Beauty Bytes: November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013



Hair Rules: With the election of Bill de Blasio as New York’s next Mayor, the incoming first family will be bringing more than their progressive politics – they’re the first multiracial Mayoral Family in New York City. And as The Washington Post declares, their hair says it all: Bill’s barbershop crop, wife Chirlane McCray’s pulled-back dreadlocks, their son Dante’s afro and daughter Chiara’s flower-embellished locks bring a diversity of style that reflects the city itself. The Washington Post.



What is glamour? Autumn at The Beheld reviews Virginia Postrel’s new book The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion. We who are familiar with fashion will immediately think of its imagery of wealth and perfection, but Postrel points out that glamour is not just an unattainable ideal: the viewer must at least slightly identify with the world that is glamorized. And a non-fashion example of this – that many fans of Star Trek would (and do) go to great lengths to live in that world if they could – illustrates that glamour can hold up an unattainable ideal that people would never be able to achieve, or it could inspire them to dream and better themselves. As a fellow Sister-to-a-Trekkie myself, I never thought of this before, but it fits in with the glamourous dream worlds that I do know: fashion, old Hollywood movies, and pop stardom. And as each of these worlds holds up a different ideal, each can inspire us (or frustrate us in our inability) to change in different ways. The Beheld.



Cynthia Rowley is the latest designer to launch a beauty line, in conjunction with Birchbox, the monthly beauty subscription service. The line is launching with only a few items – a liquid eyeliner, a five-shadow eye palette, and a gilded cosmetics bag – but the real benefit to launching online with Birchbox may be informational. Rowley tells Women’s Wear Daily she’s “creating a dialogue with our consumer, so we’re able to react and gather data and really use social media to have immediate feedback. Rather than just throwing more product in the world, it’s about influencing design in a new way.” She is expecting to grow the collaboration into a “more cohesive collection” over the next year or two. Women’s Wear Daily.



Want to see a live tattoo removal? Kelly Osbourne is getting her early “rebellious” tattoos removed, and posted a video to Instagram. It is fascinating to see how well the process works, but hearing the sound effects – well, it hurts no matter what. As Kelly herself writes: “I did the crime I am now doing the time!” The Gloss.



When she’s not eating farm to table organics or working out, your nutritionist drinks vodka made from quinoa. That is all. Racked.


yoshiyuki_pearl_diver.jpgIn Pictures: Iwase Yoshiyuki had graduated from law school in 1924 when he returned to his hometown of Onjuku, Japan to work at the family’s sake distillery. He also received an early Kodak camera, and began documenting the coastal way of life in the small fishing village, especially the “ama” – women who harvested seaweed, oysters, abalone, and turban shells from the cold Pacific waters.


The women would dive for up to four minutes at a time, as many as 60 times a session, and warm up by a fire between sessions. Women’s extra layer of body fat was presumed to help them hold their breath in cold water, and the ama could earn as much in a single season than most men in their villages would make in a year.


Wetsuits weren’t available then, so most of the ama dove in loincloths so they could dry quickly between sessions. By the 1950’s, however, tourists were commenting on their nudity, so they started to cover up. There are a few ama working today (who are in their 90’s), but with the rise of modern fishing methods, the profession has largely disappeared. Yoshiyuki’s elegant photos capture a lost world of traditional work – its labor, traditions, and camaraderie. Messy Nessy Chic.


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