Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

As someone who has dealt with homeless twice before already, the very thought of unemployment has always been a major anxiety trigger for me. So I’ve become the kind of person that needs to have some sense of financial stability and control in order to hold my fears and anxiety in check. Financially, I am in a better place than how things were with my family back when I was a kid, however, like most people I know living in NYC, I still live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the most stress-reducing situation. Just missing one paycheck results in a financial setback that will take months to recover from.

So when I got the news in April that I was furloughed, I broke down and had one of the worst panic attacks ever. My mother, who is getting through lockdown along with me, didn’t know how to help but she tried her best to calm me down, embracing me until I stopped crying, shaking and hyperventilating. (My mother has never experienced me having a panic or anxiety attack firsthand and I know this scared her but I appreciate that this is how she chose to handle the situation in that moment because I managed to recover much faster than I would have otherwise.) I was unconsolable for days. I was angry at all those “we’re in this together” messages circulating everywhere. Yes, we’re facing the same storm that is COVID-19, BUT we’re all experiencing different journeys because we’re on different ships. Some of us aren’t even on ships at all, just doing the best with our inflatable life raft, if that.

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V-Extra for V-day

It may be because I’ve been re-reading old chapters of Lore Olympus on Webtoon, but when it came to thinking about Valentine’s day this year the only thing that would come to mind is Persephone. For those of your who may be able unfamiliar with Classical Mythology, Persephone is known to be a Goddess of adaptation being that she is both the Goddess of Spring and, due to her marriage to Hades, Queen of the Underworld. So with her contradictory nature and role, we have the light and feminine along with the dark and edgy, all in one.For me this train of thought wasn’t about recreating a look from the aforementioned webcomic (though I really want to for Comic Con one day), but rather give myself a chance to be “extra” just for the hell of it which doesn’t happen too often.

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Sacred Heart Moto

One of the most popular kinds of tops in plus size fashion has got to be dolman sleeve top. I’m not exactly sure when or how that trend got started,  but it is so common that I stay away from it as it tends to be a boxy cut and usually made of a chiffon fabric.

That is until this one caught my eye while I was scrolling through the Torrid site. Admittedly the print is one that  you have to try on to really see the appeal and that is just what I had to do for me to fall in love with it. You may be wondering, what is it about this sacred heart print that got me interested to begin with. Well, for those of you that may be new to my blog, I’m actually an Art and Design historian who specializes in 17th and 18th century Baroque Art. Moreover, the sacred heart is a traditional Catholic symbol created in sometime during the Middle Ages/Gothic period but was prominently used during the Baroque period to encourage devotion and mediation upon the graces of Christ among the illiterate members of  their congregations.

Typically this symbol is depicted in art as a heart with flames pouring from the top, like a symbol of intense burning love.  It is a Baroque theological referent that was part of the blending the form of light and performance that defines the artistic style of that time used in order to inspire people to accept the Catholic faith, and by extension, Western culture during their conquests.  As you can tell I literally can go on about this for hours, hahaha. I mean I even have a PowerPoint presentation in my external hard-drive on the use of such symbols and the role they played in the Spanish conquest of Latin America. Continue reading

Black Rose Heart

Aesthetically Valentine’s day could be considered to be the direct opposite of Halloween, yet if you were to look at the origins of this  particular holiday you’d find that it actually has a lot more in common with Halloween than you’d think.  So you can understand how easy it was for me to ditch the traditional V-day aesthetic of cutesy red, hearts and flowers for black hearts, skulls and blood red roses this year.  I took this as a chance to style a Victorian goth look for the day. Of course goth style is not very affordable but I figured I should treat myself. After all, Valentine’s day is a holiday set aside for love so why not celebrate my love for myself by splurging on something stylish and elegant, right?  Also I find nothing more romantic than textures that remind me of a different time like lace and velvet – both of which come together really well with this soft velvet shirt dress. 

I kept accessories to a minimum because the lace-bib and trim already elevates the traditional shirtdress style, but I did add this silver plated vintage inspired locket to keep within my theme. Heart shaped lockets were very popular in the 19th century. They represented love and contained portraits, or locks of hair to represent romantic love for another. While mine is currently empty, that didn’t hold me back from being a Victorian aristocratic lady pinning for her lost love for a day. Continue reading

“We Were Here” – Concert OOTN ft. Dare Fashion

“You’re a tea drinking, highly educated, otaku, goth black Latina that listens to metal. That’s as out there  as it can be.” – Jonquel of JonquelArt

Truer words have never been spoken. I’m a “weird” Afro-Latina girl. I accepted that years ago. I watch anime, read comics and get excited by new Harry Potter and Disney merch/collections whenever they drop but weirder still for most people, I listen to A LOT of metal. Beyonce may be everyone’s queen but mine are Tarja TurnenSharon den Adel, Simone Simons and Floor Jansen. Yes, I did just list a bunch of Scandinavian names. What can I say? They are masters of the genre over there.
I should pause here to explain something. Metal is a very broad term that covers countless sub-genres, one of them being symphonic metal – a genre I was introduced to around 2005 with “Once,” Nightwish’s final album with lead singer Tarja Turnen. I found out about this band thanks in part to the internet and my obsession with the “Phantom of the Opera.” (Long story but true.) I somehow got my hands on a copy of “Once” and with the first verse of “Sleeping Sun” I was hooked. Continue reading