The most ironic part about this blog is that I talk about stories I love for every post - and yet, I've failed to mention the one story that made me 'fall in love' with stories to begin with. Another tidbit about myself - I've always loved musical theater. Have I loved being in musicals? No. I've always preferred straight drama to any sort of singing show. But, one of the first stories I loved beyond anything was a musical theater story: Rent. I could go on for hours about my obsession with every inch of this play, but to keep it short, I'll focus in on how groundbreaking I've always found it to be. I kind of laugh (#sorrynotsorry) when I hear people's obsession with Hamilton's rap/rhyme verses, claiming they've never heard this done in a musical before. First off, there are many that have been there done that, and secondly, Rent was certainly one of the first. (Not to take away any respect from Hamilton because that's a whole other groundbreaking concept in itself). But Rent broke through a lot of walls for a play written in the 89-90's - not only was it talking about a really taboo subject (HIV/Aids), it was snappy, sarcastic, and finally showed a true life of la vie boheme -- something that wasn't even remotely comparable to the whimsical narratives of Phantom or West Side Story. Based on Puccini's La Boheme, Rent finally showed musical theater audiences something more real. It finally showed the hardships of modern disease and class discrimination in a play that had song written into it, not just words. It's a story that holds a lot of weight in a musical theatre sense, but above all, it's a story that's tangible. And that's why it's a story I don't think I'll ever get enough of. Point blank: if you've never experienced Rent, go watch the 2005 movie or listen to the original soundtrack, it's life-changing.
For this look I was, of course, inspired by one of the main musical numbers in Rent: La Vie Boheme. I wanted to mix up a bohemian vibe with a bit of business casual drawn from that colorful scene in the late-night cafe. I started with this crazy piece that to this day, I'm unsure if I love or hate, a patterned high-low button up shirt I picked up at a thrift store last year. It's certainly unique, and I don't wear it a ton, but it is a fun item to bring out during these spring and summer months. I paired them with some simple black jeans I picked up at Topshop, and added this really awesome camel-colored blazer from J.Crew. Finally, I finished the look off with this vintage alligator bag from the 30's that belonged to my great-grandma, and these sick Kensie metallic loafers.
And of course, Shakespeare has a quote about the bohemian life in his plays that I couldn't not finish this post with:
"If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on
the like occasion whereon my services are now on
foot, you shall see, as I have said, great
difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia."
[The Winter's Tale 1.1]
Cheers, xx - A. Martine