Creative Direction: Cynthia Nguyen
Photography by: Vincent Ko

 

Do you ever wonder if you’re changing for the better or worst? Or if you’re just completely static?

As of late… I feel as though I’m cycling through the same routine and in search of something exciting to shift my creative thinking. A greater surprise just might influence and shape my new work. Maybe it’s the new people I’ll encounter or an event that will challenge me to act out a different side of myself.

Throughout the last two months, I occasionally catch myself feeling apprehensive about my position in my career and point in progression for my side projects…such as this very platform you are reading my post on. I felt that these short days could use some experimentation to ease that feel of being fixed. By producing somewhat ostentatious images, I draw attention and kick things into a unique tier of interest. All the recent and audacious images you see across my Instagram and this site don’t quite project my humbling experiences. But who cares?— it’s not as if I’m trying to get the entire world to know me for all my good deeds. As cliche as it sounds, I genuinely enjoy treating my feed as a canvas and I’m the big-headed genius behind it all.

People come to my page to view my direction as well as my friends’ awesome photography…also not to forget, to read all the kinds of nonsense I tend to write that follows after I’ve arrange the photos for my articles. No one has to know the part where I got stung by a wasp while Vincent captured these photos of me. Whoops.

Secretly and subjectively, I get a thrill out of “challenging” other people in the realm of curated content plastered all over social. That thrill is what you could also interpret as “motivation” and small bits of entertainment. That keeps me busy. The work on my feed and site has given me an assailable lead by being my own artist behind all the creative projects I take on. For fun and for a bigger portfolio book on the evenings and weekends. This millennial is better off marrying her job than a man in this city. The surface may appear different but I’m still that tenderhearted lady with that obnoxious laugh. This is for folks who are familiar with my outlandish way of displaying extreme happiness.

 


Olivia Palermo x Chelsea28 Neck Tie Blouse
Olivia Palermo x Chelsea28 Accordion Pleated Skirt
Jenny Bird Edie Hoop Earrings
Zara Black Strap Mules (Similar here)
Rayban Aviators Sunglasses

See below to shop the options!

 

 

 

Below: At LavellePork Belly Benedict (front) and Cocoa Nib Waffle. (back)

“We can think in our minds and reinforce positive thought all we want, but our actions will dictate whether our circumstances change from bad to good. What are we going to do about it? I can want something with all of my heart and mix that desire with faith, but unless my actions provide the fuel for the engine, I remain in the same spot.” Christopher Connors



Brose Black Satin Tuxedo Blazer
Frank + Oak The Boy Tee c/o
Zara straight leg black trousers
Zara Pointed Toe Loafers
Nordstrom Gold Hoop Drop Earrings


I’ve always been so fond of the tee and suit combination… but for the longest time, I’ve had no success in finding a simple white tee. You know…a tee that has the right arm length for the sleeves, the feel and stretch of the fabric, the kind of flattering scoop neckline.. etc. You know the saying that it’s tough enough to find the right boyfriend? This case is pretty comparable to finding the right shirt to go with your beloved jeans or black straight leg trousers. This issue became so serious that I considered paying a visit to the male section at The Bay to find their pack of 3 white tees in XS for myself.. but would that be appropriate? Can I tear open the package just to try them on? Who really knows.

But fortunate for me and for the rest of you— Frank + Oak has finally launched their very own womenswear line!! The long awaited line of essential apparel for the ladies has now graced Frank + Oak‘s website with awesome sweaters, bags and even body care. Just in time for the holiday shopping!

Photography by Vincent Ko.



American Apparel lightweight Dylan trench in Paperback
Ecru lab Shakepearean Luv silky button-down cami
Zara white wide leg trousers
Yves Saint Laurant Nude Wrap Ankle Block Heels
Sunglasses (Similar here and here)


Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that I have a brunch addiction. It’s pretty evident and real. And no, I’m not ashamed. Truth is, it’s an actual expense I put aside for…for each and every weekend, if possible. It’s the joyful time I look forward to each weekend while vigorously going over geo-locations and foodie blogger Instagram’s  for enticing food photos.

Had the great pleasure of kicking off my brunch adventures at Bar Reyna on Cumberland St. with Darlene of The New Girl. The space was nothing short when it came to interior and exterior decor and the food itself. Impeccable Greek fries with shaved feta, delicious oysters and tasty shakshuka. (If you’re looking for a good Shakshuka— I recommend the one served at the ONE Hazleton restaurant.) Oh, and a nice glass of mimosa of course. In a extremely odd way— it’s almost therapeutic for me when I’m sitting down and eating brunch…after a long period of shooting the untouched food. Maybe it’s just good food in general moves people like that..  Or maybe I developed this love for food through being raised by a chef as a father and stay-home mom that cooks phenonmenal Vietnamese food. Don’t be jealous! x

All in all— I love brunch. I have a shirt that says it. And no— an all day breakfast wouldn’t count!  

Photography by: Darlene Anderson


 


 

The Fifth label ‘Face to Face’ playsuit
Jeffrey Campbell Cutout Western Boot (Similar here and here)
Rayban Aviator Sunglasses
PROENZA SCHOULER Black Calf-Hair Ps11 Classic Bag (Similar here and here)

See below for similar options!

 


 

Thanks to mother nature— the temperature has dropped and so has my addition to wearing all white. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll see the tone in my photographs and outfits get a little more darker and I suppose ‘edgier.’ I like to think that I’m being more playful with my looks..by flipping back and forth between ultra femme, light looks with chic, vampy ensembles.

With dark ensembles, stems my love for black, western-inspired boots with cool engraved details paired with this sleek menswear-inspired playsuit. You can always pair this look with some nice, clean Stuart Weitzman nudist heels or some Zara pointed ballet flats with buckles

Got to catch brunch at a restaurant I’ve been longing to visit in Yorkville called ONE with my best pal, Vincent. Had the most amazing and rich Shakshuka, along with the most amazing crushed almond cherry pie. Would definitely come back for more of their desserts. If you ever find yourself in Yorkville, do grab a dessert dish or two from there. Next thing on my list would definitely be the S’mores sundae. #fatkidforever 

 


 

I’m going to talk about a weird, grey, blurry area that very few have uncovered answers to.. That first part was an anecdotal claim.

There’s an uncertain and overwhelmingly annoying feeling when you re-evalutate the relations you have with all the people who have come in and out of your life. Whether it’s an old friendship you may not have visited for a while or a fresh tinder date who you’ve gone out sporadically here and there. 

It’s completely weird for me to say because of the career I’m in that the digital landscape has caused and scraped the humanistic aspect of maintaining a solid and stable friendship or relationship. To believe that a simple ‘like’ or view implies you’ve given enough efforts in your relation is crazy. For social platforms— apparently a ‘like’ is sufficient enough than a phone call or text. (Can you tell I’m not that big into texting?) For dating platforms— we become more shallow and ignorant about the people we view and encounter. Simplifying dates into numbers, to skimming through your checklist of preferences, to ‘ghosting’ on people because it’s so easy to find another option and you’re too ‘busy’ to deal with confrontation. This cool ‘ghosting’ concept can be applied to friendships as well by shading replies with the ‘I’m busy’ response. I mean very well when I say that I believe it’s possible for everyone to be able to drop a quick line of text that speaks to either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That or you just didn’t make the cut on the priority list. Ouch.

Maybe that feeling could be described as ‘beating around the bush,’ or having the Dunning-Kruger effect aka the ‘I don’t know’ syndrome. Seems to me that not enough people like the idea of being upfront about how they feel or giving an idea of what they like in return because of the fear of sounding too sensitive and losing the ‘upper hand.’ I’m sure not all of us know what we want for ourselves but an idea to move towards sounds much better than absolutely nothing. I find it so hard to imagine that the rest of the world around me could possibly understand what I want or expect without me putting out some sort of lead or options. Now— I’m no psychic or professional psychiatrist but I consider myself a very reasonable and understanding human-being. I don’t believe that my age factors in whether I can relate to people or not. Experiences could shape my answers but that why there’s the listening component to having conversations with one another. 

It’s safe to say, or just plain obvious that a lot of people, young and old need to snap out of this world of guessing and brushing others off because of their ‘busy and un-relatable’ life. I mean— try me. I’m sure you’d appreciate someone who is more upfront, real and honest than someone who is aloof, sporadic, and maybe even sometimes inconsiderate. If our intentions and ideas, don’t align— at the very least, now I know. Right? This idea of holding back to see what the other person comes back with is a load of bull if you tell me. Let’s cut back the guessing game time and just serve the good upfront, just like the way you’d like to be served. #caseclosed 

Photography and handbag: Vincent Ko
Hair by: Studio 67

 


 


MUSSELS
East coast mussels, fennel, cider, fresh herbs and grilled bread

RUSTIC TERRINE
Venison, pork, mustard and grilled bread

B.C. SALMON
Lentils, apple, spinach and créme fraîche

ROASTED LAMB
Ratatouille, olive, feta, and lamb jus

And of course wine!


Many thanks goes to the staff at La Société,
Andrew, Julia and Justin for the dinner. 

Photography by yours truly