Looking at the Styles of Harry

Harry Styles was a teenager thrown into stardom and afraid of the world’s judgment. Now, Harry Styles is a confident 25-years-old ready to express himself in spite of judgment. He has grown, and I have grown with him.

I have been a fan of Harry Styles since elementary school. When I was younger I kept a picture of him in my binder and today I have a painted picture of his album cover hanging over my bed, so clearly I have not grown out of my adoration for him. Since I have been a fan for quite a while, I remember seeing pictures of him walking around in Jack Wills hoodies and baggy pants thinking he is the coolest guy in the world to working with Gucci and still believing that he’s the coolest guy in the world. A large part of why I admire him is because I got to witness his transition from dressing like a typical teenage boy to someones who’s unafraid to experiment with his looks while still knowing himself.

His Famous Suits

When people think about Harry Styles’ style, their minds often go to his suits. His suits can vary from looking posh and classic to striking, fun, and unique. Although I don’t want to give Harry Styles much credit for changing the way we see clothing and gender, I respect that he explores femininity and mixes it with his sense of masculinity. If I didn’t have to drop out of college to be able to afford them, I would love to wear many of his suits (we all know suits look better on women).

A Casual Style Icon

Even if Harry isn’t performing or attending an award show in one of his famous suits, he still manages to be a style icon on his casual days. He often wears bright floral shirts that make him stand out since people definitely would not recognize him walking around town. Not only do I love the colors and designs of his floral shirts but I love them because it is a look that is easy for me to copy, even though our price ranges are significantly different. Sometimes Harry is seen wearing sweater vests that remind me of an older gentleman feeding ducks at a pond, which means his sweater vests are some of my favorite looks.

Love on Tour

With Harry Styles releasing his tour dates recently, it may seem like I’m writing this article and calling him a “style icon” in hopes that he will happen to find this article and give me free tickets to his show, and that’s part of the reason, but I truly do love his style and what he stands for. Harry often emphasizes the importance of kindness and acceptance, which can be seen at his shows. When performing, he sometimes wears outfits that may seem too flashy or unusual but that shows he is unapologetically himself. By being comfortable with himself, he is showing fans that it is acceptable to be whoever they want to be and wear whatever they want, even if someone else doesn’t approve. His concerts have become a safe haven for fans, like myself, around the world because we got to grow up with him. I don’t have tickets yet, but I am already getting my outfit ready for Harry Styles’ Love on Tour.

Written By: Maya Dixon
Photos By: Michael Leckie, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Helene Marie Pambrun, Robert Kamau

Peep This Joint: Dave East – Survival Album Review

The buzz around Harlem rapper Dave East is larger than ever with the release of his debut album, Survival executively produced by the legend Nas himself. 

The album recently dropped on November 8th and features a star-studded cast of guest appearances such as Nas, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor and Ty Dolla Sign. With a total of 20 songs that run for a little over an hour, it’s clear to see that East came prepared to tell his story to the masses.

He holds respect in the rap game as he has released numerous mixtapes and is adept at collaborating with both veteran guests such as Nas and Cam’ron as well as younger emcees like Gunna and A-Boogie. Over time he refined his signature gritty New York sound and it reflects with how polished Survival sounds. Since the release of his first mixtape in 2010, his debut album clearly portrays a seasoned rapper comfortable in his element as he gives listeners a glimpse into different parts of his life. 

A standout track from the album is the song, “On My Way 2 School” where he invites listeners to be in his shoes as he retells harsh experiences walking to school. East vividly paints how violent and dangerous the journey was just to go to school in a rough neighborhood: 

“On my way to school (On my way) / 

Nike’s and Adidas on my way to school (Either or) / 

You ever seen a homicide on your way to school? (Boom!) / 

You never seen your homie Mama cry on your way to school (Never).” 

Another standout song is “Mama I Made It” which is a love letter to the woman who raised him. The track exudes a classic ‘90s feel as East boasts his admiration for his mother. Reminiscing on the past when his mom slapped him when he “used to try to cuss” to brighter days today where “she aint never gotta worry ’bout no rent,” it’s clear to see the love. Having a song dedicated to your mother on an album is always a respectable and welcomed move and Dave East clearly outdid himself on this one.

The Harlem rapper revealed in an interview with legendary west coast radio host Big Boy that he listened to all of his favorite rappers’ first albums to prepare his mindset for his own.

“I went and played 50’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Snoop’s Doggystyle, Nas and Illmatic,” East said. “I played everybody’s first album just to see what their energy was at. Like ‘What time was you on when you knew this was your debut to the world?’.”

Overall the decision proved to be a wise move as his debut album is a shining example of his lyrical gift and vivid storytelling. This album is definitely one of the most solid albums released so far this year and is a must-listen. 

Go peep this joint right now!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Johann Oribello

The Outfits of Cherbourg

As I was getting dressed, I was thinking about where my style comes from. I knew it definitely has some influences and after looking at all of my favorite pieces, I realized that I dress like the women from the movies and television shows I watch.

When I find myself relating to a character I start to incorporate pieces of them in myself because even though their reality is fictitious, the emotions that their stories make me feel are real. Lately, my style has been largely influenced by the character Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) from the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy. I have never experienced heartbreak from my significant other getting drafted to go to war, but I know the feeling of seeing life as soft, bright, and clear only to have your expectations that you assumed were true be altered by unforeseen circumstances. I will not spoil the story of the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but I will mention my love for Geneviève’s clothes that I wish to make my own. 

1. Sweaters

Geneviève’s sweaters are what ties many of her simpler outfits together. Her cardigans matched with her bows create a dainty and charming look that I adore.

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

2. Coats  

I hope the weather finally gets colder in San Diego because I am ready to wear coats! Geneviève’s coats make her look elegant and pristine, a look that I strive to emulate.    

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

3. Color

Color is an important aspect of this film because the colors of the characters’ clothing often match the background colors, which can also show how the characters are feeling. I chose blue clothing for this collage because I think blue best captures the feeling of despair and loss that the movie is trying to convey. Colors are very important to me when I’m considering my style because bright colors remind me of the vibrancy of youth. Although as we get older we may see our lives less and less through the perspective of a technicolor lens, sometimes through bright colors we are reminded of the fun, hope, and liveliness we carried as children. 

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

I can watch movies repeatedly simply for the costumes.

Not everyone enjoys watching musicals, especially ones that involve the characters singing every single line, but I believe that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a great movie to watch for those of you who admire when a significant amount of care is put into the details of costumes and cinematography. If you’re looking for a change in your style you should watch some of your favorite movies to see if any of the outfits represent you.

Written By: Maya Dixon

21 Questions: Diana Pastora Carson

woman in front of building

Diana Pastora Carson is a kindergarten teacher and one of two lecturers for General Studies 420: Disability & Society.

“I suppose the question “Tell us about yourself” is overwhelming because there is not enough time to tell you about me which includes all that I am, do, have, love, and have experienced.”

So, tell me about yourself?

“I was made in Spain, born in Maryland, but grew up mostly in San Diego. My father was in the Navy and got permanently stationed here because, at the time, San Diego was the only place that had a school for children with autism. I have many roles: an educator, an author, a public speaker, a disability rights advocate, a mom, a sibling, a daughter, a wife, a friend, a middle-aged woman exploring what it actually means to be ‘herself.’ 

Recently, I have tried not to think so much about how people view me anymore. However, in all honesty, although my awareness of this has greatly evolved over the past few years, I’m not as secure as I want to be. It still does make me feel validated and proud when others think favorably of me. It is a journey toward full self-love. But I’m enjoying this journey and look forward to experiencing freedom from preoccupation with opinions of others. 

I have noticed that people usually think I’m sweet all the time. But in reality, I’m a pain in the ass to my family. I’m really picky about things at home and I’m not always very patient when family members don’t follow my ‘rules’ of cleanliness, order, etc. I do truly enjoy being with people though and learning about their lives. I appreciate people, their journeys, their identities, their struggles, their empowerment, and their victories.” 

Are you family-oriented?

“Yes, very family-oriented. I am especially close to my brother, Joaquin, who experiences significant autism. He is my next-door neighbor and I see him daily. He was institutionalized for a total of 15 years. But my family fought for his return to the community and after a 3-year legal battle, we won, and he is now home. My family’s life revolves around him and his wellness and peace within.”

Who are you listening to right now? 

I listen to Miguel Poveda, Sam Smith, and reggaeton on Pandora. I also listen to lots of podcasts on keto, women’s health, disability, inclusion, and business.

Do you have an idea of where you will be at the end of this year?

“I’ll be enjoying a break between semesters! Also, I’ll probably be excited over the release of a new book I’ve written for educators. It is about how to teach disability awareness from a perspective of dignity and empowerment. I’ll do some gardening in honor of my mother in her memorial garden at my home. I’ll get to sleep in more too.”

What’s on your mind today?

“I’m focusing on how to maximize my health, listening to podcasts on the ketogenic lifestyle. I’m also focusing a lot on how I can shift from teaching elementary school and focus more on a speaking/consulting business after my retirement. In general, I’m mentally planning for a future of health, wellness, and abundance.”

If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?

Don’t believe everything you think. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Enjoy each day. Breathe. Be who you are. Take care of your physical and mental and spiritual health. This life is a journey.
Written by: Jasmine Alexander
Photo by: Jasmine Alexander