THE RETURN OF BETTINA


made in collaboration with Hogan Fulton

Bettina is a wild, clown-like yet surprisingly delicate facet of my own identity. In a way she is my id. She is more expressive, vibrant, violent, and feverish than I am. Here, we see Bettina intimately. She is at home, alone in the process of becoming herself. 

THE LAST SIX MONTHS


I'm always amazed by how much and how little can change in six months. While there have been few tangible changes, the last six months have been marked by a significant change in my understanding of myself and my future. I have been trying to reconcile the art world and the fashion world, trying to understand myself as a verbal and visual thinker. I've been trying to fashion a future, however near or far, in which my academic interests are not pushed away by my creative pursuits. I'm learning it's all about my voice and my vision and it's about the world I choose to create.  


GIRL IN THE CITY  

This is me, sitting in a little hallow in Central Park, just two days after moving to New York. Do I look confused? Jet lagged? I am both. I remember getting dressed in this outfit thinking that I wanted to spend my first free day on my own shooting some photos in Central Park. This was an interesting in-between period for this blog, where I wanted to take photos specifically for glowy girl, but I wasn't really sure what the point of the blog was. It was unclear if I was trying to document my every day outfits, or if I was trying to dress specifically for this blog, and after all of that... who was I anyway, to the world and to the narrative of this blog? Was I just a person getting dressed, or was getting dressed what I did as a person?

THE CINDY SHERMAN QUANDRY


Accompanying the questions about my own identity and the purpose of documenting dressing (could it be called styling at this point?) was the messy question of how this project fit with my art practice. I have long admired Cindy Sherman. You may remember this tote I have with her name on it. I'm a big ol' fan girl because there is something about her images and her way of creating characters and environments that's always made me excited. When I saw her show at the Broad last June, I just sat in the gallery, surrounded by her work and thought, How can I do this, because this is what I want to do. So in styling myself and documenting those looks, it was inevitable that Cindy's influence would permeate the way I approached creating images. But I was unsure about where to draw the line. What was copying Cindy, and what was me? Did she have a hold on styling and fashion imagery in the art world? 

PRACTICE AND PROCESS


And.... cut back to Berkeley. Three months in New York had opened me up to costuming in everyday life. I was thinking about drag and Cindy Sherman (still). I was curious about how I could take the photos I had been making for this blog and pivot that into my thesis project. I wanted to bring styling into my art practice. The only problem was that my art practice up to this point had been heavily focused on art objects and the art economy. So, whatever work I did with fashion would immediately be read in the scope of capitalism and the monetary value of images of women. I quickly realized that what I had been working on for glowy girl needed to stay separate from the academic art sphere. While this is a creative endeavor, and my styling choices are impacted by my understanding of art and art history, keeping this work out of an art discourse gave me the freedom to let myself proceed uninhibited by the scruples of the art world. 

WHERE ARE WE NOW?


In short, we're (I'm) moving forward. The beauty of glowy girl is that it isn't really a fashion blog. As much as I love Lizzy Hadfield and Megan Ellaby, this blog will likely never be the highly produced, aesthetically unified big-time blog that either of those girls are able to run. I don't think that means, though, that I don't have something to say. glowy girl is a place for Bettina and Alexandra to live side by side, as equally viable entities. So to those of you reading this, thank you. If you are a friend, I hope that this blog reflects the Alexandra you know. If this is your first time here, welcome. I'm an artist, a thinker; I'm a girl getting dressed. Now you know what you're in for. 

SHORT HAIR SOUNDS







Hello hello! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I recently chopped off a lot of hair and made the somewhat terrifying decision to get bangs for the first time in over 15 years. I'm taking strides!

I've had a bob like this a few times. Actually, this haircut was my go-to for the better part of the last five years, since I rarely let my hair grow far beyond my shoulders. But in the last year or so, I began to really enjoy my long hair. Particularly this summer, I started to realize the potential of having long, curly blonde hair like mine: it was the ultimate romantic, high renaissance accessory. I've often joked that my personal style can sometimes best be described as the attire of a young prince. I've always been draw to romantic details: eyelet lace, gold, brocade... if  I could raid Louis XIV's wardrobe, I would say let me have at it immediately.

As my hair got longer, I became more and more engaged with this idea of romance and dressing. But at a certain point in November, I knew it was time to go short again, and a couple of weeks ago I was gripped by a vigorous, reckless need to just chop of all my hair as soon as possible. So, I booked an appointment for the next day and went to bed feeling nervous (I woke up feeling nervous, too). I was both scared that I would hate having my hair short again, but I was also worried that I would miss dressing like a princess (ha!). I knew that the hair cut would come with a bit of an attitude adjustment.

With my long hair and romantic outfits, I would listen to opera and sonatas to get me in the flowy glowy mood. Now, with my bangs and my bob, I'm tuned in to a more modern masculine-feminine balance. Naturally, my music needed to be updated with my hair.

Drawing upon the starlets of French New Wave film and an 80s rock n roll vibe, I've made a new playlist dedicated to dressing with short hair. Give it a listen and let me know what you think! And if you have any suggestions for additions to the playlist, send them my way.