Thursday, 24 May 2012

Comic book fashion...

... an interview with artist Mario Rojas.

Mario and I do not greet, we are usually quite rude to each other as a matter of fact. This comes from long years of learning way too much about one another, and having lived various embarrassing experiences together. 

** If you know what "LC" stands for, you know we are tight...

LC: What does "Giri" mean?
MR: Giri is a Japanese word often used as responsibility or duty of honor. It is that which drives a samurai or any person of honor to do the right thing uphold the 7 principles of the Bushido philosophy. 

LC: what made you want to start creating comics? And more specifically this (Giri) comic?
MR: A combination of a deep love for the art form, a few drops of talent and a desire to share with readers the kind of stories I wanted out there and could not find in stores.

LC: Tell us about Giri, what is the plot and story line? 
MR: I always try to avoid this question because I find the answer too simple to impress new or curious readers. I guess GIRI is a classic samurai revenge story set in a futuristic westernized cyberpunk dystopian post-apocalyptic world. It follows the self-exiled ronin Ryoku Arashi and his quest to discover and exact revenge on the murderer of his family.

LC: How did you come up with it?
MR: Oh, I knew the ingredients from many years reading similar genres. I just put them together to form a personal recipe I would like to feast on. I sliced it up and set some plates out hoping others will take some and actually find it delicious.
MR:I include futuristic sci-fi accessories like necklaces and bracelets with hovering glow beads, holographic earrings that project any image and photonic tattoos made with bio luminescent ink

LC: How do you get inspired? and how do you keep coming up with more parts to the story?
MR: The beginning and end of the story where written almost immediately. The journey from point A to B is often written by the characters themselves. I know their personality and sometimes they correct me on the plot along the way. Other times is simple day dreaming and fantasizing of things I would have liked to see in other books, movies or comics.
LC: That is pretty cool. :)

LC: Most of the characters are Japanese? Does that mean the costume you chose for them is mostly a Japanese influenced wardrobe?
MR: The main character is of an unspecified western ethnicity who was adopted and raised by a Japanese family in the Japanese Sector of the futuristic city. There is German Sector as well as a Native or Ethnic Sector. But it is not exclusive as much as an Italian person is not forbidden to live in Chinatown.

LC:How did you come up with each characters "costume"? And was it important that it be functional for their characters role? 
MR: This is a very delicate matter. As far as the fashion problems of superheroes go? Things started brewing somewhere around the 1980s when writers started coming up with more realistic or serious story lines and characters. The idea of colorful tights, capes and underpants over your trousers started looking more and more implausible for a grown man to wear in public. I am in no way against classic superhero duds. As a matter of fact I despised the 1990s for destroying the classic look of many of my beloved characters and replacing them with more edgy, space age costumes that simply made no sense (a plethora of pouches and pockets, useless or inconvenient accessories, belts and armors). i.e. Some genius even went as far as attaching a 2-foot long chain to Thor’s hammer. How’s it gonna fly off and come back with that damn thing on it??

But I digress, after much thought I opted to make all costumes in my books appropriate, useful, logical or at least explainable to the situation at hand.
Ryoku, the main character, wears simple clothes that can be worn in the city or mountain where he lives. They are durable and keep his athletic movements unhindered. His trademark trench coat was a little indulgence of mine based on many bad ass characters in other books or movies. The most prominent being Gambit from the X-Men. And even this coat seems pretty useful to him in an urban or rural setting, keeping him warm as well as keeping him cooooooooooool.

The rest of Ryoku’s gang wears costumes of their day to day lives. Kitsune uses athletic wear combined with a martial arts gi and some martial arts protection gear. Toro and Sid tend to wear everyday clothes of motorcycle enthusiasts. Teckie wears a more futuristic trench coat based on fashion trends of the elitist Sector 1 that give a nod to his cyberpunkishness. Tanuki being his sister in more than just genetics but also as part of the cyber-bio-engineering project that created them, also wears a more futuristic look, this is a basic black ops style get-up tailored specifically to work with her abilities.

Other characters wear simply the military uniform adequate to their position in office. These uniforms have been designed based on the simplicity of totalitarian military thinking with some nods to old Meiji Japanese police uniforms. Dassen wears a shoulder pad on his sword arm as means of defense while using his Zweihänder. Although, he probably doesn’t need it considering all his cybernetic upgrades. Probably the guy wears it out of pride for his swordsmanship or just militaristic pomp.

LC: Did Ryoku's costume have anything to do with your "Churro Masticado" jacket? 
MR: "EL Churro Masticado" was a leather jacket, not a trench coat. It is very similiar to the one being worn by Miguel Toro, the tall power house fighter. I've been dying to incorporate it into Giri and make Ryoku switch from his trench coat to a biker bad ass leather jacket. But I think it would take something away from the beloved orangey trench coat look. How would Superman look with a black cape on? Maybe not so bad. But it would take his look away. Maybe some day Ryoku will tatter that old coat enough to switch looks.
It is not uncommon for me to put my clothes on my characters. Dark ended up wearing my black medium length rain coat and Jupiter ended up wearing my washed up black hoodie.

LC: Did you do a lot of research for these costumes, or was this something you came up with on your own?
MR: Mostly I came up with it. The idea is to try and combine every day known or futuristic wear with some classic martial art elements when applicable. I did some research on the things I needed to give authenticity to. The Japanese uniforms. Some biker or martial arts gear and some of Hati’s African fashion choices.

LC: Is it hard to keep all the details the same for all the different parts of a comic strip? How do you manage this?
MR: I keep a digital color palette for each character as well as establish a basic design sketch when I first come up with each one. I also keep a bunch of my own comics around my desk to constantly check for little details my drunken brain may overlook.

LC: So Giri V wasyour last installment of these series. Is this it? or do you have something else in store for us?
MR: Nope. Giri is a seven part story. I still have some loose ends to tie up and the grand finale to deal with. I have also been writing various other scripts. “Dark & Gloom” and “Jupiter Jonze” being some of the most recent which I plan to unleash as soon as good fortune favors me. Both of these have to do with a more contemporary and younger crowd and will involve elements of the occult, horror, magic and mythology.
I am also currently working on an art project called “Kepler” with Colombian artist Jorge Restrepo which explores the “what ifs” of terraforming and colonizing space. I have based the look and fashion of these pieces on 1960s and what ideas they had for the future. It’s been a fun trip down the groovy decade.

LC: If I were a character in Giri what would I be?
MR: I picture you quite well off in Sector 1 with the diplomats and bon-vivants. Although your appreciation of martial arts, heroic sense of justice and obsession with cute pigs would probably make you cross paths with Ryoku’s gang and join forces against the oppression even from your state of the art sky rise abode.
LC: I like that :)

LC: What would my costume be like?
MR: I imagine you would keep a nod of your kung-fu gi and a long sash on to indicate your pride and respect of the martial art you practice. And wear a streamlined high collar Sector 1 leather jacket on top because it offers minor physical protection as well as weather coverage and gives you some pockets for make up or shuriken (laughs) and it just looks cool on! The rest of the gear would be some sort of modern yoga stretch pants with protective lining to prevent muscle wear and tear and some state of the art kung-fu slippers that allow agile kicking and fast unencumbered movement. I imagine you wear the hair in a bun tied behind just like when you work out. 
 LC:  That sounds so cool! I love that description of me! <3
I suppose my Kung-Fu practice does make me character worthy. This was a while back, I have earned my green sash now, which FYI is the 4th sash.
LC:Would you draw it for me?
MR: Most certainly.

"LC" as a Giri Character! LOVES! I think I need this outfit...
 Mario and I <3
Don't forget to check out Honduran Independent Comics: HERE.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I recommend...


tune in Sundays @ 10:30 Eastern on HBO

My love affair with NYC has been ongoing for a while.  I always tell people that I feel like fate has been cock blocking my move to NY all my life. First, my parents and sister lived in Manhattan for 7 years before I was born. Now why did they not have me sooner, so I too could grow up in the city (not that I am complaining, because before I was 12, good fortune had me living  in Costa Rica, Brazil and Amsterdam... but still, nothing compares to the Empire State)?! Then, I got accepted to NYU Biology, but somehow ended up studying Finance in Montreal (LONG story for another post).
So lately, my obsession has become worst, and I LOVE anything NY related. And although my life in Montreal was pretty perfect, and the routine I am about describe was pretty much a regular Saturday, I can just picture my Saturday in NY: Wake up in Manhattan (preferably the Upper East Side, but Tribeca, Greenwich, Brooklyn or anything will do), go to Peak Performance, walk back to my super cool apartment the size of a match box, pick up some Starbucks along the way, wake up the blogger boyfriend, make him a "clean" breakfast, around 10ish we'd step out and go to the museum, grab a bite to eat at WichCraft, shop along the way to a broadway play probably later meet up with friends (in my delusional mind my best friend forever is Jenna Lyons) for a drink at Bagattelle (or whatever it is called these days), end up at some dingy live comedy show... etc, etc, etc... See the extent of my obsession? And this is just one in a million possibilities for one day I have planned out... Just imagine what my WEEK would be like?!!  


Wow, did I ever get off track... point being, it could be that I am a tad biased about this show because it is super New Yorky and all, but really, you must tune in. It is like "Sex and the City" except with younger girls that have no financial independence.

The writer and director, Lena Dunham, is this really cool chick who also stars in the show.

Here is next weeks preview.  I swear I just pissed my pants laughing (I am so jealous of these girls):

Dark Shadows

The only other thing I love as much as New York is vampires. And no, I am not a "nouveau vampire lover from the Twilight movement".  I liked vampires before they were "cool"  (my closest friends can attest to this). When I was in high school I read all the Ann Rice books twice as well as Dracula by Bram Stoker (which I recently read again and it is quite good by the way).
I was actually pretty pleased that Vampires became so main stream because I missed them so much. 
So of course, when I saw this I just had to go and check it out (and Tim Burton had me at Johnny Depp and Chloe Moretz). Mind you, this IS a Tim Burton film, so if you are not one to appreciate his insanity you will not like it...


Surely by now everyone noticed I am obsessed with this store. So I recommend you check it out and buy something out of the box so you can have fun wearing it :)

Here is my MadeWell outfit of the day:

Monday, 21 May 2012

That Lingerie Post...

... I am a firm believer that a woman should look just as lovely underneath her clothes as she does in it.  It goes without saying that every girl (and every boy) LOVES sexy, classy lingerie.

As with "regular" clothes, lingerie also has very upscale and beautiful designs. In fact, lingerie designers are just like all other designers in that they do different collections by seasons (my favorites after the jump). 


Hosiery is an extremely important part of lingerie. I think it's also the coolest part, because it is the only actual piece of sexiness you can show off to all. I only like to wear hosiery to work, and buying expensive hosiery is actually one of my guilty pleasures (I like to think my work style is more Victoria Beckham and less Jenna Lyons)...

The most important tip I can give to wearing hosiery is that it should look like you are wearing it! The only person that can get away with skin colored tights is Kate Middleton (and that is only because she's Kate Middleton), and even then, I feel like someone should tell her to get in check and stop doing that!

Staples for me are black fishnets, fishnets with a dark seam, black hosiery with dark seam and sexy, chic but simple designs (like tiny polka dots or bow detail)...

Here are a few chic ideas for your Corporate America ensemble (** forgive my lack of accessories in this shoot. I must admit I was really lazy... I think this may the first time I actually got dressed for a photo shoot since I usually just shoot my weekend wear... It must be exhausting to be a model! I honestly hate trying clothes on**):

sexy, chic & simple designs

Polka Dotted tights by Gerbe
BananaRepublic Silk Dress, Express Belt

playful bows...

simple hosiery with black seem


BananaRepublic dress, Ninewest shoes.

Classic Fishnets

fishnets by Gerbe
United Colors of Benetton silk shirt and skirt... Steve Madden suede pumps

Now for the "real thing"...

My absolute most favorite brand ever is Agent Provocateur. Not only AP is like the Victoria's Secret of upscale lingerie, but it was also founded by Vivienne WestWoods son Joseph Corre. Although the pieces are absolutely delightful, they are also quite pricey: bras start at $130!

Agent Provocateur SS2012

Next in line, a little more conservative and quite classy is La Perla. La Perla has got to be the oldest and most well established Lingerie company out there. Hailing from Italy since 1954, this brand's name was inspired by the inside of a velvet jewelry box that was used to store pearls. Later, La Perla's original designs would also be stored in a similar jewelry box (La Perla means "The Pearl"). Almost nothing is under $100.

La Perla SS2012

Although not quite my style, my next favorite (for originality 
and its upscale market) has got to be Bordelle. I love it because it is the perfect combination of modern-chic femininity combined
with raw-delicacy. Bras start at £90 and knickers at £50...

Bordelle SS2012

And last but not least Carine Gilson, which albeit not something I would wear now,  this is something I will most definitely be wearing underneath my Chanel Suit when I am a mature older woman. Carine Gilson, is French and began designing upscale lingerie at the age of 23 in 1994. Nothing is under $250, not even a panty!

Carine Gilson SS2012

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday's coolest...

Selima Sun shades, Jcrew silk shirt, Madewell pants, Zara shoes... :)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Saturday, 12 May 2012

2 a.m. Saturday playlist...

Dear Leocata, 

I am Working on your lingerie post (or as you like to call it: "fashion at home"). Stay tuned for this later next week (and no people, this will not be a dirty post, sorry to burst your bubble :p)...

... Until then, push play for some girly songs. Yes, I am feeling quite girly at the moment if you know what I mean. 

**my oh my, how inappropriate all this talk is**

Madewell Silk Skirt & patent sidewalk skimmers

The GirlMix

1. Bigger Than My Body - John Mayer
2. Babylon - David Gray
3. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz 
4. Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
5. No Other Way - Jack Johnson
6. Everything's not lost - Coldplay
7. You're Beautiful -  James Blunt
8. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The perfect pair of shades & an outfit...

I had been really wanting to buy a new pair of sunnies recently, and there were 3 pairs I REALLY REALLY wanted.  The problem (as always), is that I have REALLY good taste (my humility is astonishing :p), and most of the pairs I wanted were REALLY expensive.

The First brand I have been lusting over for a while is Cutler and Gross. This super high end optical brand stems from London and has been creating beautiful eye-wear for 40 years.  From what I have seen (and liked) they range anywhere from $450 and up (but they are all SOOO cool). 

The pair I die for is this.

Obsession two is Selima Optique. Selima Salaun opened her trendy SOHO (NYC) store in 1993, and has since been making super trendy, super cool, super original and high end sunnies. I REALLY wanted a pair of cat eye glasses, and I specifically wanted this $350 pair.

Last but not least, I want a new pair of RayBans. Specifically these Black and gold "Clubmasters".  These are actually pretty affordable at about $130 (depends where you shop)...

Everything changed however when my idol, Jenna Lyons, pulled out one of her genius collaboration schemes and asked Selima Optique to collaborate with JCREW. This resulted in me getting these perfect Cat Eye shades in Bronzed Beige. I find that they are sort of a perfect mix of that Cutler and Gross plastic frame with the cool color and the timeless- chic cat eye shape. 

They were out of stock at every store and online and I actually waited 3 months to get these :D I still want the other three pairs.. but these will keep me REALLY happy for now. :) Oh and they were only $128. :)x2.

Jcrew silk shirt, H&M tweed shorts, Zara Platforms

Coach purse gift from my BFFE...

Zara platforms.