MCM: Preston Slack

On a quiet weekend night, I was scrolling on Instagram and out of the blue, the name “Preston Slack” slipped from the tip of my fingers as I typed on the search bar. Upon stumbling his page, my screen was graced with photos of an tanned athletic young man with corkscrew ringlets. As I continued to scroll, I couldn’t help my thoughts as he instantly reminded me of a young Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle. However, finding his page was no accident, but rather a word of mouth discovery through a DM I received through a friend who lent him clothes to wear to a photoshoot.

While the single 21-year-old Oklahoma-based model and budding musician can be easily dismissed as another IG mannequin (think Jay Alvarrez), I honestly beg to differ. In the midst of making his first album (SPOILER ALERT: it’s gonna be a pop album with tribal influences!), the candid Cancer opens up about how he started modeling, how he dealt with the pressures of the modeling industry, what’s it like to try on clothes from different eras, his hidden talent (watch out, Jon Snow!) and why Instagram is the new Tinder.

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@virgomood is the muse that every designer, fashion girl and stylist is secretly obsessed with

Two years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram on a cold NYC evening while taking a break from typing up an article. Constantly on a search for new inspiration, I stalked my friend’s account and stumbled upon a feed filled with photos of models strutting down a runway. As I clicked on each photo, my eyes couldn’t stay away from the caption. Rather than the familiar faces that I know of, I was shocked to learn that these stunning women were not named Naomi, Christy, Cindy, Kate or Linda. Not to forget, the designers (e.g. Todd Oldham) seemed relatively obscure to an outsider. From there, I realized that the entire feed expressed the inner emotions of a 22-year-old dental student who goes by @virgomood.

Based in Chicago, the fashionista has 324,000+ followers (myself included) who keep up with her eclectically curated photos of runway moments, red carpet arrivals, lingerie editorials and the occasional interior design shots. Thanks to its edgy, feminine and sensual feed, Virgo Mood attracts legions of followers from stylists (Mimi Cuttrell; Dani Michelle),designers (Area; Susan Alexandra), musicians (Sky Ferreira) and retailers (IRVRSBL).

We chat about the inspiration behind that iconic handle, her fascination with vintage lingerie, how Naomi Campbell sparked her obsession with all things vintage, the hardest about curating a feed and the model she’d love to style.

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The Top 10 Iconic Graphic Tees That Defined Celebrity Fashion

Slogans and logos are worth a thousand words in one shirt. As a closet essential, a graphic tee is a treasured heirloom that can’t be thrown away. Regardless of color, brand and silhouette, every girl HAS to have a graphic tee.

As a t-shirt collector, I’m a sucker for GOOD t-shirts – especially, graphic tees. Although I love plain fitted white or black tee, the one thing that I have a steady collection of is graphic shirts. Inside my collection it kinda goes like this: fitted or oversized; long or short; faded or factory fresh. Since I love being able to own a handful of graphic tees, I just can’t live without them. However, the type of graphic tees that I wish I can own are worn by celebrities.

Being a pop culture geek myself, graphic tees have always made a splash on some of the most famous photographs in the world. Given that most celebrities from the ’80s to early ’00s didn’t hire a stylist to dress them up on off-duty, I always felt that a graphic tee was the most F you way to express yourself without opening a single word from your mouth.

Here are my most favorite iconic graphic tees that I wish I owned:

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Man Crush Monday: Samuel Jacob Lopez Jr.

Tanned, fit and blessed with lush chest-grazing jet black locks, Samuel Jacob Lopez Jr. is not just another scruffy-faced suave California skater boy. Artistic and ambitious, the 31-year-old Los Angeles-based musician has cut his teeth with bigger names in the music industry such as 30 Seconds to Mars, whom he is touring as their go-to Ableton Tech man. Not only did he catch the ears of his peers, hotshots such as Red Bull were instantly hooked by his danceable beats and airy vocals. With that voice, strong lyrical penmanship, laid back personality and warm teddy bear eyes, we are forever trapped. It’s no secret that he’s been able to lock down the hottest clubs of Sunset Strip!

If you believe that this interview is our first encounter, this is not the first time I reached out to Lopez. In the summer of 2015, I was interning at a startup music company, where my boss assigned me to e-mail Lopez, who was previously in Little Wolves, to link up with him. Three years later, the alluring Aquarian randomly slipped into my mind. One night, I pulled up my Instagram, stalked his page and liked a bunch of photos. Much to my surprise, Lopez slid into my DM! Starting anew with his new project Coquí, it brought me to feature him in my column.

Although both of us have yet to meet in person, his aura, warm energy and super duper fly personality lights a spark inside my soul. We chat about (

(P.S. If you want to take him out for dinner, this very single bachelor is actually vegan!)

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Man Crush Monday: Han Chandra

Model, blogger, influencer, children’s book author, graphic designer and painter. Is there anything that Han Chandra can’t do? As an all-around Renaissance man and kid at heart, this Jakarta-based hottie is also blessed with super fly style, chiseled cheekbones and flawless skin. While every man on earth can win us over with lush locks and a charming smile, the one thing that made us swoon over him is his compassionate soul as he is devoted to spending time with kids.

With an army of 26,000 followers on Instagram, the 27-year-old single bachelor is not just another rising social media celebrity. In place of notches on his bedpost, he’s got multiple diplomas under his belt. (Beat that, James Franco!) On top of his stellar academic career, this pretty Pisces writes on his self-titled blog. Not to forget, he’ll sneak in some Whitney Houston songs on your Spotify, serenade you with a Michael Jackson hit and take you along to a Bruno Mars concert.

For our very first debut of Man Crush Monday, Chandra and I chat via WhatsApp about the secret to getting crystal clear skin, his next children’s book and why women shouldn’t be afraid to make the first move.

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A Letter From Your Girl

Dear Varinaders,

Happy New Year! I can’t believe that it has been two years since I launched Lapis and Layers. While the whole purpose of my blog is to discuss about fashion and beauty, I realize that I can’t sit there and distract you with so many stories about myself because as an influencer, how can I influence you if every single product or fashion tip only works for people who are like myself?

Apart from it, I’ve been beginning to realize that a lot of us are attuned to social media. Since I know that so many of us are Intsa-savvy, we are voyeurs who enjoy catching up with our favorite people whether it’s a model, celebrity, athlete, musician, photographer, influencer, makeup artist or friend. Not to forget, while there are a LOT of Insta-famous people I adore, I realize that not many of them are being covered unless they’re associated with a Kardashian, Jenner, Hadid, Jonas or anyone with a high-profile last name.

Although I love reading about celebrities and following them on Instagram, I feel that what’s missing these days is stories of real people who are using social media to build their career and/or platform to unite communities through a common interest. Since their hobbies/passions have always left us feeling curious, I feel that it’s about time that they share their story with me. No matter how big or small the following is, I aim to strip away the zeros, the glamour behind each shot and build up the story behind each personality whether it’s a model, influencer, designer, photographer, etc.

Not only am I keen to interview super inspirational people, I also realize that we, as humans, have a LOT to discuss about as our generation has gone through so many social and cultural shifts for nearly a decade. Rather than letting myself comment on these things (e.g. dressing up for the ‘gram), I have to invite more than one voice as it’s more fun to read roundtable discussion-style articles (like Real Men Talk) as it’s more engaging!

As I am still experimenting with creating content for you, I am shocked that so many of you really love reading my interviews and roundtable-style stories. Seeing your support means the world to me as I had thoughts where I almost wanted to quit journalism.

All of you made me more aware that at 25, I have the power to use my platform to educate ourselves and raise awareness about the effect on how social media plays with our perception of image, choice of career and the way we live our life.

Another thing that I’m adding to Lapis and Layers is a brand new column called Man Crush Monday, where I feature a new man every other Monday per month. Instead of a simple write up, I interview men about their career, hobbies and most importantly, dating tips. However, the main aspect of my MCM column is that it’s rooted by the effect of #MeToo as I read interviews of male celebrities who openly admit to being scared of flirting with women or worse, say tone deaf things about being challenged by it. Also, I admit that it’s partly inspired by my own personal experiences of using dating apps and living a commitment-free single life! As someone who supports #MeToo and using dating apps, I aim to use my blog as a safe and positive space for men to talk freely without fear, take down taboos surrounding dating/sexuality, share their stories about what motivates them and ask them fun questions that women normally get asked about (e.g. beauty, fitness routines, diet, fashion). Given that this will be an eye-opening experience and a new territory I’m willing to explore, I hope that you will learn something from each man.

Cheers to a new chapter, a beautiful month and unwavering support!

xoxo

M

Real Girls Talk: How To Slay NYE Party Dressing With @velvetcoke

We love a good party dress; however, it’s so easy to run out of ideas on what to wear. Especially on New Year’s Eve, where it’s hard to think of something to wear. Given that most of us are in a 9 to 5 lifestyle, I still can’t let go of the thought that we only wear 20 percent of our closet!

As a fellow clotheshorse, our returning guest Velvet Coke just happens to be in love with fashion as much as I am! Rather than giving all of you some conventional advice, I felt that it was time to get the lowdown on party dressing.

Velvet Coke and I discuss about how to make your work outfit more party-friendly, the one color you should mix with metallics, the most iconic fashion moment to repeat for NYE, the power of accessorizing and why you should ditch your flats for Dr. Martens.

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