This past weekend was amazing but very heavy energetically. The Scorpio New Moon had me feeling heavy with contemplation, examining the cycles of my life as they present themselves in new ways. Halloween on Monday meant the veil between this world and the spirit realm was at its thinnest. Halloween is the day that spirits can come and go as they please, as can faery. Halloween weekend was the first time it’s been rainy and overcast since I arrived in LA three months ago. It felt like Autumn and it was beautiful but also very strong. I was on edge and vaguely anxious but spending time with my favorite people helped- a bit of hot chocolate, seeing a little boy in a dinosaur costume, and buying a cute scrunchy also helped. The energy is still strong so take time for yourself. Take a bath, reflect on the past month, go to a therapist, make some art- do what you need to do to make sure you’re in the safest, healthiest place you can be. Wear something that makes you feel good about being in your body if you can.
Welcome Witches! Happy Halloween!
It’s our season. It’s the time of the waning year and with the darkness comes an extra dose of magick. This past Halloween weekend in LA was extra special for a few reasons, one of them being because it was actually gloomy and raining! The energy at this time of year is always thick, fuzzy with the energy that comes with the veil between this world and the next thinning. And the gloomy, dark, overcast weather lent a wonderful, although heavy, energy to the Halloween festivities. One of my best friends Cory was visiting for the weekend and being able to show him gloomy LA was the perfect Halloween welcome.
Friday for work I dressed up as Wednesday Addams, again. I already had this set and I got this harness and these shoes at Deandri’s warehouse sale last weekend- they were begging to be worn together!
Friday night was an extra special treat because I got to see one of my favorite bands, Balance & Composure, for the first time in two years. Seeing them in LA was completely unexpected but amazing. I decided to prove my commitment and dress up as Sparkle Motion which made dancing a little bit more special and way more fun. I thoroughly enjoyed channeling my inner Samantha Darko.
Halloween is the perfect time to bring out the most outlandish pieces from my closet and wear them all at once. I got this latex dress from Valfre about a month ago and was so excited to finally pair it with a fresh shave! I wore this during the day Saturday before going full Halloween that night. I also loved seeing so many random people (mostly children!) dressed up, out and about during the day. I love being able to be especially out there at this time of year, when people are less worried about what others will think, heck you can be whoever you want on Halloween! How special is that.
Saturday night I went out with some friends and decided to dress up as Black Phillip. Of course. Black Phillip is a character in the The Witch, a period piece about a family of English settlers in the early 1600’s who have a firsthand encounter with a Witch. It turns out their family goat, Black Phillip, isn’t as innocent as he seems…
I even had a book so people could sign their souls to me. I wore a vintage bathing suit, thigh high fishnet stockings, TUK creepers and a Disturbia jacket. I had to wear my horns a little lopsided but what can you do! I contoured my face with some gray makeup, drew on a nose and some freckles and called it a night.
My twin sister Alexandra was the Upside Down so of course we had to get a photo. It’s not everyday you can sign your soul away to the Devil in the Upside Down .We ended Saturday night with some Mexican food…as if I couldn’t love Halloween any more.
Sunday was spent eating brunch, walking around, enjoying the creepy and unnerving weather and modeling in front of beautiful pink walls (which I will post photos of in the next few days!) Halloween is the perfect time to wear what you want, love who you want and be what you want.Today I dressed up as my Queen and came into work! Ha! Halloween is for fun and what’s more fun than dressing up as your idol//boss? Nothing. I’m so thankful that I’ve got to dress up so much for the holiday. Tonight I will be holding a ritual and performing divination. It’s the perfect time to reflect, honor those who have passed and take time to plan on what you want in the next year.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!
It is the time of the waning year. The sun is saying his last goodbyes as he gets ready to wrap himself in a shimmering, iridescent blanket of stars and slip into hibernation. The energy is twinkling as well, neon blues and pinks are in the air as the veil between this world and the spirit realm softens, smoothed out by a dose of glamour. October is around the corner, and with it the promise of darker days, shrouded in mystery and ties to parts of ourselves we seem to forget in the warmer months. This is a time of exploration, of curiosity- a time of intense introspection and rebirth. The wheel of the year is shifting to a season that celebrates the light but invites and honors the darkness to come. The Equinox was last week, a day of intense balance and energetic equilibrium. It is officially Fall, and with that comes an extra dose of new, creative energy. My sister Alexandra and I live down the street from the bookstore, plenty of stores and resteraunts, a cool newsstand and a Trader Joes. Saturday’s have been spent eating delicious food, walking around in the hot Los Angeles climate and bathing under neon signs. The energy this past week has been intense- I’ve felt like a snake shedding its skin. It’s been two years since I moved into my last apartment, two years since I started getting ready for London, two years since I had to do a lot of reevaluating with who I let into my life. All this energetic baggage I’ve been carrying the past two years is finally dissipating. The equinox was on the 22nd- I am 22, my birthday is on 2/2 and I’m a twin- so I really felt the weight of this seasonal shift and I’m using the momentum to move forward in a positive, beneficial and creative manner. Now I’m left with a new, shiny skin, a fresh set of eyes and an excitement for life that can only come from moving to a new city. I’ve been more intentional with what I buy- I am extremely picky with jackets and when I tried this metallic one on from Zara I knew I needed it, and that it’s not something I will probably ever get sick of. I’ve also been lusting after a pleated American Apparel skirt, so I bought this vintage cheerleader skirt from a local thrift shop as a dupe. A bandana, some sheer knee highs from Nordstrom Rack and my favorite cosmic bucket bag were the finishing touches on this look. I’m a firm believer in only wearing what you LOVE. There is nothing quiet as euphoric for me as spending the day in an outfit I love- very often other things I love will follow.Spend time with people you care about. Go to the cemetery. Leave flowers at beautiful graves. Go outside. Talk to the trees. Make some art. Sit under the full moon.
All photos by one of my favorite humans in the world- Alexandra.
I love you.
Hello dear humans!
I apologize for the lack of posts. Between getting settled in LA, starting this internship and moving into a new apartment, I’ve been busy, tired and honestly a little bit lazy! I love my internship- it still hasn’t hit me that this is real. But one thing that has hit me is that I have a reason to dress up every day. Even when I’m not working, I can still hit the streets of LA in some of my favorite clothes. I haven’t gotten a single side eye from a middle aged white man since I’ve been here and it’s pretty dope! I love being able to utilize my closet and come up with new outfits so, here are some of my favorites!
When you find an X-Files shirt and neat $10 glasses within the same week- you wear them together. I’ve discovered that I enjoy wearing red and baby pink. I also appreciate obnoxious metallic clothing and accessories!
I saw The Coathangers, who I wrote about for NYLON, and a band called LA Witch opened for them. They were amazing and of course I bought a shirt. I paired it with a vintage tartan skirt for an extra kick of Viv.
I DID IT- I got my first Vivienne Westwood bag! I was pricing this and knew I needed it. It’s the perfect size, it’s sleek and it literally screams SEX. I paired it with some DIY painted shoes, an accordion pleated button down and a big gold clip to bring it all home.
I’m feeling blue eyeliner and dad hats and I felt like being loud this day so why not just wear everything all at once?! Paired with some star socks and baby pink oxfords I got from London for extra eccentricity.
My most recent look is what I like to describe as Eastern European flapper. It does the job! I got this bag this past weekend and I’m obsessed with it. I also got to wear this shawl thing I got a few weeks ago on sale.
What do you wear to work?!
Last year when we turned six I was still in shock that Breathing Fashion is still here. Now we’re turning 7 and I’m STILL in shock. WOW. It’s been over half a decade with this site and I still love it. I started Breathing Fashion as a way to cultivate my voice in fashion journalism- it started as a platform share my own content in hopes that I eventually would be writing for other sites and magazines. And guess what fam- WE MADE IT. I’m writing for some of my favorite sites and I get to write about feminist things and witchy things! I’m also now based in LA as I intern in the PR department of Vivienne Westwood. I just booked my first real styling shoot for a cool California based magazine and I have some fun pieces I’m working on. I’m still overwhelmed at life and you know, the fact that people actually care enough about what I have to say to read it. My fabulous twin Alexandra accompanied me to check another big thing off my bucket list- driving the Angeles Crest highway. Also referred to as Donnie Darko highway by the twin and I- Angeles Crest is where the Carpathian Ridge scenes of Donnie Darko were filmed. Unfortunately we only drove a few of the 66 mile highway, which goes through the San Gabriel Mountains (ha!) but driving the whole thing is another item on the bucket list. The view was overwhelming and beautiful and honestly just magical and majestic. Although I have a fear of heights, I was able to deal because Alex was driving and Donnie Darko, duh. And yes- I cried and played the soundtrack the whole time. I’m going to do my best to have a real birthday post, but for now I think these will do. I’m wearing a vintage skirt I found at Goodwill with Ivory and some new shades I got here in LA. I’m so humbled by all the love you guys give me. I’m doing my best to make this even better.
PS- check out the new portfolio- gabrielaherstik.com
Here’s to another fabulous year.
PS- thank you for the photos Alexandra.
Hello one and all and Happy New Moon!!
I got to San Diego on Friday and have spent the past few days relaxing and adjusting. This New Moon has been a bit more subtle than others, the energy hasn’t been as sharp as it’s been in the past. Instead I’ve been faced with vivid dreams and a short temper. I’ve been slacking on my soul work so I was super excited to see that Linsday Mack of Wild Soul Healing put out a tarot challenge! A new month means new habits and a daily tarot practice led by one of my favorite healers seemed like the perfect place to start. I decided it would be something interesting (read::: scary// difficult// emotional // worthy) to share on here. I know that whenever I go through major shifts I’m not alone- we’re all way more connected than we think, so I like to share my own story when possible- so here you go!
:::DAY 1::: WHAT SEED AM I PLANTING THIS NEW MOON
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Sometimes I doubt the cards and then BAM- they hit me like a pile of bricks (or like a boy who suddenly tells me he’s sold his soul to Satan which is just as scary.) This New Moon I am planting destiny. I am planting my future and sowing the seeds to (hopefully) things larger than I can comprehend. I start my dream internship with Vivienne Westwood next week and if you’ve talked to me about it, you know two things- 1. I’m freaking out 2. This feels like fate. I’m a fairly decisive person- I’ve always known what I’ve liked and what I’ve wanted and I knew that I needed to work with Vivienne. I know that what’s happening in my immediate future is big. It’s huge. It’s absolute, no chill, hard work paying off, manifestation station, soul pumping fate. It is destiny. It is The Wheel of Fortune in it’s entirety. This internship was the cumulation of a million emails, literally negative chill and an absolute belief that this is what I’m meant to do and where I’m meant to be. And you know what- that’s exactly what this card is.
The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes karma, hard work, surrender. It’s the cogs that start moving, the ebb and flow of the tide and the pull of the moon. It’s equal parts hustle, letting go, and constant, unwavering belief. On one hand it can look like everything you’ve ever wanted, your wildest hopes and dreams come to fruition- like destiny. But success is an illusion- your only purpose right now is to exist. To love and to see. To use the present to manifest what you want without losing whatever’s going on right now. The Wheel of Fortune is using what you’ve been given to craft something better, something more worthwhile but it can also hide behind the curtain of ego and whisper in your ear and tell you that your life would be better if you had more or were doing something better. There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself- but destiny and fate are elusive. They’re written in whatever language you deem them in. What’s YOUR definition of fortune, of fate? Is it coming from what your soul needs or are you crafting your lifes work in the image of what someone else (or society) tells you to?I also pulled Nightmare from the Oracle of Oddities. It seems backwards, but sometimes our biggest fears are actually just sheep in sheeps clothes- ever heard of too much of a good thing? Sometimes our biggest dreams are actually the scariest. Many of us have roots grown in the idea of unworthiness. We think we’re not good enough, that we’re not entitled to find bliss and happiness, that we don’t deserve whatever good things may be coming our way. That’s not true. You have the right to pursue whatever makes you shine.
Sometimes making the wheel turn and actually living in your highest calling is the hardest. Sometimes you’ll have to deal with whatever been sitting, stagnant, wasting away in the dark in the cellar. You have to do the work. And sometimes actually going for what you want is scary, sometimes it’s even scarier than the dark. What’s stopping you from getting what you want? Is it something out of your hands, or is it you? Because you have two choices- let it go and find another path or believe with all of your damn heart that you’re doing what you’re meant to do. Sometimes pushing the wheel to start it’s what’s hardest. Sometimes it’s stepping out of the way and letting the wheel move. Sometimes it’s just you- but whatever it is… you deserve to see it happen.
I’m not sure where to start so I just will. It’s currently 9:50 pm and I’m sitting in my hotel room, without pants on, drinking the tequila my uncle got my sister and I for graduation, watching The Office. I move to California the day after tomorrow, and after saying bye to one of my closest friends my heart hurts. A lot.I moved around a lot as a kid, and I’ve gotten okay at saying goodbye. I know the people who are meant to be in my life will stick around. But this time, moving is different. For the first time it marks the end of a really huge chapter. It hurts. I came to Columbia, South Carolina as a fresh little 18-year-old. I was an upcoming freshman at The University of South Carolina and I didn’t know what to anticipate. What I got was a city that challenged me, thicker skin and friends who I can’t imagine life without. Columbia itself- as a city- is okay. There are some amazing spots that all the weirdos congregate to- hello Drip and NBT- and they’ve helped me when I’ve felt like my head’s going to explode. I always say Columbia isn’t a city and it’s not a town- it’s somewhere in between. The nightlife is okay, my favorite is a literal underground bar called The Whig, but what I like is the fact that it sort of just exists. You can drive 30 minutes to somewhere that feels like Mars, 2 hours to Charleston or 10 minutes to a beautiful cemetery- it has the charm of a little town and the perks of a (small) city. Columbia is it’s own kinda thing. It just does what it does and it’s kind of great.
It takes time to recognize how a place has shaped you. I’m not sure I can even put into words the past four years but I’ll try. Columbia isn’t easy to live in if you’re not the status quo. It’s not. I’ve been getting the side eye from old Republicans for practically every day the past four years. I made a decision my freshman year to pretend that I was living in NYC and to wear whatever I want which is probably why I get all the side eyes. But here’s the thing!! Being true to who you are and shining your light means other people recognize that. In a city where weirdos are just that, you recognize the other weirdos. You gotta stick together. Going into a vintage//costume shop (Hip Wa Zee) to apply for a job my sophomore year led to meeting one of my best friends and having one of the coolest jobs of my life. Sitting at my favorite coffee shop everyday and writing meant that I met some of my favorite people. Being the over the top, not chill human I am led me to some of the best memories of my life. College was cool but what Columbia taught me was that honoring who you are, no matter how hard it is, is worth every single side eye and judgmental look.
My room in Columbia was the first time that I found sanctuary. It was the first time I found my escape, the one place I could go to sit and reflect and listen to all the little things I’d been ignoring for too long. Columbia was the city where I grew up, where I had my heart broken, where I chased my dreams and explored and where I manifested my deepest desires. When my parents moved from Atlanta back to San Diego last July, Columbia became my home and safe haven. It became the city that understood what I felt and how I didn’t belong. Columbia has been MY first home- not my family’s- and I love it for that.
It’s strange reflecting on my time here because it’s only been four years. But I’ve graduated and this marks the end of the biggest chapter of my life and that’s damn hard. I’ve never felt settled anywhere and it’s not something that I’ve always been able to deal with. This city has been comfortable but it’s stretched me and shaped me and it’s helped me accomplish some of my wildest dreams. I’ve met some of my best friends here, I’ve started my career here. I’ve found m sanctuary here. And for that- I say thank you.
Here’s to the future.
The summer before 12th grade, a boy I was talking to told me to watch Donnie Darko three times in a row. I had never seen it and agreed blindly. I don’t think I’ve ever been the same. Almost every day for the rest of that summer, I would go to the guest room in the basement and put Donnie Darko on. I wish I could remember what I though the first time I saw it, or when I bought it on DVD, but I don’t. It feels like the movie has always been part of my life. I actually have to forget I own it, or I’ll watch it a million times in a row and neglect every other option on Netflix//DVD. I fell back into this pattern this past summer.
For those of you who haven’t seen Donnie Darko- shame. Who are you, what have you been doing? Anyway, I love this movie because it always leaves me in a weird mood. It leaves me fidgety, slightly uncomfortable, sad and happy at the same time. You know the feeling you get in your gut when things are about to change and everything feels slightly off but you can’t explain why? I call that “weird change-y feeling” and that, my friends, is Donnie Darko. A supernatural, 80’s teen love story featuring a giant bunny rabbit and time travel is exactly the kind of thing I’m into. Richard Kelly, who directed the movie, was fresh out of film school when he made this film. It was filmed Los Angeles in 2000 and was released the following year. I was living in Los Angeles while it was being filmed (which is something I just found out) and I’m moving back to LA in about three weeks. I’m planning on scouting some of the locations to relive some of my favorite scenes, but until then- here are two outfits inspired by my favorites…
Gretchen is elusive.. she’s mysterious, she’s tragic, she’s assertive. My personal interpretation of this movie is that tangent universe opened up so Donnie could fall in love- he wanted so badly to not die alone and even though he did, he died peacefully without regrets. Gretchen was this portal for him- “some people are just born with tragedy in their blood” after all. Gretchen’s relationship with Donnie happened because all he wanted was to love and be loved- aka not be alone- before he died. Gretchen and Donnie’s first kiss is one of my favorite on-screen snogs of all time. But, although I love Gretchen, she doesn’t really have the best style. I put my own spin on her look, switching out the hiking boots for oxfords and the track jacket for a fuzzy sweater. I think Gretchen would have been into cool, patched up mom jeans so I added that into the mix too. Sweater:: H&M// Shirt:: Urban Outfitters// Jeans:: Zara
Donnie looks as good in a slept-in tee as he does in his school uniform. It’s that brooding angst that really does it for me. Donnie is troubled, and he’s confused, but he’s also predictable when it comes to his wardrobe. I did his favorite look,tee shirt and jeans, in all black, with a simple leather backpack because Donnie makes his look ace and I wanted to channel my inner gothic school girl. Shirt:: Basement band tee// Jeans:: Topshop// Sweatshirt:: Zara// Backpack:: Urban Outfitters
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!
All photos by Alexandra Herstik
First off- my heart, my thoughts, my prayers- my everything- are with the Black community and people of color. I don’t know what it’s like but I am here. I am listening. I see you and hear you and feel you and love you. I pledge to be an advocate, an ally and a help in any way, shape or form I can. To all my witchy mama’s and papa’s- you can do this spell from Story By Tarot or this ritual from The Hoodwitch if you feel helpless and don’t know what to do.
It is important to stand up when you see injustice. See a call for action and take it- talk to your politicians, call out racism and don’t be afraid to use your voice (this especially goes for white people! We are the ones who need to be carving out a space for everyone. That is not the conquest of the oppressed.)
BUT- don’t forget to take care of your own needs in the process. You must tend to your own heart before you can tend to the world. Self care in times of political and economic crisis are of the upmost importance. When you are scared of blooming, when you are too frightened to find the sun, you cannot give your light to anyone else.
Here are 5 easy ways to take care of your own heart when it’s hurting.
1. Buy yourself flowers (or something beautiful)
You can spend under $5 (hello Trader Joes) and still get a beautiful bouquet. Or, you can go to your local farmers market and get yourself a bunch of weird flowers while still supporting your community, which is where I got the babes pictured above! Even if you’re not interested in the metaphysical properties of flowers, I swear- buying yourself some will make you feel better. There is something so soothing about the temporary beauty and soft spirit that comes with flowers. They look like magick, they’re effortless, they smell good and you can dry them. I always like to take self portraits when I buy flowers which leads us to…
2. Make art
Create something. Take a self portrait, write a poem. It doesn’t even matter if it sucks- just try. Enjoy the process. Get messy- finger paint , sculpt, make daisy chains. It doesn’t matter but I promise once you start to make something you’ll feel better. And, if your artwork turns into something beautiful, even better. Art is a physical manifestation of love, right?
3. Watch something funny
My pick is “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” There’s something so comforting about how horrible the gang is. Laughter heals- it’s medicine. Laugh until your stomach hurts, laugh until you cry, laugh until you fart, laugh until you snort- this is a no judgment zone. Just make sure you laugh.
I hate cleaning. Seriously. I think it’s the worst. My definition of success is being able to afford to hire someone to cook and clean for me. When my heart is upset (hello, today) I do like to clean! When your thoughts feel disorganized and heavy and dirty- cleaning is spiritual, both physically and energetically. Physically clearing your space allows your energy to relax. It clears the muck, it allows your aura to flow. Physically seeing the results of cleaning your environment gives your subconscious permission to do the same. Having a fresh space just feels better. Added bonus points if you smudge or burn incense when you’re done. It feels so good and even if it doesn’t- at least it’s clean!
5. Tell someone how much you love them
Take the time to text or call someone and tell them how much they mean to you. Then go deeper- why. How have they helped you evolve and learn about yourself? Tell someone why you love them and then tell them again and again. Have no one you want to talk to? Write a love letter to yourself. Passing on love makes your heart stronger. If you cannot receive love, give it until it comes back. It will come back.A crow flew by and this appeared as I began to write- what a beautiful omen. There is always light.
What’s your favorite way to heal?
Hey folks. I hope you’re spending time celebrating and drinking safely with your loved ones. It’s a hot one in Columbia, South Carolina and I’m currently sitting on my porch listening to Citizen while a car alarm goes off in the distance. I just spent time outside in the pool, drinking mimosas and basking in the New Moon vibes. The New Moon is in Cancer, asking us to revisit patterns//relationships relating to our emotional well being. Feel your feeling aka super emotional time.Today’s the one day a year I wear the American flag and put my hair in victory rolls. It’s the first time I’ve done this look and I’m feeling it. Anyway- Happy American Day guys. Be thankful of your privilege, recognize what today actually celebrates and help make a better tomorrow. Bathing suit from Forgotten Feather Vintage.Keep America boo-tiful (and bootyfull) inside and out fam.