shoes, an accordion pleated button down and a big gold clip to bring it all home.
I’m feeling blue eyeliner and dad hats and I felt like being loud this day so why not just wear everything all at once?! Paired with some star socks and baby pink oxfords I got from London for extra eccentricity.
My most recent look is what I like to describe as Eastern European flapper. It does the job! I got this bag this past weekend and I’m obsessed with it. I also got to wear this shawl thing I got a few weeks ago on sale.
What do you wear to work?!
Last year when we turned six I was still in shock that Breathing Fashion is still here. Now we’re turning 7 and I’m STILL in shock. WOW. It’s been over half a decade with this site and I still love it. I started Breathing Fashion as a way to cultivate my voice in fashion journalism- it started as a platform share my own content in hopes that I eventually would be writing for other sites and magazines. And guess what fam- WE MADE IT. I’m writing for some of my favorite sites and I get to write about feminist things and witchy things! I’m also now based in LA as I intern in the PR department of Vivienne Westwood. I just booked my first real styling shoot for a cool California based magazine and I have some fun pieces I’m working on. I’m still overwhelmed at life and you know, the fact that people actually care enough about what I have to say to read it. My fabulous twin Alexandra accompanied me to check another big thing off my bucket list- driving the Angeles Crest highway. Also referred to as Donnie Darko highway by the twin and I- Angeles Crest is where the Carpathian Ridge scenes of Donnie Darko were filmed. Unfortunately we only drove a few of the 66 mile highway, which goes through the San Gabriel Mountains (ha!) but driving the whole thing is another item on the bucket list. The view was overwhelming and beautiful and honestly just magical and majestic. Although I have a fear of heights, I was able to deal because Alex was driving and Donnie Darko, duh. And yes- I cried and played the soundtrack the whole time. I’m going to do my best to have a real birthday post, but for now I think these will do. I’m wearing a vintage skirt I found at Goodwill with Ivory and some new shades I got here in LA. I’m so humbled by all the love you guys give me. I’m doing my best to make this even better.
PS- check out the new portfolio- gabrielaherstik.com
Here’s to another fabulous year.
PS- thank you for the photos Alexandra.
Happy Sunday to all of you humans out there. We made it. Another week has gone by and we’ve survived. Heck yeah, I’ll drink to that. I’ve been celebrating this past week because I landed an internship with one of my idols and I am very excited! So of course I celebrated by wearing what I would want to be dressed in for eternity, a ghost outfit if you will. If I were to die in a moment- this what I would die in and wear for the rest of my ghost life. This dress is one of my favorites- I got in H&M in London for London Fashion Week, which I did end up wearing it to (see below)!This dress was with me for my interview for Rick Owens, which I also landed (still in shock that happened!)and it was with me to interview for Vivienne Westwood.This dress is me in my element. It’s simple but interesting, it can be worn a ton of ways and it will always feel sexy. This outfit was important for me because it was a physical manifestation of what I feel like- this is it. This is exactly what I want to look like (there’s only so much you can change)- and that feels damn good. I got these shoes from Topshop for fashion week as well, and they were another good spiritual//physical investment. I love these things. I wore a leather bra that I got from Ivory and my all time best investment on these $10 hot pants- and this $1 clip. It’s weird recognizing hard work pay off- there isn’t anything wrong with it folks. Recognize! Pay it forward! Wear a good outfit! Stay sharp, my friends. Happy Sunday.
All photos by Alexandra Herstik.
May was a whirlwind- I can’t even believe it’s almost over. I graduated college, bummed around and balanced my time between being productive and being lazy, eating ice cream and taking it easy.May in Columbia is the best because it’s not sticky and overwhelmingly hot- it’s bearable and for the most part actually enjoyable, and once school’s out, the city slows down. Southern summers aren’t so bad.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on rooftops with my twin Alexandra, who captured me in the photo above. But that’s not all I’ve been up to!
Here’s what I’ve been doing/ listening to/ watching this past month. Enjoy.
The Accessory:: Root Vegetable Head Scarf
I got this scarf at Hip Wa Zee for $2 and almost puked! It has the sweetest root veggies on it- aka BEETS- aka the greatest vegetable there is. They’re the prettiest color, stain everything and taste like dirt- I get it. I paired the scarf with the heels I got for graduation, my favorite Topshop jeans, and a tank top and sunnies from Urban Outfitters. I wanted to keep the silhouettes of this look sleek to make sure the scarf popped. Red lipstick seemed like a natural choice.
The Cemetery:: Elmwood
I know a lot of people have a very hard time hanging out or visiting cemeteries, but for me they’re a place of peace, of reflection, of love and remembrance and honor. I’ve been spending sunny afternoons in Elmwood Cemetery, with some tarot cards, my Book of Shadows, the song of the crows and sometimes some friends. Elmwood is huge- it’s 169 acres and was established in 1854. I’ve been to Elmwood alone plenty of times and have never been bothered- it’s peaceful, safe and a sanctuary that I never anticipated finding in Columbia. My beautitful, long lost triplet Amanda came to visit me from Charleston and we spent our afternoon basking under the sun. We read tarot and talked and laughed with Amelia of The Midheaven and Ivory of Forgotten Feather in what we realized is our newly formed coven- each of our astrological signs represent a different element, and our names even spell GAIA. Goddess Squad!
The Soundtrack:: True Widow
True Widow popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly Playlist a couple weeks ago, and it’s probably the best thing to happen to me in a long, long time. True Widow is the dark, stoner rock I never knew I needed. I love having new music to dive into, especially if there are three albums worth of tunes to learn.
You know how sometimes you find music that sounds like the feelings you’re having?True Widow’s self-titled album does that for me- especially Flat Black. It makes me feel like I’m in some weird movie, and I love it. It’s a an auditory manifestation of all the feelings I’m feeling, and that’s pretty magical.
The View:: The Quarry
“The Quarry” is a magical place, somewhere deep in the woods of Columbia, South Caroline, where a (clay?) mine once was. And as horrible as this place is for Mama Earth, I can’t hep but admire the otherworldly beauty that it holds. I’ve only been here a couple of times, but each one has been special and magical, peaceful and relaxing- and slightly familiar. The vivid reds, lavenders and cerulean blues are overwhelming., as are the cliffs and acres of trees that surround the two biggest pools of water. It is truly incredible.
One of my most unfounded childhood fears was my fear of quicksand- as if after a California rain, the sand at the playground would consume me whole. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this fear- until I was at the quarry and sunk hip deep into quicksand. Thankfully I knew that I wouldn’t go much farther, and that if you keep still it doesn’t keep pulling you down. After freaking out for a second, I regained my composure and pulled myself out- shoes and all. Godspeed! You have to park and then wander to get to the quarry, and thankfully this is right where I parked my car. I’ve been watching Donnie Darko repeatedly over the past few weeks (see below) and this clearing with this couch and sick television is as close as I will get to having the field Donnie hangs out in.
When I was 17 I was told to watch Donnie Darko– three times in a row if I could- and I did and I’ve been watching it obsessively since. The movie follows Donnie Darko, a suburban teenage boy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who has to save the world from its end when a parallel universe occurs.
I always forget I have this movie on DVD, probably on purpose subconsciously, because once I remember I won’t watch anything else. I’ve watched Donnie Darko every day this past week with no regrets. I recently realized it’s my favorite movie- the only one I can watch over and over without getting sick of it. It always manages to put me in a weird mood. So if you haven’t watched it, don’t tell me that and watch it. And if you have watched it- watch it again. You’re welcome.
Donnie Darko may be my favorite movie, but The Twilight Zone is easily my favorite show. One of the most amazing things about this show is the values and lessons it teaches- over 50 years later and the episodes are still relevant. Case in point- “Eye of the Beholder”, an episode that examines what it means to be beautiful- and why it’s all objective anyway. If you haven’t seen this famous episode, watch it! It rings especially true during a time when all politics seem to focus on is what separates us from one another.
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. 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. Shirt:: Urban Outfitters// Scarf:: Nordstrom// Skirt:: Forgotten Feather// Shoes:: Target
All photos by Cory Russel.
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!
Any 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. This is also my ~official~ contributor photo for Nylon! Check it out! Shirt and sunglasses:: Urban Outfitters/ Shorts:: Hip Wa Zee/ Boots:: H&M/ Bandana:: VintageAll photos by my amazing friend Bree Burchfield.
Here’s to what’s next.
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.
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.
After 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.
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.
Shirt:: LITTLE WHIP// Shorts:: Asos// Boots: Public Desire// Mesh and hat:: Vintage
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.
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 ItIt 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 ItThere 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 GoOne 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.Hat:: Sid & Nancy’s// Headscarf:: Strange Magick// Dress:: Urban Outfitters// Boots: H&M All photos by amazing twin Alexandra Herstik.
Never be ashamed of who you are.