by Tara Osipoff on February 11, 2013
I think that my greatest attribute and my biggest downfall are one in the same: I can’t be told that something can’t be done. I feel like if I have a goal, if I see something and I believe in it, there isn’t a damn thing in this world that will stop me from doing whatever it takes to see that it manifests. Absolutely nothing is off limits; nothing is impossible.
My brother died when I was 21. I was standing on a carpet, and it was selfish carpet; it was made up of me, me and more me. When Brian died, that carpet was taken from right under my feet and I fell. I fell flat on my ass, hard, and it took the wind right out of me. I woke up from the haze that I had been living in. My entire world had just been turned upside down and I was shaken like a snow globe, except there were no pretty flakes floating around. Sadness and depression and self-realization were what filled the air.
My brother was a good man. He was kind and made people laugh. I believe that in his short existence, he created a life to be proud of.
When he died, it made me take a look at my own life. Was it one that I was proud to be living? The answer was no. No, it certainly was not. Everything was taken away from me that day, but I was given one of the most important gifts of my entire life: a second chance. My reality was laid out in front of me, and it was changed; I had the chance to mould my future into whatever I pleased.
I was a selfish young teenager merging into my twenties and it didn’t seem like things were changing. I wasn’t a good friend, and my family was always worried about me and where my life was headed.
When Brian died, it was as though someone grabbed me by my sweet little head and said, “Wake up little girl, you only have one chance to live the greatest life you possibly can. Are you going to do it? Are you going to live a life you can be proud of? This is your chance.”
The answer was most definitely yes.
It wasn’t as though I changed overnight. I just made a choice to be the best possible me that I could be, and I decided to continue to make that choice everyday. As I kept making that choice, I started to slowly become what I was choosing to become: a better me. I have never stopped making that choice. I made that choice this morning when I woke up, and I will make that same choice tomorrow.
I have had some unfortunate events take place in my short life. The beautiful thing is that I have learned from each experience, and they have only made me more stable and well-rounded, stronger and more grateful.
When I was 23 I quit university, got on a plane with my best friend and saw Central America, the unbeaten path. I learned about other cultures and saw life through a different perspective. I began to appreciate and value the fact that everyone that walks this earth has their own path, and not one person is more important than the next. A lot of people that I met along my travels came from different walks of life, each perfectly unique and beautiful. I grew more comfortable with myself and I realized that no matter what path I decide to take in life, as long as I am happy, it will be the right path for me. I learned to stop trying to appease everyone with what I do. That if I do what I love, it will make the people I love happy. When I returned home, I began on a journey to figure out which career path I could follow that would have me waking up excited every day. It was simple. The arts.
Since I was a little girl, I can remember being fascinated by fashion. It was something that always made my mind spin. Fashion is art, movement and design. It is self-expression. I don’t just see brands; I see the artist behind the brand. I could spend hours going through a designer’s collection and obsess with fascination over detail and design. Fashion is my art. I feel like it is how I express my inner thoughts and deepest emotions. Pieces and collections depict everything from my mood to tell stories of my experiences and the people I’ve met in my life.
I can’t believe how simple it is to be happy. All you have to do is wake up every day and choose happiness. My father once said, “Happiness is a choice. It is never lost. It is always where you left it last; simply choose it again.” It starts with just that, the choice. Choose it everyday. Some days you may need to choose it more than once, then the rest flows naturally towards you. Life gets easier. Things come together. Imagine if the entire world made that choice, and people invested their time in the things that they are passionate about. How much more beautiful would the world be?
That is where it began. Now here I am. I feel like I have a fire burning inside of me; it is fierce, but gentle. The fierce side sees no boundaries, and anything in the entire world is possible. The gentle side reminds me to do everything I do with kindness as my intention. Together that is the formula I follow. Endless passion with no limits, and kindness with the utmost gratitude. I have learned that if you give the best to what you do, you will be the best at what you do. If you work really, really hard at the things you’re passionate about, and you are a good, kind person, the entire universe will work with you to make your every dream a reality.
Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person in the entire world. Then, I remember there is no such things as luck, because you create your own. I have the most amazing friends, family, job, passions, and I have chosen them all. I work hard every day to make the people in my life know how grateful I am to have them. Each person I have encountered in my life and the people that currently exist in it are some of the most exceptional people on this planet. Thank you, thank you for being a part of my path, my journey. I learn from you all every day. A great photographer, Peter Beard, once said, “Everything I’ve learned is not from art school or photography school. No, I’ve learned from people.” I learn from the company I keep.
In this post I have compiled a series of photos that inspire me. A lot of them are mine, from my travels and life. Some of the photos are of the people I respect and admire, people that have changed my life or influenced me in some way. Others I have found over the years on the internet. I keep a folder on my computer that is titled “Inspire”. These are the images that inspire me, the people who motivate me. If I die tomorrow, I hope for one thing in particular to be said about me, for me to be called, to be known for: I simply just set out to be inspiring.
I want to inspire you. To be the best you that you possibly can be. To be kind to your fellow species. To be kind to all living creatures and the earth. To do the things you are passionate about. To live the life you deserve to live: a beautiful life. To laugh, at yourself and with others. To work hard in all that you do. To give the best to everything you touch. And most importantly, I want to inspire you to be inspiring. Nothing in this life is more important than that.
NOTE to the people who find their photo in this post… Thank you. Thank you for being the light that gives me energy. Thank you for giving me the strength to be the woman I need to be. Thank you for teaching me. Looking at these photos brings me to life, your faces bring me joy. For in each of you I see a bit of myself, the part of me that has learned from each of you. I am who I am because you all are a part of my life. I respect you all and think you are some of the most magnificent individuals to walk this earth. Anyone who has the pleasure to meet any of you, is truly blessed. Please continue to do what you have done to me, inspire. You all inspired me to be better, continue to pass on that incredible gift. Love you all, always.
by Tara Osipoff on January 13, 2013
Remember when you were a child and your mother took you and your siblings shopping? She would send the girls off to the “girls” clothing section, filled with pinks and purples, ribbons and bows. Then she would shove the boys into their own “boys” section of the store with blues and greens, truck t-shirts and khaki pants. This is a defining moment in a child’s life, when the child sees that society has clearly designated roles in fashion for each gender. This can be very confusing for a child…
Especially a child like me, whose eye always wandered to the “boys” section of the store. I can recall at a very young age thinking that truck shirt would look bad-ass with a pair of pink shorts, purple striped rain boots and a boys snowboarding toque. That is when I stopped caring about my designated side of the store. I started wearing both female and male clothing at a very young age. I wasn’t concerned whether an article of clothing would be considered feminine or masculine. If I thought it was cool, I’d rock it.
Many of my fashion readers and followers over the last few months have asked me to do a post on some of the androgynous outfits I wear. For me, 2012 was the year of the bow-tie. I fell in love with this piece and found many ways to incorporate it into my daily outfits. I have become notorious for wearing bow-ties and ties. I like to pair them with a collarless shirt if I am feeling playful and maybe a pencil skirt with pumps. Other days I will have on a button down collared shirt with a tie tucked into shorts with tights and wedge booties. It all depends on my mood. It isn’t something I wear every day or even every week, for that matter. I just feel like bow-ties and ties can add a bit of character to an otherwise boring outfit.
Many things in my wardrobe come from the “male” section of stores, and I would guarantee that most people would have no idea. I get compliments from both men and women on my androgynous fashion.
One of my favourite parts about fashion is people-watching. Seeing all of the wonderful outfits that people put together. Seeing how people express themselves through their daily attire, whether they know they are or not. I feel as though when I watch people cruise the streets in their outfits, I get a glimpse of their inner self. Fashion is an art form, our bodies are the canvas and our clothes are the paint. It would be a shame to limit a certain colour of paint to certain genders; the world would be boring. I feel just as interested in men’s fashion as I do women’s. So I don’t limit myself to just the “women’s” section.
A common phrase I hear from people on my androgynous attire is “I would have never thought to put those pieces together.” My response is usually along the lines of “stop being led by what you were taught you should and shouldn’t wear. Your creativity will guide you the rest of the way.” Forget all of the rules and just wear what you feel. Wear outfits you like, whether they’re considered “masculine” or “feminine”. Let your eyes wander through the ENTIRE store, without restriction. Have no fear of what others may think. Confidence is the most fashionable thing you own!
Photography by Scott Goodwill. Find Scott’s work through; http://www.scottgoodwill.com/
Models :Alissa-Marilyn Hill, Mercedes Kallstrom
Styled by Myself, Tara Osipoff, All of the lovely clothes are from my closet
If you ever want to know about a particular piece, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Life is beautiful my pretties, so dress accordingly
by Tara Osipoff on November 29, 2012
The Day Ugly Became Cool
I remember it like it was yesterday. The air was crisp and the sun was bright, kids ate ice cream in the streets, and old ladies sat in their lawn chairs watching traffic. Little girls ran amok in flower print skirts and pink shirts. Birds flew in the sky on cue, not too fast and not too slow. Women pranced along the sidewalks in their finely pressed dresses and men strolled in their tailored suits. Everyone wore solid colours and regular, ordinary prints. The day was so perfect that it almost seemed like a rendition of Gary Ross’s Pleasantville. Then, right when you would expect the Brady Bunch to cross the road singing, a young fellow walked out of a coffee shop with a bit of an awkward swagger to his step. Traffic stopped, kids’ ice cream fell to the ground, birds dropped from the sky, and women gasped in shock and hid behind their finely dressed men. They couldn’t believe their eyes. The man was… well, he wasn’t matching!!!! He had on a short-sleeved button down bird print shirt, with red corduroy jeans and a pair of old, rugged Doc Martens. His hair was wild and unruly. He didn’t walk with a stick up his butt like the others; he was free of butt sticks. He swayed back and forth as though he was stepping to a beat that was playing in his head. He didn’t seem to care that people were watching. He glanced over at one of the women who stood, frantic, in the street, and he winked at her. She nearly fainted with surprise. Never had someone gone against the grain in such a way, and people were frightened. They all gathered at the town hall, dressed with their hair in neat and tidy bows, ironed shirts, and stockings with perfectly polished shoes. They voted to cast out the boy from the town. What would they do with someone who didn’t agree to follow their rules of what was correct, of what was appropriate and acceptable to wear in the town? He looked foolish amongst the rest! Foolish! If he dressed this way, imagine the rebellious shenanigans and disruptions he could make in the town. They had to put an end to this.
They decided they would protest in the streets… with signs and pitchforks. Signs that read, “We will not accept ugly shirts in a town such as this!” They marched in their butter yellow dresses and tucked-in shirts and finely combed hair. Outside the boy’s house, they waited. They were ready for the unruly boy to come out—ready to attack.
Come out he did, but not as expected. He simply opened the door and sat on the step with a cold beer in hand. He was calm, cool, and collected. He asked the town to hear him out. He explained to them that all his life he didn’t feel comfortable wearing a suit, that he didn’t like stripes because he found them boring. When he tucked in his shirt he felt restricted and that he wasn’t able to move freely. He explained that he didn’t enjoy ironing his shirts, and that this didn’t make him the town serial killer; he just simply didn’t like to iron. Although confused, the town seemed to like the boy. He was intelligent and creative and there was something intriguing about him. Although they were unsure just yet if they could trust him, they lowered their pitchforks, put down their signs, and sat in a circle around the boy while he spoke of choices, ideas, and imagination. The townspeople listened in awe as the boy brought out a guitar and played music they had never heard. They sipped on the boy’s beer and loosened their neckties. They talked amongst one another about a new way of life—a life with colour, creativity, and freedom.
The next day, things in town were different. Just as pleasant, but not so black and white. There was colour, plaid, and chiffons; men wore floral, and women wore ties and the colour brown. People played music in the streets and buskers sang music on the corner. People were painting and kids didn’t judge one another if their shirts weren’t buttoned to the neck. This was the day when ugly became cool.
Okay, okay. This probably isn’t how it happened, but this is how I like to imagine it. People generally fear what they do not understand, whether that is the pattern of a shirt or the ideas of a free thinker. Out of fear of the unknown or fear of change, it’s just easier to label things into a category in order to feel comfortable. Ugly is just one of those categories. If floral button downs are your thing, rock them like no one is judging. If a wolf patterned shirt makes you feel lovely—if it makes you feel confident and strong, creative or inspired—there should be no fear of whether it is considered “ugly”. Fashion is a constant evolution; we are always changing which trends are considered “in”. The people who set trends are the ones who don’t care if something is considered ugly or if it is acceptable to others. We need to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the only person there is to impress is the one looking back in the mirror. The trendsetters dress to feel inspired, creative, and innovative. Be you, be bold, and don’t be afraid to be judged, because the revolutionary people of this world are the ones who take a stand against the herd. They were the ones who made ugly cool, and they are the ones that make this world exciting
Go to www.iloveugly.net/ to find this fabulously hideous menswear line that I am currently lovin’. Follow them on Instagram and twitter to stay in touch with the lifestyle and latest gear they’re puttin out …
Thanks fashion lovers