Views From The Backstage

by Abby Eastman

This weekend was incredible. As a self proclaimed pop culture junky, I think being able to be fully submerged in what makes the industry tick just for a weekend, was truly an unforgettable experience.

On June 10 - June 11, Moschino and Golf Wang (by Tyler The Creator) held fashion shows at the LA Live event deck and yours truly along with the beauty arise team had the opportunity to help work backstage. Racks of designer fashions, photographers' bulbs flashing (with the exception of Tyler's show; it had very limited media backstage coverage) and people running around placing final touches, it was a dreamy peak into a world we see only from our television screens.

It almost didn't feel real. Everywhere you went you were surrounded by beautiful people who were just as pretty in person as they were in the magazines. People that the world admired, as well as some that I personally had admiration for. I stared straight into the eyes of models and celebrities who I didn't know but admired for their work and the small bits of their character that I saw through the media's lens. It all felt so normal-- it was as if my television had deceived me. I think that's what God taught me and a bunch of other girls from our team this weekend: that it's normal because they are normal. Maybe I'm late with fully understanding the constant message we hear, that "celebrities are normal people just like us". It's like I knew but I didn't really understand it until I was surrounded by people who had both fame and fortune.

One thing I think I have always been good at is looking at everyone with equal worth. My heart has always broken when I could see and feel people placing others above themselves or beneath themselves. We are so the same at the core. We all feel heartbreak and sorrow and happiness and pain. We are all talented and creative and gifted. We all have our faults, we all say the wrong things. We all breathe the same air and gasp for it when we weep-- who are we to build a social hierarchy? This weekend I got to really put into practice what I have always known and believed: that we are all the same and created in God's image. What we do or what others say about us will never determine our worth.

I was also reminded this weekend that there is freedom to be ourselves. I have known about Tyler The Creator for awhile (my best friend is a huge fan) but seeing him in person and watching him work was such a privilege. He has these wacky ideas that he isn't afraid to share. He is exactly the same way he is portrayed in the media: high energy with a voice that isn't too scared to give opinions, no matter how taboo they are. He is far from fearful of being himself. I loved that so much. You can see it in a collected mentality amongst his crew (Odd Future plus friends were his models) he basically gave them a choice to wear what they wanted to wear during his show, which you don't normally see from a designer. It was fascinating. He wanted them to be themselves on the runway and encouraged them to goof around no matter how unconventional it was. 6 hours of watching Tyler work made me want to go home and pursue my own strange and wacky dreams. I ended up watching the recorded live stream of the show when I got home and was touched by his constant appreciation for his friends and their support of his dreams. Life seems a bit sweeter if you know yourself and encourage others to know themselves as well.

I am still exhausted and my eyes are fighting not to shut, but my heart is alive with this weekend's experience. Tired yet inspired, I will forever be thankful for my 2 days spent in real life tv land.

- Abby


Style Arise: Joanne

by Abby Eastman


To all the people who believe that life is dull and humorless, you real haven't had a conversation with Joanne Krahn. The constant gleam in her eye and her pretty but knowing  smile hint at the fact that she knows what happiness looks like and will live a life hoping everyone else can figure it out too. Born in Winkler, Manitoba, The 21 year old is currently doing her Discipleship Training School at YWAM LA. DTS is a time where you find freedom in various area of your life but I knew from our first meeting that freedom was something Joanne just naturally carried. The first time I spoke to Joanne I fell completely in love with her wit and the sense of freedom she carried in the way she spoke and dressed-- Joanne does what she wants, not in a rebellious way but in a way that screams she refuses to be put in a box. Dreaded hair and incredibly fresh faced, I knew Joanne had to be the next person featured on Style Arise.

AE: Describe your Style in one word?
JK: I feel like simple! It's the kind of person I am. I'm good with simple or chill. Hmm wait--  maybe chill?
AE: When did you get your dreads?
JK: A year ago! I got dreads because when I was younger I would always see them and I thought they looked so cool. As I got older some of my friends had dreads. and I thought "I want dreads so badly" but I also really liked my hair. Then I decided when I'm old and I'm telling my grand-kids stories, I want to be able to tell them I had dreads! Plus I just really like them and it's simpler than actually dealing with my natural hair.
AE: When did you decide that you didn't care about what people thought about the way you dressed or looked?
JK: Maybe like a year ago or two years ago. I worked at camp. and so there you don't really care what you look like anyway and then I think it just carried on. Sometimes with certain outfits I'll still ask "does this look okay?" but I try to put things together myself and be confident in that.
AE: Your fav clothing item at the moment?
JK: I really like my t-shirt dresses. They're so comfy!
AE: Fav place to shop?
JK: The thrift store because you get really good deals. Also I like that you can put outfits together and be really unique with it because you find some interesting things there. So when I shop there, I'll look at something and think "how can I change this?" or "what can I wear with this to make it a cute outfit?".
AE: Your personal style advise?
JK: Be confident, be yourself in what you wear, be you! Cliche I know. Also, be aware of what type of clothing you're wearing. You don't want to support sweat shops are child labor, so be aware of where the clothing is made.
AE: Are you aware?
JK: I'm becoming more aware. So I recently started either shopping at thrift stores or local stores so I know where my clothes are made and that my clothes aren't made in a sweatshop. A skate shop in my town opened around two years ago and they always promote shopping locally so that you're aware of what you're buying, which kind of inspired me.
AE:  What are you wearing now?
JK: Well the shorts are American Eagle brand. I believe my cardigan is Garage. And my tank top is from Giant Tiger. 

- Abby

Style Arise: Kirsty

by Abby Eastman


Style Arise

For this week's blog post I wanted to do something different. I had this idea in my head for a while to find someone who's style I admired so I could interview them in a attempt to understand the relationship between fashion and individuality. In order to make an idea a reality I hunted down Kirsty last week who modestly agreed to a short interview despite the fact that neither of us had really done anything like this before (in school when we were supposed to interview someone for an english project I instead interviewed myself pretending to be someone else, which at the time seemed clever.) So here it is: the beginning of a new series I would like to call Style Arise. Enjoy!


Long brown hair and a smile as Taylor Swift would say " could light up this whole town", Kirsty Hamilton is the definition of radiant. I met the 25 year old, Northern Ireland native while here in LA but had never really had a full conversation with her (a shame really; her excitement for life is contagious). This is partially due to the fact that she is currently taking on the colossal challenge of SBS (School of Biblical Studies), an intensive 9 month bible course that not only requires perseverance but also A LOT of your time. Even though Kirsty and I lacked in depth conversation, her style always spoke volumes to me. I was immediately drawn to her effortlessness and confidence in the way she dressed. so I was more than ecstatic when she agreed to let me interview her as well as photograph her for the blog.

AE: Describe your style in one word?
KH: Earthy! I like earth tones. Sometimes I will veer off of that, but it's naturally what I go for.
AE: At what point in your life did you stop dressing for others and started dressing for yourself?
KH: Oh I like that. That's a really good question. I think it was just before DTS (Discipleship Training School). I was probably 23. It had gotten to a point where it used to be I would see someone else wearing something and I would be like "Oh I want to wear that" and then I would get really disappointed if I wore it and it didn't do anything for me or I wouldn't look the same. But then after awhile I was like "I'm just gonna do what makes me feel most comfortable and confident but it doesn't necessarily have to be what everyone else is wearing". I think that naturally lent itself toward wearing what I wanted to wear, rather than trying to imitate and copy another person. I was like "You know what? You're an individual" and I liked being an individual anyway.
AE: Any advise for budding fashionistas?
KH: Oh  I am not a fashionista, but I feel like it's "don't box yourself in". I guess for me right now I'm really enjoying earth tones. but one day if I decide I actually just want to venture out of earth tones, then I'm going to do it. I'm not going to place myself in this little box. You can pop every now and again-- its okay
AE: Fave clothing item?
.KH: Every scarf I own! I have a thing with scarves, oh my goodness. Also because I'm from Ireland I'm always cold. It's such an essential. part of your wardrobe! I tried to wear them here and [my friend] would laugh at me because I'd be wearing scarves in like 90 degrees heat. Right now at this very moment though it is my pastel blue skirt that I bought in a thrift store in Pasadena.  But If we did this interview in 2 days it would probably change. 
AE: Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
KH: I love Zara so much and occasionally I do like Urban Outfitters. We have this place called TK Maxx in Ireland which is like TJ Maxx. It's all discounted stuff and I love just going through rails. Thrifting as well is up there. 
AE: What are you wearing right now?
KH: Black Birks--  I've had these for like 5 years now. They've been everywhere. These are the best shoes I've ever bought and a dress from Zara I bought last may.


- Abby