Monthly Archives: October 2012

Yosemite: Autumnal Instagramz

Dear Diary,

I returned home over the weekend for a friend’s wedding celebration. In addition to the celebratory food and drink I inhaled at her party, I also inhaled the beauty of autumn in Yosemite. Naturally, I Insta’d as much as I could. After all, if a tree exists in a forest but you don’t Instagram it, does it really exist? (No).

Yosemite Falls, minus the falls.

Yosemite’s famous lone maple tree. It sits by itself at the edge of the field, telling everyone when fall arrives. It wears the brightest colors in Yosemite, which reminds me a lot of myself as a Yosemite teenager.

I have no idea what amazing child made this awesome horseplate but if I were a fancy gallerist I’d totally put this in my fancy gallery.

When you live in Yosemite, you get used to seeing deer outside your windows. In fact, we refer to them as “Forest Rats.”

Autumn colors in Yosemite tend to be neon yellows and greens. Not a lot of bright red like you see back East.

“Hey Girl. You going to eat that whole apple? We hungry.”

In Yosemite, you don’t really drive to the store unless it’s snowing, so when I came across this must-have pumpkin, I took it home on my bicycle.

The greys and yellows make for a glamourous fall color palette.

Here’s a deer eating something. Boring.

Fun Fall-Winter drink: Mulled apple cider with brandy. I haven’t liked Brandy this much since Moesha. This drink is even more fun in a seasonally inappropriate Santa Mug (we’ve had this one since I was born).

The drive home, up California’s iconic Grapevine Freeway. Pretty ugly, right?

Wherever you are, run toward the closest forest and look for some fall color. Hurry!

Love,
Orlando

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A Pop Of Color Inspired By Pop Art

Dear Diary,

Do you ever have trouble figuring out what color to paint something? For example, I purchased this great coffee table for a client recently. It was red when I bought it. But sadly red wasn’t in the color palette, so I had to paint it another color. But what color?

Sometimes I like to use art as an inspiration for color. This is because artists know more than regular people about what color things should be. Because the home I’m working on has a lot of quirky elements and bright colors, I decided to use Roy Lichtenstein as my inspiration for a pop of color on the coffee table. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Lichtenstein is that artist that made all the pop art that looks like comic books. His work features a lot of rich reds, blues, and yellows.

For the coffee table, I went with a bright yellow. I needed something that would pop like the red did to accentuate the clean, graphic lines of the table.

I’m happy with the way the table turned out and now I want to incorporate even more pop elements into the project.

Love,
Orlando

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10 Rules For Sexy Gay Homosexual Halloween Costumes

My Siblings & Me On Halloween, 1986 (I’m The Grey Mouse)

Oh Halloween,

Every autumn, my brain fills with memories of trick-or-treating, homemade costumes, spiced apple cider, haunted  houses, and plastic pumpkins filled with candy. I come from a place where the whole neighborhood pitched in to make trick-or-treating super fun. I have always loved Halloween and costumes. But somewhere along the way it went from a carefree holiday about getting as much candy as possible to a stress-ridden competition about who can find the cleverest rationale for dressing like a male prostitute.

Gay world is a lot like Girl World. Like the American Female, Gay Homosexuals like to attend Halloween parties in teeny tiny outfits that show a lot of skin and give a slight nod to a cultural icon or popular movie character. Below are some examples of Gay Halloween costumes, juxtaposed against the original, more conservative versions. Also included are ten tips for making your costume sexy. And yes, by “sexy” I mean offensively revealing and slutty.

Rule #1: Make sure your costume is easily recognizable.

Here is what an upstanding person would wear if they dressed up as Mario and Luigi:

If you’re a Gay Homosexual, find a way to make the costume sexy and provocative. Live a little! Nothing says iconic childhood video game character like leather gogo shorts, right?

Rule #2: Rely on cultural stereotypes.

Here is a straight man dressed as a Scottish:

And here is a Gay Homosexual dressed as a Scottish.

(Sidenote: I cannot confirm the sexual preferences of the above models. But come on, look at those faces. First one has a raging case of StraightFace and the second one has major Gayface). And yes, I realize it’s “Scot” not “Scottish” but I thought Scottish was funnier.

For cultural stereotypes, also consider going as a Sexy Indian:

Rule #3: You can always count on costumes that reference “masc” professions.

Like a police man.

What, you ask, is better than a cop? A sexy cop. Duh!

Here is how your typical dweeb dresses up as a sailor (no offense to the dweeb pictured):

And here is how a Homosexual Gay Eastern European dresses as a sailor:

Rule #4: Find a cherished cultural icon and ruin it for children forever.

Here is how this nerd dresses as Mickey Mouse, America’s most beloved rodent.

But why wear all those clothes when you can look this sexy?

A fun tip for Gay Homosexuals is that as long as you have one prop (like gloves or a hat) you can get away with wearing just a speedo or underwear. That totally counts as a costume. I’m serious.

Oh Santa, who brings us presents at Christmas:

And Gay Santa who is the present on Halloween:

Rule #5: If you can’t think of anything to be for Halloween, go with the basics.

Take, for example, this white dude dressed as a waiter:

Gay waiter costumes are like white person waiter costumes except with way less clothes and with way bigger muscles.

Rule #6: If you dress as someone poor or unsuccessful, make it sexy!

No one is going to want to hang out with you if you look like this gross convict.

However, if you cut off half your costume you will definitely make friends.

Rule #7: You can never go wrong with anything sports-themed. Unless it’s one of those pansy sports like figure skating.

Here’s a greasy dude dressed like an American football player:

And below is an even greasier Gay dressed as a football player. Even if he can’t throw a ball to save his life, his costume references sports. This is a good costume if you are looking to attract sporty masculine Gays who like masculine things like playing football and skipping down the street holding hands with other men.

Rule #8: Dress like a superhero. If you must wear pants, make sure you show off your giant biceps.

This is what a sensible person who doesn’t want to freeze to death wears to dress as Wolverine:

Let’s face it, Wolverine is a pretty Gay costume to begin with. The white tank top/muscle version is much sexier though. And for the Gays, if it’s Halloween and you’re not sexy you may as well stay at home alone. Eating a cake. Alone. By yourself. Alone.

Rule #8.5: The Ambiguously Gay Duo, while not totally relevant, is still a totally cute couples costume:

Rule #9: Guys like it when you dress up as something innocent (and naughty!).

For a Straight, an angel costume looks like this:

But that’s far too much coverage for a Gay Homosexual. For a Gay Angel costume, just get some enormous wings and tie a tiny handkerchief around your waist. This costume is also good because it practically writes its own come-on lines (“Did you fall from Heaven?” etc).

Rule #10: Have fun! (But don’t eat anything).

Straights Dudes, who attend Halloween parties fully clothed can afford to snack. Eat some candy corn! Grab a chip! Enjoy, Straights! Gay Male Homosexuals, however, should refrain from eating on Halloween. Because you are naked, it’s imperative that you drink liquids that dehydrate you whilst eating nothing. This will ensure that no unflattering pictures of you show up on Facebook. And let’s be honest, the real reason for Halloween is Facebook pictures where you look really hot.

Happy Halloween!

Love,
Orlando

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From Rags To Riches: 1970s Chairs

Dear Ugly Chairs I Found in September,

When I first gazed upon your ugliness, I knew you could be beautiful. So I bought you and reupholstered you in gorgeous grey canvas. Here is what you looked like before:

And here you are now:

I love that you are both slouchy and tailored, tufted and structural.

The cost breakdown is as follows:

2 Chairs from Sunbeam Vintage: $150

4 Yards grey canvas from International Silks and Woolens: $50

Upholstery labor costs: $160

Total: $360

Not bad for a pair of totally unique, high-quality chairs. If you don’t feel like going through all this just for a pair of chairs, you can always buy these from me on Hipswap. Just a suggestion…

Love,
Orlando

Here is the link to my Hipswap shop in case you want to look around…

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Whut Glamour: Chris Camargo’s Los Angeles

Dear Chris Camargo,

I love the beautiful images of Los Angeles you kindly share on your photo blog. You capture our city the way only somebody who truly loves it could. If you’re having a bad day, hating the smog, plastic surgery, and superficiality that gives this city a bad rap, take a look at these pretty pictures:

These pictures make me happy.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Check out Chris Camargo’s professional site for more fashion and commercial photographs.

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Fifty Fun Fall Fashion Finds

Dear Fall,

After a summer full of too many pool parties, concerts, crazy weekends, and fun, I could not possibly be more excited about the end of summer. Bye Summer, don’t let the door hit you on the way out! I am ready to spend the fall doing nothing, sitting inside, pretending to read a book whilst snuggled up under a perfectly draped wool blanket, drinking hot tea, staring out the window as rain falls, thinking about the future, my fear of it, and how I wish I cared more about the election. Everyone knows the most important thing about fall is fall fashion, so it’s time you started thinking about what you are going to wear to autumn.

One of my favorite things growing up was back to school shopping. We would get new clothes and, possibly even more exciting, new school supplies. There is nothing like a fresh binder, complete with a pencil pouch, to get me excited about fall. It’s kind of sad now that there is no back to school shopping. Unless you have kids (which I don’t, I don’t think), back to school shopping ends after college. For some annoying reason my mom refuses to take me back to school shopping anymore. So now I have to do it myself.

I’ve decided the trends for this fall are navy blue, grey, and leather. Thus, almost everything on my shopping list includes one of those elements (except for a few very important exceptions). So please look through this list and then buy everything on it.

Now, onto the clothes:

Cashmere and Silk Blended Hoodie, $1695

This hoodie costs almost $1700. And I want it. Also, it costs $1700. Did I mention that it costs $1700? What the hell is going on in the world? (I still want it).

Flannel Check Long Sleeve Shirt, Uniqlo, $30

Every man should have a nice checkered shirt. To match his checkered past.

Blake Knitted Cashmere Bow Tie, Burberry London, $150

If I had this bow tie I’d be nuzzling it all night. It looks so soft and supple.

Kane Jean, J Brand, $196

Grey jeans. It’s all about grey jeans. You should have at least 3 pairs.

Gould Shoes, H By Hudson, $165

H By Hudson, while kind of annoying to find in the US, is making all the best shoes right now. These are simple and elegant. And I want them on my feet right now.

513 Slim Line 8 Jeans, Levis, $48

Nothing says all-American fall like Levi’s. I love the rich color of this pair.

Diamond Desert Shawl-Collar Sweater, Pendleton, $188

Pendleton is like your trendy grandma who doesn’t know everything she owns is totally rad. They have great pieces and they are even cooler because the way they market them is so dorky. And everyone knows that dorky is the new cool. So much so that after a while dorky is going to be so cool that it’s going to be dorky to be dorky because it’s so cool that it will have gone back from being cool to being dorky again because it got too cool. I’m confusing myself. Anyway, buy the sweater.

Era 59 California Leather Sneaker, Vans, $55

You can’t go wrong with Vans. Ever. And these incorporate two important trends: navy and leather.

Grey High Shawl Cable Cardigan, Topman, $88

Cable-knit is another one of my passions. As is anything grey. It doesn’t really get that cold in LA during autumn, so I’ll be sweating my face off in this glamourous sweater.

Custom-Fit Weathered Polo, Ralph Lauren, $85

In case you’re not privy to Ralph Lauren’s code language, “Custom-Fit” means “Tailored For The Gayest of Homosexuals.” Basically instead of the normal Polo clothing that fits like a muumuu, Custom-Fit is more tailored to the body and shows off those beautiful arms you’ve been working so hard on.

GQ Black Denim Slim Fit Jeans, Gap, $98

Dark grey jeans. So dark and mysterious. You need them.

Sportsman Drop Bottom Rolling Gear Bag, LL Bean, $249

For all your fall travel, you need this rolling duffel from one of my favorite dorky companies around, LL Bean. But dorky in a good way. A way that makes me feel comforted and at home.

 

Waffle Striped Henley Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Uniqlo, $20

Stripes? Check! Henley? Check! Grey? Check! Good enough for me.

Navy Polka Dot Long Johns, Topman, $32

I screamed when I saw these for the first time. I’m seriously considering wearing these as pants. In public.

Stonewash Denim Short Sleeve Shirt, Topman, $60

This is a denim shirt you could actually get away with wearing in LA without feeling like you were in a sweat lodge. Sidenote: my whole life is a sweat lodge. I’ll be sitting, motionless, and my friends will be like “What’s going on? Why are you sweating so profusely, in such a revolting manner? Stop panting!” It’s just who I am.

Jacket, H&M, $129

Those toggles, that navy, those driving gloves. I kind of want to be this model.

T-Shirt, H&M, $17.95

I know what you’re thinking. This looks like a ladyshirt. But these wide necked shirts actually look really good on guys. I didn’t believe it at first either. But now I am a believer. No longer do I yearn to wear tight-necked shirts that strangle me. Now it’s all about shirts that show a little clavicle.

Lightweight Cotton Blend Parka, Beams Plus, $580

I can just imagine wearing this parka, running through a field with the one I love, the rain-wet grasses smelling of fresh tea, knowing that life is perfect. I am certain that this will happen if I buy this parka and that is why I need it.

Cable-Knit Wool Beanie Hat, Beams Plus, $120

If you don’t have a beanie you might as well not be alive. They really make a fall morning stroll to the [non-multinational corporate big box] coffee shop all the more meaningful and enjoyable.

Tan Leather Weave Belt, Topman, $24

Every man should have a woven leather belt. They are classic. They remind me of how my dad dressed in the 90s. Which is pretty much how every man should be dressing now because he had (and has) the best style ever.

Zipped Loopback Cotton-Jersey Hoodie, Saturdays Surf NYC, $120

Blue Hoodie, touch me!

Grey Neppy Roll Up T-Shirt, Topman, $32

Another wide-necked shirt. Trust me, you need it. It will get you tons of boyfriends, girlfriends, jobs, and international modeling contracts.

Cashmere Scarf, Land’s End, $99

Blah, boring scarf I know. But you’ll be happy you have it. They’re so comforting to put on whilst staring in the mirror, thinking about how wonderful your day is going to be.

Leather Trucker Jacket, Levi’s, $398

Classic leather jacket from on of America’s best brands. Gimme.

Fishing Duffel Bag, Levi’s, $378

This duffel is strangely pricey, but I want it for my gym bag. I would be so much fitter if I had this. Buying stuff will solve all your problems. Maybe.

Mason One Pocket Workshirt, Levi’s, $58

Classic work shirt. If you have a job, you can wear it to work. If not just wear it to lunch. Or to watch TV. Or whatever you do with your day.

Original Aviator Sunglasses, Ray Ban, $195

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean the sun will stop attacking your eyeballs. These classic aviators will never go out of style. Unlike Ke$ha who was never in style in the first place.

R4 Jacket, Pategonia, $259

Everyone should have a fleece from Patagonia. Not only do they remind me of my Yosemite childhood, they also add a rustic mountaineer flair to any wardrobe that is starting to skew too Gay/Euro/Partyboi.

Cadwell Quilted Bomber, Ralph Lauren, $325

I don’t know why this model is wearing such a teeny size, but I really like this navy blue bomber jacket.

Canvas Backpack, ASOS, $39

Camp-style backpacks are all the rage, and I love this one. It makes me want to take a nature walk whilst eating trail mix and singing camp songs.

ML565 Sneakers, New Balance, $106

New Balance is another classic that just won’t go away. I got my first pair in high school. The style has not changed at all and they are still totally relevant. Everyone needs a pair.

Wool-Cashmere Birdseye Sweater, Vince, $325

Vince is known for their fancy cashmere, but this casual piece looks so comfy I couldn’t resist.

Angus Cotton-Flannel Shirt, Saturdays Surf NYC, $125

If you live in an area where you can get away with wearing flannel every day, you should. It’s so comfy and soft and warm. I love flannel a lot. Also, I’m a big lesbian.

Wool Baseball Jacket, ASOS, $97

Every once in a while a trend comes around and I’m like “What? Where did that come from?” That’s how I feel about baseball jackets. I totally love them but how come they’re all the sudden, like, a *thing*? Whatever I’ll get on board.

Stock Workshirt, Levi’s, $68

This shirt looks stiff now, but after years of washing and wearing it will be a staple of the wardrobe, soft and supple. I promise.

Tan Leather Laptop Bag, Topman, $120

How successful and wealthy would you look walking down the street with this slung over your shoulder? And isn’t the point of life to look successful and wealthy? Or is it?

Diamond Desert Sweater, Pendleton, $198

Another kookie sweater from Pendleton. You either have to be a cool grandpa or a sullen hipster to pull this one off. My goal in life is to be a cool grandpa, so maybe I’ll start practicing early by wearing this sweater.

Knit Drink Sweater, Land’s End, $8

Meanwhile, my beer was also wearing a sweater. I’m not a huge beer coozy person, but I definitely would be if I had this. It’s the ultimate fashion statement for your beverage.

Wool Double Faced Dapper Scarf, Land’s End, $49

Plaid scarves are a wardrobe staple that everyone needs. Look it up, it’s a medical fact.

Navy Wisett Desert Botas, Toms, $69

You should purchase a pair of Toms every season. Mainly because there are shoeless kids out there just waiting for fashionable, flat-bottomed shoes with no arch support. Save the children!

Tweed Inset Flask, Land’s End, $49

I want to take this everywhere. Not only so that I can drink like a drunken hobo in the Wild West but also so I can show everyone my awesome flask.

Kane Corderoy Pant in Navy Blue, J Brand, $181

I miss corduroy pants and want them back in my life.

Wallace & Barnes Heavyweight Flannel Shirt, J. Crew, $98

I had to break my navy, grey, and leather rule for this jewel-toned shirt. The bright colors make me happy.

Homespun Knitwear Short-Sleeve Coalminer Henley, J. Crew, $90

Another fall-appropriate shirt we can get away with wearing in LA.

Wool Cable Knit Pullover, American Apparel, $105

Cable-knit, royal blue sweater. Perfect for an evening stroll though a pumpkin patch with that special someone (imaginary or otherwise).

Straight Leg Jeans in Resin, Vince, $195

More grey jeans. Yes, you need these too.

Grosgrain Double Bowtie, Lanvin, $150

If I had this bow tie I’d never take it off. I’d wear it to fancy parties, to watch TV, in the shower. It’s so beautiful.

Grey Briefs, Calvin Klein, $12

Not super exciting (aside from the ridiculously airbrushed plasticmodel), but these undies are comfy and cozy and I’ve been wearing them forever. Fall is a good time to get rid of those tattered undergarments and replace them with fresh exciting new ones. If you can get excited about grey underwear. Which you probably can’t.

3-Pack Socks, H&M, $10

In addition to underwear, you need new socks. I know it’s hard to cope with, but it’s true. Having socks with no holes will make you feel at least 47% less like a hobo. And I would know, I feel 78% like a hobo 100% of the time.

Fifth Avenue Glacier Park Throw, Pendleton, $138

Fall is about being cozy, sitting inside, and thinking about the ones you love. And it would be impossible to do any of these things without this gorgeous blanket.

So there it is. Everything you need to be happy this fall. If you don’t buy these things your life will never be complete. Just kidding. Kind of. But it is fun to treat yourself to something nice when the season changes. Mainly because in a few months the sun is going to start setting at 4 PM and we are all going to curse the changing of the seasons, missing the summer days when the sun didn’t set until 9 PM. Maybe I should have put a sun lamp in this list…

Love,
Orlando

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My So-Called Barber

Dear Self,

Are you ever like “Hey, this is the worst day of my life and I feel like a moldy thrown-away tortilla on Seis De Mayo”? Well there is one sure-fire way to cheer yourself up on days like these. All you have to do is go to the nearest barber or hair salon and ask them to chop of all of your hair. There is nothing more therapeutic than running into a chic salon and screaming “CUT IT OFF ME!!!!” with tears streaming down your withered face, bony face.

The other day I was feeling like an ugly Rumpelstiltskin. The best thing to do when you feel like a disgusting hogface is to get a haircut. I guarantee it will always make you feel better. If you have the right stylist that is. If not it will ruin your life. This is why I go to Shane at The Cut By Barbershop. He looks like this:

The Cut By Barbershop is kind of like a speakeasy. There is no sign outside. When you make an appointment you are given the top secret location. Then when you get there you’re like “where am I?” Then you walk in the door and you’re like “What? How is this amazing barbershop still such a secret?” And then you feel super cool for knowing about a place that is so secret even the owner hardly knows it exists.

The exposed beam ceiling is pretty cool. Shane has added a lot of lighting to this place to make sure you can see your perfect new haircut and dazzling white teeth.

Have you ever been like “I want a giant mirror!” and then you look for giant mirrors and realize they cost more than a brand new Mercedes? Mirrors are ridiculously expensive. Which is why I love this totally clever idea Shane implemented in his shop. He used vintage brass closet doors as mirrors. It not only looks industrial chic, it also gets points for being so inventive.

I love this vintage Mobil Pegasus. His actually lights up. And that dog is so adorable I want to put it in a glass cage and stare at it forever.

The shop is filled with cool object, including these horns.

Percentage of times I’ve had a drink whilst getting a haircut: 0%
Percentage of times I’ve wanted a drink whilst getting a haircut: 100%

I love the design of these Hudson Whiskey labels. I like whiskey, but seeing that bottle makes me like it ever more.

One time when I was little our next door neighbor used to wear a helmet while she raked the yard. She did this because she was scared an acorn would fall from high above and end her life. Her fear of acorns did not stop me and my siblings from making fun of her every day. Fast forward to me seeing this helmet at Shane’s shop. Would it be weird if I started wearing a motorcycle helmet, even though I don’t ride a motorcycle? I hope not because I want to wear this one every day. To the gym, to the movies. To your wedding. Everywhere!

There is nothing more American than barbershops, so I was happy to see this American flag on the wall.

Why do I not own this speaker and/or fully understand what it is? It is so beautiful.

If you find yourself in Hollywood and look up to see this sign in a window, run inside immediately and get a haircut. Hurry!

A strange truth about this place is that as soon as I started going I found out all my stupid friends go there too but never told me about it. It was like some weird secret society that no one invited me to. Meanwhile I was outside laying on he pavement eating a whole cake by myself. Not really. But I felt so left out of this barberglamour. Which is why I am telling you about it now. Because I am such a good person.

Look how cool this mid-century barber chair is. Looks kinda like an Eames chair…

I’m pretty sure Shane has a trunk hoarding problem, because there are a lot of trunks at The Cut By.

That damn speaker again. Mine.

And here’s me with a fresh new haircut. No longer a moldy tortilla, I feel like a hot tamale!

Thanks for the glamourtimez, Shane. I’ll be back soon.

Love,
Orlando

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Let’s Have A Hipswap!

Dear Reader,
Have you dedicated your life to filling your home with beautiful things, only to realize you’re beautiful things are starting to turn your house into a hoardingland? Well, I have. Which is why I’ve decide to do some spring cleaning. Just in time for fall. I’m selling some of my favorite things on Hipswap, which is essentially a more glamorous version of Craigslist that is much easier on the eyes (Sidenote: Dear Craigslist, why does your site still look like it’s 1996?). Anyway, below are is a selection of items I’m selling.
Falling painting, acrylic on canvas.
A ridiculously adorable bird candle holder. You should just buy this and then sell it back to me for five times what you paid. I love it enough that I already want to buy it back. But I don’t need it. Yes I do. No I don’t.
My ridiculously handy sofabed. Making this was a labor of love and I will definitely miss it, but I’ve fallen in love with a new sofa and it’s time to move on… It’s a vintage piece, completely remade in lustrous velvet.
Glamour painting, acrylic on canvas.
Totally cute chair. In my favorite color ever. Love.
Vintage globe. Because everyone needs one.
So what you should do is go to my Hipswap profile, start following me so I can follow you, and then buy stuff. Then I can buy more stuff to replace the stuff I’m selling. And the cycle will just continue forever and ever. I’m scared.
Love,
Orlando

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