Mirror Selfie

by Courtney Lyons

Art By Me

Mirror Selfie: a series of paintings by me. These paintings serve as a commentary on art in the age of technology. The work calls attention to art's newfound role as source of Instagram likes rather than a subject of reverence. Overlaying broken mirrors with impasto brushwork, the piece intends to playfully provoke the narcissistic "selfie generation" by including them in the art as they take a picture of it.

Nail Art for People Who Don't Do Nail Art

by Courtney Lyons

If you're like me, painting your own nails is a daunting task. No matter how hard I try, when working with my left hand (I'm a righty), I always manage to miss my nail and get nail polish all over on my skin. 

So, as you can imagine, nail art is even more of a challenge. However, after years of trial and error (and error and error), I have figured out a relatively foolproof method for doing nail art!


Step 1: File your nails to your desired length and prep your nails with a base coat. 


Step 2: Pick your colors.

I tend to stay away from contrasting colors and lean towards different shades of the same color. For this tutorial I am using Essie's "bikini so teeny" and "style cartel" for a fun pop. 

Step 3: Cut out ten one-inch, square pieces of Scotch tape. Then, proceed to cut out one corner of each piece of tape in a curved style. 

I like to cut five of the strips in on the right side in one direction and then the other five on the left side to create a mirror-like illusion on my nails. 

Step 4: Set your tape strips aside and paint your nails with a foundation color. 


Step 5: After letting your nails dry completely, place the tape strips over your nails.

For best results, dull the tape strips before sticking them on so they don't take off or smudge the paint. 

Step 6: Using a new color, paint over the area of your nails left exposed by the tape. 


Step 7: Let your nails dry, peel off the tape, and enjoy! 

Until next time xx


Women's March NYC Reflection

by Courtney Lyons

Worrying about what to wear to the Women's March seems like a very frivolous thing in comparison to the monumental goal of the march. Despite this, I still believe that clothing is a means of communication. Your clothing choice can reflect your personality, your beliefs, and your goals. Taking all of this into account, I wanted to wear something that would symbolize why I was participating in the march. 

Both my mother (my marching-mate) and I chose to wear white, a color synonymous with the women's suffrage movement. Founder of my high school's first ever Gender Equality Club and all-around history nerd, I though this was the perfect way to show my support for women's rights. 

The Manhattan Delegation on a Woman Suffrage Party parade through New York. (Credit: Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Manhattan Delegation on a Woman Suffrage Party parade through New York. (Credit: Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

While New York City's march received a huge turnout and remained primarily non-violent, there was still one major problem with the movement-- it was mainly comprised of white women. Looking around the march, I noticed thousands of white women, who now facing the threat of losing some of their rights, came out to march.  Recognizing my own privilege, I realized that I too, a white woman, had never marched for political change until the situation affected me. Admittedly, it was so amazing that women were able to come together and unite for a common goal. However, I couldn't help but acknowledge my inherent selfishness. I didn't even realize that, with my outfit, I was making a homage to a movement which often excluded black women.   

The whole situation made me truly understand the problem with white feminism. While all women face troubles and injustices, minority, LGBTQ+, and immigrant women face far more. I now understand that, as a white woman, the only way to evoke positive change in the world, and be a true feminist, is to acknowledge your own privilege, use your voice to help elevate others people's voices, and stand in solidarity with those whose issues you may not be able to relate to. 


Until next time xx


DIY Silver Leaf Bag

by Courtney Lyons

I created this blog as a way of positively sharing personal style with the world. As cliché as this may sound, I have always used clothing as a way to reflect who I am on the inside. Unfortunately, to many people, fashion can seem frivolous. Admittedly, the fashion industry is something that revolves around material items. However, it is also an industry that revolves around immense creativity. People are quick to assume that because I have a fashion blog, my parents give me money to buy exorbitant amounts of clothing. And while I am fortunate enough to live a comfortable life, my family is in no position to spend that kind of money.  Most of my clothing comes from thrift shops, my grandma's closet, and things I make myself. One of my ultimate goals in life is to promote inclusivity within the fashion industry. I am a firm believer that you should not have to wear expensive designer clothing to be respected in the fashion industry. No one should ever be limited by the amount of money they have. Because of this I am constantly thinking outside of the box for ways incorporate unique, designer-like looks without breaking the bank.

I was visiting my friend in Denver two weeks ago when we decided to go thrift shopping. Browsing the racks of Buffalo Exchange, I came across a medium-sized red leather bag. The bag had seen better days; the leather was old and the color was fading. Despite this, I fell in love with the shape of the bag and decided to purchase it for a grand total of $15.00.

I knew that something had to be done to revamp the bag. Inspired by another DIY project that I did on some picture frames, I decided to cover the bag in metallic silver leaf. The results came out great and I decided to make this easy DIY! 

Things you will need:

  • A bag 
  • Adhesive Spray (I used this brand)
  • Silver leaf  (I use this brand)

Step One: Create Your Work Space

Because you will be using adhesive glue, you're going to need to set up a work space that is either outside or in a large room so that the air can circulate. Next, you're going to want to place down either old newspapers or cardboard boxes so that the glue doesn't get on your floor. 



Step Two: Spray the Bag With The Glue

Spray one side of the bag and let it dry for 5 minutes. 



Step Three: Place The Silver Leaf On The Bag

Lightly place a sheet of silver leaf on to the bag.  Using your index finger, gently rub the silver leaf on to the bag until it is firmly stuck to the bag. 





Step Four: Finish and Enjoy!

Repeat these steps until the bag is covered with silver leaf and then enjoy!

Until next time xx


Selfie Stigma

by Courtney Lyons

If you've ever had the pleasure of spending some time in an art museum you will notice a few things. You will notice that you are not usually permitted to touch the art, use flash photography, or make a lot of noise.

However, you probably will not notice the copious amount of self portraits that an art museum typically has on display. This is because these self portraits would not strike you as being out of the ordinary. For hundreds of years, artists have been painting, sculpting, and using a myriad of different mediums to create artistic portrayals of themselves. Whether these self portraits are as realistic as Rembrandt's or as abstract as Picasso's, they are all viewed with the same respect and appreciation by people all over the world.

To me, self portraits are unlike any other type of art. There is something powerful about artists using themselves, the people they know best, as the subject of their art. The level of introspection that is needed in order for artists to accurately depict themselves to their satisfaction is something that is not seen too often in other creative fields. 

...And that is why I believe the selfie is a type of self portrait. 

Before you write me off as another social-media-obsessed narcissistic teenager, hear me out. 

The self portrait, while always being a factor in the art world, really became popular during the Renaissance. As many of you may know, the Renaissance was a time of "rebirth," an evolution out of the Dark Ages. Breaking away from the notion of religious shame, the Renaissance gave birth to humanism, a celebration of the mortal human rather than a supernatural figure. 

I believe that no other time in the course of human history parallels the Renaissance quite like 2016. The constant development in technology resembles the explosion of art, architecture, politics, science and literature that happened in the Renaissance. 

With the development of computers, mobile phones and social media, we are allowing for a wider access to the Internet and world wide communication, paving the way for collaboration in all realms of life. We are also constantly empowering humans from all different walks of life, similar to humanism in the Renaissance. Whether you are a man or a woman, white or a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community or straight, society is truly progressing to help eventually bring equality to all. Admittedly, recent acts of violence have tried to discourage the progression of society. But the Renaissance wasn’t perfect either — Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred ninety two, and we all know what an asshole that guy was.

So that is why I argue a selfie, in its own right, is a self portrait. People use selfies to capture and share an image of themselves that they feel accurately depicts themselves, similar to artists during the Renaissance. It is empowering to take a good picture of yourself and put it out into the world for everyone to see. Sharing selfies on social media allows for people to break away from the media's singular portrayal of beauty, and opens society’s eyes to the true beautiful diversity the world has to offer. 

So the next time you're scrolling through Instagram and you come across an account full of selfies, remember this — everyone has the right to be an artist, and everyone’s face is a perfectly viable masterpiece.

(Receiving a new tripod in the mail, I figured that there was nothing better to accompany this article than my very own selfies, erm, self portraits!) 

Until next time xx



Governors Ball Recap

by Courtney Lyons

I love living in New York, don't get me wrong. However, there is nothing more annoying than being stuck on the east coast during the week of Coachella. Looking on social media, it seems like it's impossible to find a post relating to something other than Coachella. In a world where Kendall Jenner's latest outfit makes the news, its pretty hard to avoid news of Coachella offline as well.

The simple solution to this problem would be to attend Coachella. And while that may work for some, for those of us who can't afford to drop everything and fly to Palm Springs for the weekend there needs to be to be an alternative solution. That alternative solution is a festival of our own: Governors Ball. 

Luckily, I was able to attend Governors ball for the second time this year. I look forward to "Gov ball" as a fun way to listen to a myriad of artists, see old friends and eat amazing food.  

Here is my recap of Governors ball 2016 in photos- 

The day was started off fun. There were a lot more people at Gov ball this year than last year and it could feel a little claustrophobic at times. I ate/drank the world's greatest milkshake (as pictured above) and listened to artists like the Misterwives and Haim. My friends and I were relaxing on a field when all of a sudden we felt rain drops. The next thing we knew, the sky had opened up and there was a torrential downpour. I, luckily, was wearing a bathing suit coverup (which you can read more about here), so I didn't care if I got wet, but some of my friends definitely did. However, once we had covered our things, we decided to not let the rain ruin our night...

Until next time xx


She's The (cole)Man

by Courtney Lyons

"I always have to break the rules a little bit when I shoot," Katherine Coleman told me as we made our way to the top of an arbitrarily chosen building in New York City.

If you know anything about the talented 17-year-old photographer, then you know that she does not follow the rules. For a Junior in high school, Katherine Coleman is quite accomplished. Shooting everything from weddings to local businesses, Katherine is one step ahead of her peers when it comes to pursuing her dreams. Katherine has been a longtime friend of mine but it was only recently that I was lucky enough to go out and shoot with Katherine. I decided this would be the perfect time to ask her a few questions as well!

LF: What attracted you into photography in the first place?

KC: I started photography in 6th or 7th grade because I really liked flowers and wanted to take so many photos of them. I then discovered that I could take photos of people too, and it was so interesting to me that I just kept at it.

LF: What camera do you use?

KC: I use my Canon 6D and mostly my 50mm 1.4 lens. It's my favorite thing in the world.

LF: What is your favorite go to outfit and what do you like to wear when shooting?

KC: Ripped jeans, a comfy sweater, and my duck boots (I'm so fashionable)is my favorite go to outfit.When I'm shooting I like to wear things that are practical and comfy to help me move around. Usually some jeans where I can store lens caps or batteries, and a solid t-shirt.  

LF:When you are shooting how much is planned and how much is instinctual?

KC: Before every shoot I always know who I'm photographing and a general location, but after that the rest is mostly spontaneous. I've ended up on rooftop hotels and in the middle of a closed amusement park before!

LF: How has social media player a roll in your photography?

KC: Social media has led me to meet people through photography and inspired me to create new ideas. Without it, I would just share photos with friends and family members. With it, anyone in the world can see what I create. 

LF: What do you think are some clichés of photography you steer away from yourself? 

KC: On Instagram, there are always clichés that half the people you follow are trying to do. I try to steer away from the monotonous 'hair flips', however you can always change up a fad by making it unique or your own.

LF: What are some difficulties you face in your photography? 

KC: The most difficult thing in shooting people is having a subject that doesn't connect to the camera or feels nervous around it. It's always a lot harder to get good images if your subject isn't willing to put in the same effort you do.

LF:Who are some of your favorite photographers, and how did they influence you? 

KC: I love love love Kat Irlin and Jordan Matter. They are both so talented in using usual types of photography, like dance or fashion, and turning it around into something completely theirs. I'd love to spend a day with one of them just walking around NYC and looking at how they see the world. 

LF: What do you want your viewers to take away from your work? 

KC: I want people that see my work to understand a balance between who is in my image and what's around them, and how they play a role in that environment.

LF:What are some tips you would give to an aspiring photographer?

KC: If I could give one piece of advice to an aspiring photographer, it would be to create ideas and images that are different and make them your own. Being an individual in photography is so important

LF: What are your goals for the future when it comes to photography? 

KC: Looking into the future is always risky because you might plan for impossible scenarios and wind up kicking yourself in the leg when you don't reach them. I just want to be able to share my art with whoever is willing to appreciate it and as long as I can do that, I'll still love what I do. 

You can see more of Katherine's work on her website!   http://www.katherine-coleman.com/ 

Or follow her Instagram here!  https://www.instagram.com/ezieek/ 

Until next time xx


Bet on Nanette

by Courtney Lyons

Do you know how incredibly difficult it is to walk in 5 inch flat-forms on a cobblestone road? For emphasis, I am going to answer my rhetorical question- it is very difficult. So difficult it's a skill. A skill that I would like to believe I mastered as I stumbled down Broome street making my way to the Nannette Lepore Boutique. I didn't know what to expect from Nanette Lepore as I was guest blogging for the lovely Esther Santer ( Louboutins and Love) and had never been to a Nannette presentation before. Upon entering the boutique the energy was electric. However, Instead of a typical fashion show, there was a party being carried out. Nanette had filled the space with art by Stefan Eins, music by Tiki Disco and models wearing the new Nanette Lepore Spring/Summer '16 collection.  Nannette had managed to beautifully orchestrate a sense of "inside out" in her collection. Pieces were either bright and full of electric colors or more detailed and monochromatic. Some pieces even included a collaboration with Eddie Eddie by Billy Tommy and had phrases embroidered on them for a fun and youthful twist. However, All pieces were perfectly strung together by Nanette's signature gyspy-like aesthetic. People danced, admired the beautiful collection and snapped pictures. I was even lucky enough to meet cast members of Orange is the New Black ! By the end of the night Nanette and all the models spontaneously turned into a giant Congo Line perfectly representing how fun and carefree the collection was! 

Until next time xx


Summer at Parsons

by Courtney Lyons

Waking up at 6am every day to get dressed for school doesn't seem like a very enjoyable way to spend one's summer. However, what if I told you that you are not waking up to snooze through a class about trigonometric functions or intermolecular forces? What if I told you that today in class you will be dancing to exhilarating latin music as you quickly sketch the many poses of the tutu-wearing-model in front of you? What if I told you your professor will then take you on field trip to a museum containing a fully functional neon arcade? And finally, what if I told you that for homework you're going shopping. 

Not only does this seem enjoyable but rather makes sleeping look like a waste of time. This, my friends, is what taking a summer course at Parsons School of Design is like. 

This past summer, I had the pleasure of attending one of the world's most prestigious design schools. Parsons School of Design has fostered the minds of some of the world's greatest designers including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Alexander Wang.

During my time at parsons I attended the Fashion Design Communication course. Here I was taught "how concepts in fashion can be communicated and promoted creatively through styling, photography, graphics, trend spotting, and branding." 

In the three week intensive course, we had to design a collection of our choice using New York City as our inspiration. Using this collection, we were then required to figure out the logistics of how our collection would be marketed. These collections as well as our inspiration and research were to be accumulated in a booklet that would be handed in as our final project. 

I decided on a Fall/Winter womenswear line that represented New York City from the street. My inspiration included the colorful graffiti, building facades and even garbage unique to New York City. For the composition of my collection, pieces were to be constructed with eco-friendly recycled  fabrics as well as new innovative techno fabrics. 

To help aid us in our main project we were taught new skills in sketching, design construction and photoshop. There were field trips to fabric stores and museums well as styling projects and branding lectures. 

On the final day, every students work was presented. Not only was I able to see my fellow fashion student's talent but also walk around to see the brilliant work created through photography, painting and even video game design. 

At Parsons I met people from around the world. I was able to learn and develop as a designer and as a student. My horizons were expanded I was able to see New York City, my home, from a completely new perspective.  

Until next time xx

Courtney Lyons