Weekend Wear

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I try to class it up during the week but on weekends I have a pretty strict sweaters-and-leggings uniform. That said, I have a few tricks to make comfortable outfits look more chic than a pair of sweats. Wearing a textured legging either leather, velvet, or patterned easily elevates a basic look. A statement necklace adds flair and these loafer flats are comfortable but classy. celina-january-0027celina-january-0022celina-january-0021

Leggings: c/o Primark, Sweater: TJ Maxx, Shoes: Macy’s, Necklace: Gifted

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Be My Valentine

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope it’s filled with soft fabrics, love notes, and pounds on pounds of chocolate. I often have trouble choosing a V-day look because it’s February which means snowy and freezing in Boston. This year I’ve found a happy medium with a silk dress and thigh-high boots. Warm enough, but still flirty enough. 

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Dress: Primark, Boots: c/o Shoedazzle, Belt: Forever21

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

State of Emergency

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Last week I attended a powerful activist art installation at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative. Below is a snippet of my coverage for The Bay State Banner.

The Dorchester Arts Collaborative pulsed with laughter, energy and life last Saturday, Feb. 4. It was the second of two weekends during which the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), hosted their Social Emergency Response Center project. The SERC drew inspiration from Emergency Response Centers that often evolve in the wake of disasters such as hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and earthquakes. In this case, the goal is to provide food, shelter, and artistic and spiritual healing to people who have been victims of racial violence and social repression.img_3394

Lori Lobenstine, program design lead, said the idea has been in the works since the Michael Brown shooting in 2014. “For other emergencies we had procedures,” she said. “We started thinking about how people could organize for a social emergency. What would people be hungry for, if not food? What is the reconstruction needed to repair our democracy?” The result was a rich display of community activism.

The SERC had stations for food, healing, reading, planning and making, all backed by an impressive program agenda that was packed with activities. Genki Spark, an all-female, Asian music and cultural group, performed and taught audiences cathartic Taiko drumming. Fine arts instructor Taina Vargas taught printmaking, accompanied by empowering quotes about radical change and equality. Project South hosted a lecture and discussion on new forms of government. Lobenstine said there was so much interest, they couldn’t accommodate all the artists who wanted to be involved.img_3372The choice of location was strategic. Not only did the Dorchester Arts Collaborative have the space to accommodate the event, it’s in the heart of an area that lives these issues daily. “We wanted to be in a neighborhood that has experienced social emergency, whether that’s gentrification or violence in the black community,” said Lobenstine. Education is as important in the SERC as healing. For many people, particularly white allies, Trump’s presidency has brought these issues to light. But the underlying social conditions giving rise to them always were present. “The social emergency was already here. It was just unevenly distributed,” Lobenstine said.

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At the Saturday event, Smallie Michelle led an intensive aerobic dance workshop. It wasn’t about keeping time to specific steps or beats. It was about collective movement and release. People of all races, genders and ages swayed their hips together to Shakira’s latest hit. Those who weren’t dancing clapped along. For the first time in a long time, everyone was smiling. SERC facilitated a sense of humanity, community and connection that is all-too rare in the contemporary world. “Artists and art are tremendously important right now,” said Lobenstine. “Artists understand things that aren’t as linear as politics. They understand emotions.”

Photos are mine.

Tiny Tutu

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I love a good tutu, and the delicate pink color of this midi skirt is reminiscent enough of a Degas to be exciting, but conservative enough to wear in contemporary life. I paired it with a black, chiffon top and basic heels. I’d wear this look to work or throw a leather jacket over it for a weekend. It could also be paired with an oversized sweater, half-tucked for a cozy vibe.

celina-january-0001This would be a good, subtle outfit for Valentines Day next week. The pink is pretty and flirty but it’s not an in-your-face red outfit.

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Shirt: Target, Skirt: Target, Shoes: H&M, Belt: Thrifted, Rings: Assorted

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Sunday Snapshots

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sundaysnapshotscollage252017From left to right: 1) Stunning exhibit of the Cuban artist Diago at the Cooper Gallery. 2) Spent an empowering afternoon photographing an Emergency Response Center that provides art therapy to victims of racial violence. 3) Can’t get enough of this adorable doormat. 4) Lazy Sunday breakfasts. 5) Naturally, I’m rooting for the Patriots tonight! 6) Style blogger with normal interests and reading habits.

What I’m Reading: Russia

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One of my coworkers gave me this compact 1,000-year history of Russia for Christmas. It’s been a joy to read. The book starts with Russia’s beginning as “Rus,” a collection of disparate tribes centered in Novgorod. It follows the country as they begin to form a centralized state and establish government.

This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in understanding the unique Russian mindset. The historical background provides a much deeper appreciation of their desire for secure borders, military prowess, and a unified and specifically Russian culture. It also explains how they went from being a largely progressive, Western-minded country, to a more militaristic, secluded, and Asiatic inspired attitude.

A few things to keep in mind with this read. It is a nonfiction history text of Russia. You will not enjoy this unless you have a vested interest in the subject matter. It’s well written but not exactly conversational. Additionally, more than half the book covers the Soviet regime through ’90s Russian politics. If you’re looking for something more Tzarist, I’d recommend The Romanov Sisters. This is definitely a red history of the country.

That said, it’s very helpful to understand the roots of Russia’s defensive nature, especially as they become a larger presence in the politics of the United States.

Tzarina Celina

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In homage to my love of Mother Russia and Anna Karenina, I styled this regal look with a navy fur coat, silver choker, and heeled boots. If I have to go out in the snow I’m going to do it Romanov-style. My jewels aren’t quite up to the Fabergé standard, but I could definitely repress some serfs if need be. celina-january-0038celina-january-0042celina-january-0041celina-january-0043

Jacket: c/o Primark, Boots: c/o Shoedazzle, Necklace: Vintage

Photos by Stephanie Krist.