Although, I love traveling, backpacking, getting dirty, finding dirt cheap and filling eats, and economy class... lol. Sometimes the miles add up, a first class upgrade awaits, I scrub up, dress up, and pull out the other side of me... then I wake up in a 5 star hotel wondering how a nerdy and lonely kid made it to what people think is the height of success and luxury.
I really do love luxury and fashion. It has been a part of me since I was in high school. When the other kids did not want to get to know me or bullied me, the varying colors and designs of fashion designers always inspired me, giving me hope that I could fit in in a world where I always felt I didn't look perfect enough. Clothes could mask the lack of bulging muscles, my height and a fit could change the way my body type is perceived.
Today, I started thinking and remembering why I love fashion because I binged watched Chanel fashions shows. The Chanel fashions shows are famous for their quirky sets and big productions. This year I was so impressed with two recent Chanel fashion shows set in Paris, France.
My favorite Chanel Prêt-à-Porter/Ready-to-Wear (RTW) video featured a massive French café in the center of the runway. To the surprise of many attendees and me, models and servers actually interacted in the middle while the fashion show occurred. Models were drinking and chatting as if not one was around. It certainly made the show stand out because who would imagine a real café working in the center of a fashion show? According to those interviewed, "it was very Parisien and real".
Then the next fashion show for Chanel Haute Couture featured a huge surprise for a movie and music fan like me. Actress Kristen Stewart, Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, singer G-Dragon from Big Bang, singer Rita Ora and more celebrities appeared from backstage and walked to the center of the show where casino tables and dealers waited. Then they proceeded to hang out and to interact with each other in the middle of the set! Then the models appeared and continued to strut around the the celebrities in their own world.
I was so intrigued and impressed so many celebrities were involved in the project and that Karl Lagerfeld had them gamble in the middle of the whole fashion show. The act in the center stage performance in itself was so simple yet entertaining for someone like me. I appreciated it because it was extremely entertaining for someone who knows how tedious a fashion show can be without the right music, attitude, designs or the right company. Now, I only wish I could be successful enough to be invited to those central seat at Chanel Casino Royale.
When I first saw this video I was quite impressed. I laughed hysterically the whole time. Even though I have been traveling, it was a relief to see San Francisco houses again, see drag queens and learn that realtors were creative and brave enough to feature such beloved and entertaining characters in their advertisement. I saw Creative because, I have never thought of combining the two in the United States. Smart idea, eh? I saw Brave because they feature very out characters (who may or may not be gay) but people still bully and torment gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgender people but all the while San Francisco, again demonstrates it it is a bustling LGBTAlly stronghold of inclusion and diversity. I wish I could be there.
To me this is a sign of the #adfuture. The #adfuture is to me is when people can be featured in various advertisements and marketing without the scrutiny of racial discrimination or fear of being hurt and discriminated against if publicly being involved. Sometimes, growing up in my conservative background with a sometimes discriminatory environment, I feared putting myself out there.
Traveling as a gay man has shown me that I should be weary of my surroundings and be careful of where and how I am open. One can only wonder how much the property in San Francisco costs but the value and power of this advertisment is much more. #adfuture #lgbt #lgbtally #sanfrancisco #blogger #inclusion #diversity #diversify
Read more about it here at SF Weekly
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Learn more on USA Today
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If you are a U.S. citizen you should always check travel.state.gov before flying to any country. Most European countries including France and the Netherlands allow an American to visit for up to 90 days (that's a long LONG time!) and if you exit the country and return from another country it resets again. The major important issue is always have an on going flight ticket to leave the country you land in or a round trip ticket already booked back to the U.S. at a later date because the departing airport may not let you board the flight.
Below is some of the visa and time limit information for the Netherlands and France from the U.S. State Department website.