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OUR FAVORITE THINGS: 2017

Here are our favorite movies, tv shows, music, girl crushes, and fashion blogs of 2017!!

COURTNEY - Film & TV 


GET OUT

Ever since I heard Jordan Peele was directing a social-political horror film I immediately began trying to learn all I could about this film.  Especially after Peele finished his comedy show to begin directing, I was intrigued to see how he was going to make this drastic change work for is career.  However, any hesitation I had quickly faded as soon as “Redbone” began playing during the opening credits.  Watching this film in theater was so much more than I expected.  Instead of people crying from fear, the audience laughed.  And instead of silence during the film there were discussions happening within the theater (coming from myself included).  After the end credits rolled and even months later, I still come across new symbols and metaphors used in the film.  To me, Get Out was one of my favorite films of 2017 because it offers lessons on many issues plaguing this country today that everyone can learn from today and for years to come.      

LADY BIRD
One of the other films I fell in love with this semester was Lady Bird.  This film took place in my hometown of Sacramento and I hate to be that film kid but Sacramento truly was a character.  I have never seen my hometown shown in such a beautiful way as it was in Lady Bird and I am eternally grateful to Greta Gerwig for sharing the city with the rest of the world.  Sacramento has always been the “the midwest of California” (an actual quote from the movie) to the rest of the world, however Greta has shown the softer side of it and I am thankful for her.  Another aspect of this film is the complex relationships depicted.  The relationship between the mother and daughter in this film is not typically shown in movies, but there is still as much love and caring between the two women just as in any other movie.  Although they bicker for most of the daughter’s final year of high school, the film ends with a touching reminder that family is family and there is nobody else like them.  

CHELSEA
Chelsea Handler used to be the snarky pop culture talk show host everybody hated on E! Network, however she is not that girl anymore.  Instead, she makes snarky comments about our President on Netflix for her self-titled show, Chelsea.  Although her show is no longer creating new episodes, there are two seasons and a documentary series (Chelsea Does…) on Netflix that have a plethora of topics and discussions.  The original documentary specials focused on four topics that Chelsea wished to learn more about: Silicon Valley, Marriage, Racism, and Drugs.  This idea was then expanded into a late-night esque talk show where Chelsea discussed topics she wished to expand or learn about.  Throughout its run Chelsea had a wide variety of celebrities and politicians come on the show.  Towards the end of the show it was quite obvious that Chelsea had become frustrated with our current administration (who hasn’t) and ended the show in order to pursue more opportunities vital to the betterment of our country and politics.  

SYDNEY - Girl Crushes


THE LEADER
HILLARY CLINTON is a role model, a trailblazer, a force, and most importantly a symbol of hope for women everywhere.  She’s pushed through the double standards, the rejection, the weight of a patriarchal world that is set on pushing her down and she has never given up.  She’s never let the media see that she has been affected by the negativity, only that she remains strong and focused on her work and what she believes in.

In 2016, she ran for President of the United States for the second time. Her campaign was extremely popular due to her dedication to the middle class, proper healthcare, reducing college tuition and student loans debt, gun control, and equal pay among other things.

Post-running for president, Hillary Clinton has stayed in the media, stayed focused on her work, and shown women everywhere what it means to be persistent. Clinton has made numerous appearances in which she talks about the election and her commitment to being a leader of the resistance. This past year, 2017, has proven that Clinton isn’t going anywhere. She has been an inspiration for my generation, for girls breaking barriers and making a name for themselves. She is motivating us to be the leaders of our generation, the country, and the world. My favorite collaboration Clinton has taken part in this year was as guest editor of Teen Vogue. She edited the Volume IV issue and made the keynote appearance at the first ever Teen Vogue Summit along side Yara Shahidi (another powerhouse on this list!!).  We’re unfortunately in the Trump-era and Teen Vogue has become serious about educating young women and giving them the tools to keep up with, understand, and interact with politics at a young age. Hillary Clinton’s involvement in this newest issue has been incredibly uplifting and solidified her eternal presence as a voice for women and symbol of tenacity.

Check out this heartwarming video from Teen Vogue where she sits down with a few of the girls on their “21 Under 21” list:


THE STORYTELLER

GRETA GERWIG is the writer and director of the critically acclaimed film Lady Bird (2017).  The film is a coming of age dramedy about a girl named Lady Bird, her transition from high school to college, and her relationship with her mother. It is currently the highest grossing film to come out of the production company A24 and is generating an enormous amount of buzz as awards season approaches. I’ve seen the film 4 times in theaters and have plans to go again.

As an aspiring filmmaker and writer whose favorite genre is coming of age, this film left quite an impact on me. I encourage you to see it; I’ve tried to write a review on it and can’t put my feelings of admiration for this film into words. The feeling I had from start to finish is truly indescribable. I just know that the first thing I said to my friends as soon as we left the theater was: “I want to make films like that. That is why I’m a filmmaker”.
I was never really a fan of Gerwig’s. I’d seen her other films and was never impressed by her acting. But Gerwig as a filmmaker is what I didn’t know I needed, or we needed. We all need to be aware of Gerwig’s powerful and personal voice as someone who is writing and portraying accurate representations of young women that everyone, not just those who identify as female, can relate to.

THE ONE TO WATCH
HAIR NEF is a model, actress, and muse known for her sense of humor and versatility. She had her big break on Amazon’s Transparent (2014) and has been buzzing about the fashion world ever since. Hari was the first ever trans woman to be signed to IMG models and this year appeared as a muse for Gucci, staring in their Gucci Bloom fragrance campaign alongside Petra Collins (an honorable mention for this list) and Dakota Johnson.  
Fashion kids know her; she’s graced the pages of multiple magazines, Youtube channels and blogs but now she is gaining even more recognition thanks to Gucci and her starring in a number of films this next year. Keep an eye out for Assassination Nation also starring Maude Apatow, Suki Waterhouse, Abra and many more as well as Mapplethorpe starring Matt Smith.  Her wacky and sarcastic sense of humor are what set her apart from her boring counterparts of perfect cookie-cutter Victoria’s Secret models.

THE VOICE
SZA owned 2017. Everyone was (and still is) talking about her album CTRL. Its sound is smooth honest, sensual, and full of personality. She purposefully highlights her self-doubt and features moments of storytelling and advice from her mother and grandmother. I’m always skeptical of pop stars today due to the fact that almost anyone can be edited to sound amazing with today’s technology. But SZA isn’t one of those pop stars. Watch any live performance of hers and you’ll see. She can SING. Its inspiring to see a young women with genuine raw talent achieve so much in such a short amount of time.
Her album talks about love and growing up as a young black woman today. That’s one of the things I admire most about her. While male rappers and R&B stars today tell tales about women (that could be of any race) and wealth, SZA is one of the feminine voices appealing directly to black women. She sings about black love, her insecurities, and her dreams.
She released three videos for the album: Supermodel, The Weekend, and Love Galore. Each video touching on female empowerment and showcasing the dreamy tones of her music. I recommend starting with Supermodel.  She looks amazing, dressed in underwear, a t-shirt, and fluffy heels. She struts through the video like a 90’s supermodel as a group of young kids who are meant to resemble her cheer her on. She takes revenge on a shitty ex-boyfriend in this video that comes across as something a child would dream up. She’s the supermodel and superhero of her dreams.

THE BREAKOUT STAR
YARA SHAHIDI is the breakout star of ABC’s black-ish and it’s spin-off show grown-ish. Not only is she a talented actress, portraying her character Zoey on both shows as a strong and relatable millennial. Zoey is open about her flaws, bad decisions, and how they have pushed her to grow. Yara brings a sincerity to the character that is fresh and true to the experiences of coming of age in college.
Yara is dedicated to a number of causes, but all work toward promoting equality. If you’re following her on social media, you know she’s extremely socially aware and makes an effort to educate her followers. She is wise beyond her 17 years and does an excellent job at speaking up for what she believes is right and encourages her fans to do the same. She has been very outspoken about things like this administration and voting rights, all the way to her experiences as a biracial woman. In 2017 she was accepted to Harvard University and even received a letter of recommendation from the most educated First Lady, Michelle Obama. Its safe to say she has no sign of slowing down in 2018.


AREZU - STYLE ICONS

MARIA BERNAD
One of my biggest fashion influences as of recent is María Bernad, a fashion blogger from Spain. María wears so many blazers, loose trousers and silk everything, making her look impossibly luxurious. She wears everything oversized, and makes me want to buy things a few sizes too big. I always look to menswear for inspiration- I love the look of a suit on a woman, which María has completely mastered. She is insanely chic, and owns all of her pieces in an unexpected color: from mustard and dusty pink to baby blue and camel. Her unexpected and refreshing style will influence anyone to try wearing a color besides black. 

MEGAN ELLABY
My favorite blogger / Youtuber is the Manchester-based and very colorful Megan Ellaby. Megan wears very smart and British-inspired silhouettes- also taking inspiration from menswear with lots of blazers and trousers, but has her own spin on the style by wearing and mixing the brightest colors and craziest prints. Megan’s closet is full of the most-out there pieces, ranging from Gucci to Asos, with the wackiest colors and prints, mixing cheetah print with stars and stripes, and distinct textures, wearing faux fur, denim, and patent leather all at the same time. Her fashion sense is both smart and comfy at the same time, which is definitely everyone’s goal from day to day. I look forward to her YouTube videos every week because of her impeccable style, adorable puppies, cute rocker boyfriend, and her amazing life in Manchester (all of which I wish I had).
ALWAYS JUDGING
Someone I’ve been following for a few years now is the LA based fashion blogger Courtney Trop a.k.a. Always Judging. Courtney has the ultimate cool-girl style. She takes inspiration from the Olson twins, often opting for more oversized silhouettes, and perfect natural hair that most people spend forever trying to achieve. When I get dressed every morning, I always think about what she would think of my outfit, praying for her approval (her blog name is genius since she really is always judging). One of the coolest things about Courtney is her insane collection of tattoos. She has over 25, and each looks so natural and delicate that they feel like a part of her, and makes her even cooler (if that’s even possible).

KRISTIN GALLEGOS

Kristin Gallegos is a New York based photographer, creative director, DJ, and total 60s and 70s babe. Her instagram is filled with Andy Warhol inspired shoots, the best photos of every icon in those decades from fashion, to movies, to music, and total inspiration for anyone who is going to their next disco. Also, she met Stevie Nicks who said Kristin’s hair reminded her of her own famous fringe in the 70s. Check out Kristin’s work and you will immediately feel the need to buy a pair of go-go boots. 



RACHEL NGUYEN
Last, and most certainly not least, is the person I wish to be the most: Rachel Nguyen of That's Chic. Rachel is a fashion blogger and Youtuber from Los Angeles who has been called the "Asian Carrie Bradshaw." Rachel has the coolest and chicest style (her blog name is also genius), and can wear absolutely anything. Everything that Rachel wears feels like it was made for her. All of the pieces in her wardrobe are so special and beautiful individually, so when she puts any outfit together, it is pure perfection. She is also a skin care expert, who always has the most natural and flawless no-makeup looks and perfectly messy hair. Her YouTube videos are skillfully edited, with the cutest title-cards, and best music. If you want to feel completely enlightened (and insanely jealous), watch her Paris vlogs from 2017, because they are what dreams are made of.

MADDY - Music 

KENDRICK LAMAR - DAMN
The album release was a surreal moment for me. I had been waiting for this album since 2015, after the release of To Pimp a Butterfly. This album didn’t just reach my hopes and expectations; it surpassed them. It perfectly fits the heat and tension of our political climate currently, and has some incredible BOPS! I’m going to be PISSED if this album doesn’t win Album of the Year at the Grammy’s.

MAC DEMARCO
One of my favorite moments for me this year was when I got to photograph Mac Demarco in September. I have adored his music since 2012, and I bought tickets to the show over the summer. One of my biggest hobbies is freelance concert photography, where I get photo passes to shows and capture live music photography. It’s always been a passion of mine, and Mac Demarco is someone I’ve always wanted to photograph. In 2015, he had a show in my hometown and I requested a photo pass from his management but was rejected due to lack of credentials and experience. Fast-forward to 2017, and there I was receiving a photo pass and being able to photograph Mac and his opening acts whom I also listen to, Homeshake and The Garden. That had been my fourth time photographing The Garden but it’s always different with their front flips and stage diving. It was definitely one of my favorite concerts and moments of 2017.

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