Pretty Batty For the Holidays

We’ve finally made it to December and that means that the holiday season is truly upon us. Things may be very different this year but I figured that this shouldn’t really stop any of us from stepping out in style to mark the occasion – even if it done with an alternative and spooky twist.
After all, traditionally Christmas calls for some spooky vibes. I mean there is the often ignored Christmas tradition of telling “scary ghost stories” that is even mentioned in a popular carol; though in everyone’s defense, it is glossed over in a blink and you miss it moment in the song. Anyways,  while this tradition is no longer in the mainstream  we do still have some remnants, like “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, which in essence is a ghost story where the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is literally scared (to death) by ghosts in order to change his selfish ways. Hence, while it may seem a bit it “out there” or even chaotic by some to do so, mixing in spooky aesthetics with the more “holly jolly” festivities isn’t totally off-brand. That said, historical-nerdiness aside, I can’t take much credit in saying that this concept is what fully inspired this outfit as it actually came together because of multiple online purchases being done at about the same time. Continue reading

PCA/ACA National Conference 2015

In addition to this blog, I am actually a design and art history historian as well as a cultural anthropologist. It’s a quite a mouthful I know.  Though much of my academic writing and research has taken a back seat since receiving my masters last spring, I have made some efforts in the final months of last year to expand on some projects I had started in graduate school, including my paper on Target, its designer collaboration collections and plus size blogging– a paper I submitted last October  to be considered as a possible presentation for the Fashion, Style, Appearance, Consumption and Design area of the 2015 Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association’s National Conference.

I was told that once you send in your abstract for consideration it takes approximately  a minimum of two weeks to hear back from the area chair, I heard back in two days. From that day I was in crowd-funding and paper editing mode. It was an intensely stressful time given the the other responsibilities I had to deal with such as work, looking for another job, apartment hunting, eventually moving, and starting this blog. It should come to no surprise then that I did my final edits to the paper and accompanying PowerPoint the week before I was set to present. Yet even with all the anxiety fueled by the craziness that is my life, I was very excited to spend Easter weekend in New Orleans for my first (national) conference.

I think my abstract is the longest in history; there was so much to cover in such a little space.

I arrived the day before I was scheduled to present which gave me a chance to sit in other panels for different academic areas, such as Film Adaption, Fat Studies, Tolkien Studies, Material Culture, as well as Libraries, Archives and Museums, to name a few. Admittedly the experience did shake my confidence as I started to question the significance of my paper as the work by my fellow scholars was not only impressive, but presented in such a way that kept the audience engaged for the entire panel. I was in awe of these scholars who clearly have had much more practice than I. Continue reading

My Two Cents: Target’s Ava & Viv Review

Yesterday I got to finally see the Ava & Viv line at my neighborhood Target stores. Needless to say I was not impressed. For a company that claims they wish to improve their relationship with plus size customers they have gone about it the wrong way, using the very poor practices that got them negative criticism in the first place.


To start I was surprised that to find no promotions for the launch of the line save for blog posts by Chastity Garner of  Garnersyle, Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh. To be honest I half expected Target to make the additional effort to air a look book style commercial for the line on television, if not the days leading to the launch at least the day before. Of course, there was nothing. To date there is only one video on the line and its blogger models which is ridiculous if you compare it to the three videos on the 2013 collection by Philip Lim. There was no hype surround the launch before, after or even during.* While I didn’t get a chance to get to Target on Sunday, February 22 to experience this for myself, I haven’t heard or seen anything that contradicts this point. It seems like Target’s new line is not something they are  proud of. Its much like that boyfriend who is dating a plus size girl and is making sure to keep it a secret because he is embarrassed. Sure Target claims it has no qualms with its plus size customers but they won’t associate themselves with us much, they just want to make sure we continue to patronize there stores.

That said let’s take a look at what Target is (currently) offering with this Ava & Viv line. Continue reading