A Season of Change

May 2021

Fresh Florals at the Farmer’s Market

In the midst of spring, the weather begins to warm, trees are growing, as flowers blossom.

Springtime is often attributed as a time of awakening and rebirth. This is evident in nature and within ourselves, as we embrace this time as we transition out of winter.

Spring Time

Born on April 7th, 2001, I celebrate my birthday during this season annually. This year especially, the sense of rebirth has impacted me in personal and spiritual development, as I grow and evolve with the season. As I concluded the last bit of my time as a teenager, this shift affected me significantly. In reflection, this has been met with bliss to embrace this period.

Oftentimes, I have felt present in the living body of which my mental state was surpassed. In other words, it has seemed I felt older than I am. Growing up, this was shown as I have been told I am “beyond my years” throughout what seems the entirety of my life, thus far. With birthdays in particular, I annually am met with a sense of uncertainty as I move forward into each year, unexpectant to what is in the present, unforeseeable.

Looking into the future may bring a sense of uncertainty at times, knowing we cannot plan or prepare for quite everything that is brought our way. Recently returning home from staying abroad in Milan, Italy for work purposes, I was fortunate to be brought with lucidity and reassurance for my aspirations at this point. Clarity has brought distinction with the ongoing pursuit of my ambitions as a creative. Entering 20 years of life, with 20/20 vision, there is a sense of comfort and acceptance of my efforts in making my dreams as part of my reality.

Giardini Indro Montanelli in Milan, Italy

While we cannot expect anything, our appreciation for all life brings as we work toward accomplishments toward our goals may lead us to the answers we seek. Along the path we take, come the choices we make and actions we take. In doing so, these lead us perfectly – imperfectly finding our inner destiny. Once you feel compelled with a sense of calling, taking risks and chances are necessary to achieve our destiny.

Welcoming the idea that some people, places, and things in our life are brought to us for a reason, season, or a lifetime, has been a quote which has resonated with me. In making decisions and taking leaps, I have thanks to my therapist for helping me understand we know what is rational and realistic in this sense. To elaborate, we know ourselves best and can evaluate what we do. With that in mind, along our journey, it is inevitable we are to make mistakes.

Risks are essential to be taken. In pushing our comfort zone, we push the boundaries. If we hold back, we are only left with “what-ifs”, “what could be’s”, and others left unknown. Though at times easier said than done, acting on these questions can provide the answers we seek. With courage and confidence, some of the possibilities in our ventures will bring us to the fate we anticipate. In our heads, it is much easier to sit back as thoughts of anxieties leave us in wonder. Dwelling on the past or worry in the future only holds us back from being able to enjoy our presence in the mystery of now.

April 4, 2021

With efforts in self acceptance, love, and light, I welcome springtime, as we turn the page to summer. In thanks to what was and appreciation for what will someday be. Seeking to optimize every moment that I am fortunate to see. For there is more warmth, blooming, and growth to come. Everything happens in divine timing as part of our purpose in this beautiful, ever-changing world of endless possibilities.

Fashion for a Feast

Reflecting on my growth and evolution through outfits worn to past Thanksgiving gatherings.

Thanksgiving 2018. 17 years old

This time of year brings emphasis to all we are grateful for. Family, friends, fashion, food. With reflection, change, and growth in the air – it is a time to see how far we come as we unite with our loved ones in celebration of the blessings we have.

While I am ever changing, my taste has continuously improved and evolved. With that in mind, through some hot and some not outfits, I always look forward to dressing up this time of year.

2019

Starting with most recent, 2019. This past year I chose a simple outfit, but I loved it. The day was cold and rainy, unfortunately without many pictures aside from this one. I wore a black wrap dress from Express, though you cannot see it. Overtop, I wore a sweater with gold embellishments from my Aunt, with a silk wrap tied around my waist. For footwear, boots and long black socks added some dimension and warmth to this look. As final accessories, I wore gold leaf earrings passed from a family member and a gold necklace gifted from my Aunt as well. Quite literally a family day, and an outfit partially from the family.

2018

Moving into 2018, one of my favorites. As I have grown older, it goes without saying my style has adapted and simulatenously improved. At this point in my life, I had grown into myself to start to discover what I truly feel best in wearing. The long curled hair with some hoops up high, with pointed patent faux-leather boots to toe. Again, a simple and comfortable look. A mauve-brown ruffled button up top with gold detailing. As for pants, these are basic black flare pants.

2017

From there, we are brought to 2017. Here, it is visible that I am starting to discover who I truly am as I begin to emerge into young adulthood in the midst of my teen years. Very minimal, but still classic in that Fall spirit. A deep maroon top, tapered black pants, and boots, though not pictured. 2017 influence is high, found as worn with a lace choker and beaded nude necklace. The hair is pulled back, with a center part and waves.

2016

Prior, we are brought to the start of my documented outfits. As it shows, I have come a long way, with certainly more room to grow and improve as I continue to evolve. Growing up, my sister, cousins, and myself have been known to take images surrounding all gatherings and events. This is beginning of high school me, though I am still young. I am dressed truly on brand to the time period and this era in my life. My hairstyle is half up half down with space buns. I dressed in an off white infinity scarf, grey cropped sweater, maroon skirt.

Also featured, the clearly edited lighting due to the use of filters… A prominent throwback in multiple aspects, with that said.

Through all considered, remember what you are thankful for. Not just for a season or a Thursday in November, but each and every day. Life is beautiful, as is progress. Looking back and sharing memories, spending quality time with those you love, and seeing how far you have come is truly valuable. Above all else, the moments create memories which last a lifetime, beyond any monetary value.

In one final note, dress up for you! As an alternative, dress down, if that is more to your preference. Whether it be simply to the living room during these times, a reason to document with photos, whatever is best to your liking as this season of life one unlike any other.

Be gentle to yourself as you are to others. Keep mindful, blissful, and safe. Celebrate with appreciation and love, as this time looks a bit different during this year.

Local Non-Profit Spotlight: Operation Empty Cages


Providing or subsidizing spay and neuter surgeries, helping prevent millions of unwanted pets in our shelter systems and reducing shelter euthanasia.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dog in cage being pet
Dog in Cage source: Helena Lopes Pexels

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. — As a nonprofit, Operation Empty Cages provides wellness, resources, and education to people and pets within the local community. Their vision is to ensure accessible spay, neuter, and veterinary services to pet owners in the Riverside County area of California, which covers 7,600 square miles and includes large unincorporated areas within the county.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is oec.jpeg
Operation Empy Cages logo. Source: Operation Empty Cages

MSJC alumni Tiffany Hines is the CEO and founder of OEC. In 2018, Tiffany suffered a heart attack, then had open heart surgery in 2019, and was just recently diagnosed with RA, an incurable autoimmune disorder. All of these events have affected her greatly and she said, “I feared never being able to help animals again”. As she continues to fulfill the mission of this nonprofit, Hines says, “my love for animals wouldn’t allow that.”

With a unique, all-volunteer approach, OEC operates solely on donations, sponsors, grants, and fundraising provide their services to the general public. The basic intent of OEC is to provide or help to subsidize spay and neuter surgeries for pets. The services provided by OEC help to prevent millions of unwanted pets in our shelter systems and therefore, reduces shelter euthanasia. The non-profit also helps by offering microchipping, vaccinations, reuniting lost pets with their families, and reducing pet related communicable diseases.

OEC depends on the support from the community to achieve their aspirations of empty shelter cages. They seek to educate the community about the personal and collective benefits of spaying and neutering pets. While this helps prevent medical and behavioral issues, these medical procedures work to end the cycle of shelter euthanasia. Annually, thousands of pets are euthanized due to lack of homes, and other issues within the shelter system.

Woman hugging Dalmatian
Woman hugging Dalmatian source: Shevstova Pexels

Hines explained that OEC is also currently helping a local homeless community with approximately 60 dogs. Hines and the team at OEC are working on, “logistics to get them all spayed, neutered, chipped, dewormed, and flea and tick treatment.”

With individual efforts, pet owners do their part to contribute to a solution. In reducing these numbers, OEC helps families unable to afford these procedures through grants. To save thousands of lives each year with these actions, this organization is dependent upon donations and contributions from people willing to engage in any capacity they can to this work which saves lives.

OEC provides animal welfare information and services to seek necessary change in the system. With prevention programs and operation intervention, assistance is granted to keep pets in their loving homes. Applications are available online for spay and neuter vouchers for eligible families seeking these services.

There are multiple ways to help this nonprofit and to help save the lives of animals.

Woman interacting with Dalmation
Woman interacting with Dalmatian source: Daria Shevstova Pexels

Tax-deductible donations are accepted through the following:

Online

Donation via PayPal

Mail

PO Box 154

San Jacinto, CA 92581

Phone

(951) 775-0557

In addition, OEC has an online shop.

For further contact inquires, email is available:

info@operationemptycages.org

Operation Empty Cages seeks to help and save local pets, they explain “We are their voices.” They also are looking for volunteers of all types and can be contacted using the information above.

Reflecting on the life of Kenzo Takada

By Allison Arnzen

October 10, 2020

Paris, France


Photo of Kenzo Takada
Kenzo Takada, 2020.
Source: @kenztakada_official

On October 4, 2020, fashion designer Kenzo Takada, 81, passed away in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, France due to complications of the novel Coronavirus.

Takana was born in Himeji, Japan, on February 27, 1939, and has left a lasting influence on the world of fashion and design. Takada brought positivity into this world, and after his death it is important to examine the highlights of the 81 years of life he lived and the brand he established.

Young Takada painting
Young Kenzo Takada.
Source: @kenzo on Instagram

Early in his life Takana moved to Paris, with the dream to follow his aspirations. With intentions of a six month stay, his first journey beyond Japan soon became long term. His 1965, departure was a change that came with uncertainty. Takada discovered his way in an unfamiliar country, and he also broke barriers while working to find his place. In 1970, Takada founded the House of Kenzo, originally named Jungle Jap. As he established the world-renowned company, he served as an artistic director prior to selling his brand. His work continues to be cultivated and his legacy will carry on and impact those who follow in his footsteps in the House of Kenzo.

Takada is known as a Japanese-French fashion designer. Upon discovering his true style, he brought popularity with influence of Japanese fashion to the west with appreciation and celebration. From there, his unique approach led him to become a world-renowned figure of fashion as a designer in the 20th century. “For half a century, Kenzo has been infusing positive energy and contagious freedom by claiming a polychrome, daring and borderless fashion that celebrates nature and cultural diversity.”

Takada with his designs
Kenzo Takada, 2020. Source: @kenzotakada_official

He brought perfume, skincare products, and clothes for men and women into the world. Along with these contributions, he served as the honorary president of the Asian Couture Federation. Takada’s work challenged boundaries as he paved the way for many with distinguishable designs and experimental mindsets. His many influences are found in the colorful knitwear and the one-of-a-kind fashion shows he produced that garnered attention, and earned his place as a high fashion designer.

The brand Kenzo was sold in 1993 to LMVH. Today, Sylvie Colin is the CEO. In an effort to respect the brand, Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista is now artistic director. Kenzo carries on with 122 stores globally, 525 employees, representing 28 nationalities which helps maintain alignment with Takada’s original vision.

K3 interior designs
K-3 lifestyle brand designed by Takada, 2020. Source: kenzotakada_official

With his continuing pursuit of design, Takada launched K3. Following his departure from fashion, his return to work led to his return to the interior design industry. By offering luxury products, Takada remained true to his style and vibrant use of colors. The team that now works alongside the launch of this brand in 2020 consists of various international individuals. The brand was founded by Takada with Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, Engelbert Honorat, Wanda Jelimini, among other team members. The K3 brand continues to follow his creative direction through the use of his creative mindset of interior design and furniture. By remaining true to his beginnings, this influence combines both Western and Japanese design.

It is with great respect; we appreciate Takada and the significance of his work. The fashion community will continue to honor and seek gratitude in his honor.

Kenzo in Photo Booth series
Young Kenzo Takada.
Source: @kenzo

Who am I?

A brief background as to who I am, Allison Arnzen

While working as a model in the fashion industry, I am an active a college student studying Communications / Journalism while in my school newspaper as advertising operations and a writer.

Before that, I am born and based in Southern California, I am raised as the youngest child of four. With extreme gratitude towards my parents, I have so much appreciation and love for the support at the foundation of my heart and soul. As I have grown older, I have become the aunt to three lovely little ones. I love the sun, my family, my friends, my dogs, and try to find gratitude in every day through anything.

photo by Tuan Pham

I started in the modeling industry at age 16, back in 2017. Through this, I have work experience in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside County, to internationally in Milan, Italy. My first job was creating content on YouTube. Prior to my tween years, I would make content with family and stream it online as well as conduct “photoshoots”. With that in mind, this interest has continuously drawn me in.

With a vision, I have enjoyed writing and find creative expression in art within the fashion industry. Drawn in from a young age, I remember dreaming of a life like the one I have now. Though it is not identical and no where near perfect, I am continuing to learn and find a true vision as to the right fit and meaning in the midst of everything the world has to offer. I have particular taste, but I am open to what is in store for me.

While I am continuing to evolve into an adult, one thing has remained constant in childhood and into adolescence. I have always been passionate to learn, inspire, help, and grow. Through this all, I am eager to continue to explore and see the world as I continue to find who I am.