Why Fashion Journalism is Important

The Twitterverse is clearly a major forum for debate these days (which my old Columbia professor, Sree, will attest to the growing power of social media), and one of these topics in the recent past was about women’s magazines and so-called ‘serious’ journalism. An article in the New Republic recently reinforced the idea that women’s magazines do not produce serious journalism because it isn’t their ‘mission’ to do so. Which is not only an insult, but also completely untrue. The New Republic article’s main gist was that men’s magazines and other ‘general interest publications’ (why men’s magazines do not get their own category like women’s magazines do, I don’t know) often have longer pieces that cover more types of journalism; literary and investigative journalism in particular. In comparison, women’s magazines apparently don’t care about writing serious articles as much as their male counterparts (particularly mentioned here were Esquire and GQ), and their pieces are apparently much shorter. I don’t really seem to understand why word length must even be considered a factor for serious journalism. If I can explain the same thing to you in 2000 words that someone else might take 5000 words for, doesn’t that, in effect, make me a far better writer? Apparently not.

The June Issue of Vogue India

Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of ELLE Magazine USA, thankfully also had some words to share on the subject. Her rebuttal was, in effect, the same as mine. She says that people often confuse length for quality, and since she was speaking specifically on behalf of her own magazine, she clearly stated that even taking into account this ridiculous criteria for serious journalism, ELLE has written a number of substantial longer pieces that range from topics like selective reduction in pregnancies to policies in American government. While I understand that she can’t speak on behalf of her competitors like Vogue or Marie Claire, it is true that these magazines, too, have some articles that I think should qualify as serious journalism. Take this article from Vogue about CNN anchor Arwa Damon’s time reporting in Libya or this personal story about a shooting survivor from Marie Claire; a plea for gun control reform. Why do these articles go unnoticed? Continue reading

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Spinning’s Got Nothing on SoulCycle

While those of you who have heard of SoulCycle might shrug and call this another ‘cult-like’ post, some of you might be wondering what the hell this weird pseudo yoga name even is. And you’ll probably roll your eyes when you realize that it’s an exercise class. But it isn’t simply a workout, even though that is one of the reasons that I love it so much. It’s an experience.

Started in New York City by founders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, SoulCycle was originally developed in a small West 72nd street studio in order for the two women to introduce a cardio workout that was not only physically stimulating, but intellectually and mentally fulfilling as well. And trust me, it is. Continue reading

A Fusion of Flavour

New York City has always had the reputation of being a cultural melting pot, which is evident by the combination of museums, art galleries and architectural diversity that takes up much of the city. This eclectic mix has always been one of the most fascinating and exciting parts of New York City travel, where one could spend an evening attending a sophisticated opera while later enjoying a night out at one of the city’s trendiest nightclubs.

However, the innovative atmosphere in New York has also extended to its dining establishments. Chefs have begun to incorporate a blend of flavours to their signature dishes, and New York has become a hub of fusion cuisine. Follow my guide to the best of the best and prepare to be amazed by the incorporation of several cuisines in a single dining experience. Both your stomach and your taste buds will thank you.

 1. Buddakan

Created by Stephen Starr, this restaurant blends contemporary European and Chinese fare to create a tantalizing experience. Designed by updating an old Nabisco factory, the over 15,0000 square feet of space is decorated with Parisian tapestry, Cantonese paintings on the walls and massive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The menu shows a similar synthesis, where the traditional Chinese dishes on the menu are reinvented and other unheard items are created solely by Executive Chef Michael Schulson. From the appetizers, try the steamed frog legs cooked in a tasteful Asian preparation of garlic and chives or the tuna tartare spring roll that combines the tang of sashimi with the crunchiness of the roll. The carrot dumplings are flavoured with European seasoning, while the taste of chilled udon noodles is further intensified with a relishing lime sorbet. The Five-Spice Chicken and Spiced Tofu combine sweet and sour spices from both regions to create an explosion of flavour and texture. Wash down your meal with one of Buddakan’s signature cocktails, which use various exotic ingredients such as lemongrass and passion fruit, and don’t forget their signature dessert – The Crying Chocolate uses Belgian chocolate ganache and is served with jasmine tea ice cream. This is truly a treat for the senses.

 2. Sushi Samba

With two locations in New York, Sushi Samba’s loud décor is reflective of the cuisines it incorporates – Brazilian flavoring mixed with Japanese staples. Red, yellow and orange seats and tables decorate the restaurants, while the music is loud and, to quote the name, “Samba”-esque. The restaurant’s specialty sushi rolls include the El Topo Roll, a mouthwatering combination of melted mozzarella, smoked salmon and crispy onion, and the Neo Tokyo Roll, which is a twist on the traditional spicy tuna roll by adding tempura flakes and aji planca, a type of chili pepper used in Peruvian and Brazilian dishes. The coconut rice combines the sweetness of coconut to the stickiness of Japanese rice, and the shaved palmito salad is topped with a delicious jalapeno-shallot dressing and pink peppercorns. The Samba-Style Chicken Teriyaki spices up a traditional Japanese dish and is served with purple potato mash, while the Mushroom Toban-yaki uses Japanese mushrooms, Peruvian garlic chips and a Brazilian poached egg to tantalize your taste buds. Pair your meal with Samba Juice, a cocktail with raspberry and watermelon infused rum, guava and acai, a type of berry found exclusively in South America. The pungent flavors of Brazil and the understated ones of Japan will surely keep you coming back for more.

Continue reading

Introduction

Welcome to Of Chaos and Couture!!

The purpose of this blog isn’t to imitate famous fashion magazines, or to try to incorporate things I’ve written for other magazines into a ‘blog’ format. Rather, it will chronicle what I believe is important to cover in terms of fashion and lifestyle – be it the best restaurants, beauty ideas or even health and exercise tips. While several topics might be discussed in the magazines you read on a daily basis, I’d like to focus on making the same material more accessible and hopefully as helpful, if not more.

So please peruse and explore, and if you have any suggestions or want me to cover anything in particular, don’t hesitate to sound off in the comments or email/tweet me (more information in the ‘About’ section).

Thank you, and enjoy!