creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN
photography VINCENT KO
If this month couldn’t have gone by any faster.
Congratulations to little o’ me for turning the big 2-5. Hitting a quarter century while still being well-fed, standing on my two feet, living under a decent roof over my head and occasionally gifting myself fresh blooms calls for a couple milestones, no?
You’d think that hitting the age of 25 meant facing some sort of point of realization or wishing you were younger again— to have these sense of urgency to turn your life around or be free of major responsibilities like finding all your bills for your income tax, counting how many gin and sodas you’ve been conspicuously consuming every Friday and figuring out whether you’re doing enough for your own age. Especially when you’re comparing how many times you’ve treated yourself to how much work you’ve actually put into crafting your life.
It’s a strange and looming feeling if you ask me what this year feels like. If I can compare and apply metrics to the years since coming out of school, it’s feels quite similar to lightyears. The term ‘fulfilment’ seems to surface up in the back of my head more often these past few months. I was told that being in my early twenties meant doing as much as I can. To be grouped in this age bracket to be able to do things that seemingly are appropriate— to further explore yourself, make this a great time to take risks with likely results in failures and ensuring your youth doesn’t wither away. This kind of classification where one should celebrate independence and finding yourself before settling down. To push my career as far as I can the in the right direction where others see as success despite shaving off more hours left in my days. To cover as many areas of the globe to feel this sense of ‘fulfilment,’ to be ‘well-traveled’ or ‘cultured.’ To make myself available and desirable… so that I might eventually have a man fall in love with me without knowing, because I’ve built these extraordinary version of myself.
Boy, do we have a funny kind of way to define a way of living for your 20’s. But that goes without saying for the rest of the age brackets. It just so seems my 20’s hold more pressure to create this insane foundation for this version of yourself.
Everyday can be seen as a new beginning. A new project, meet a stranger, or try a different route. An age bracket shouldn’t dictate where and when things should fall. Each day can significantly or insignificantly shift around the rest of your days or even the rest of your life— when it comes to routine, relationships, engagement and your own behaviour and mindset. That’s why we should look at spending your 20’s as spending time with yourself and not pleasing others. Not making so many goals which you’ll eventually lose track of and spin your wheels. Let this be a time where you leverage it doing what you want and holding onto what you love or seek what might interest you.
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.
Below: At Lavelle, Pork 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!
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!
Summer is the season of becoming…rather minimal. And bright for me. Fresh, alluring whites and playing with delicate textures. In attempts to stay cool by wearing lighter shades during the longer days, there’s also something very exciting about wearing all white. Could it be the triumph from staying mess and accident-free? The great achievement of looking luxurious without breaking the bank? Or just all above.
Don’t tell me you haven’t celebrated at least once where you went wearing white all day while remaining squeaky clean. Cleanliness aside, wearing all white has basically become my go-to when I have no idea what to wear. It’s adaptable and presents me in such a way where I always look ready for anything.