USF Concert Honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held on Jan. 27 every year. The day marks the anniversary of the liberation from Auschwitz of millions of Jews. It is a day to remember those who died unjustly by Nazi forces and celebrate those who survived.

This year, the University of South Florida commemorated this day by holding a concert in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Zachary Konick is a second-year music composition graduate student at the University of South Florida. He is also the organizer of the concert. His Jewish heritage remains a catalyst in his wish to give back to the Jewish community.

“I haven’t always been too involved in my Jewish background, unfortunately. I go to temple for service, here and there, but I haven’t been as involved as I might have wanted to be. Doing this was kind of a way to get back into my Jewish heritage a little bit more. To reconnect with this a little bit more,” Konick says.

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Image by Maria Laura Lugo.

As a composer, Konick wanted to bring a piece of his art to the stage. His piece “Kaddish” is derived from “The Mourner’s Kaddish,” a Jewish prayer that talks about death. Throughout the composition, a juxtaposition of the Israeli national anthem and his grandmother Rosette’s voice can be heard. These elements enhance the musical value of the piece and solidify Konick’s desire to honor his grandma in some way.

“I wanted to give something to my nana, who is a Holocaust Survivor. I wanted to give something to her before she leaves from this planet. My piece is dedicated to her for that reason,” Konick explains.

Francis Schwartz is the featured composer for the concert. He is a Sarasota resident who graces the world with his “music theater” compositions, as he likes to describe his music. Invited artists are performing four of his original compositions during the concert. These include “On the State of Children,” “Auschwitz,” “Caligula” and “The Grey Road.” Schwartz considers his music a way to combat injustice around the world.

“I’m very much aware of injustice being practiced all over the world. Discrimination, hatred. This is something that I have combatted ever since I was a little boy. Ever since I was old enough to be conscious of the fact that people hate each other and discriminate against each other for reasons of race, ethnic origin, color or sexual orientation. It’s a very complex thing. We are masters of hate. I try through my music to unravel that very tightly knit ball of hate,” Schwartz says.

The compositions are brought to life with the dynamism of the dancers. Dancers Carolina Garcia Zerpa and Itarah Godbolt are two of the dancers invited to grace the stage of the concert. Despite not having direct Jewish connections, they consider it important to use their art to bring awareness to events like these.

“Anyway that I can use my instrument, my body, my art form of dance to add expression or bring awareness, add another dimension or dynamic to another artist’s work and what they’re doing. That is my connection. I’m always willing and wanting to do that. We’re also not just artists. We are people and we are activists and we have experiences. There are many ways to express that through art. When you bring all of that together is just magnifies and brings back to life another way to share those experiences,” Godbolt says.

In light of the recent events around the world, Zachary Konick considers that this concert signifies a way to unify cultures and ethnicities.

“This concert isn’t about just Jewish Heritage. It’s really important to me that this concert is about unity as well, given all the tensions politically and socially in the US lately and throughout the world. We really want to strike home that this concert is about coming together and fighting about persecution of any kind,” Konick says.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day Concert Social Media Posts

This past January I had the opportunity of covering this amazing event. Check out all my social media posts if you want to know more!

Runway Rundown: Coachella

Festival season is upon us! Coachella is finally here. And to be honest, I’m more interested in the clothing looks all the bloggers, fashionistas and celebrities will bring to the table, than the music (Kendrick Lamar aside, of course.) At the end of the day, Coachella has become exactly that: a street-style fashion runway disguised as a music festival.

I waited until the first Coachella weekend was over to have this rundown of my top five favorite looks of weekend one. Let’s begin!

5. Chloe Morello in Faithfull for Revolve

'Chella day 3 with @toofaced and @quayaustralia #toofacedxquay

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Chloe Morello is an Australian YouTuber, Blogger and Digital Influencer. With nearly one million followers on Instagram and over two million subscribers on her Youtube Channel, she has positioned herself as one of the most popular names in the Beauty industry.

She is my Top five look because of her laid-back vibe, without coming off as “too casual” or seeming like she didn’t try hard enough. The dress she chose is definitely something I would wear: it’s red, has a plunging neckline, a peek-a-boo leg and a bow at the waist. What else can I ask for?

She paired the dress with the most bad-ass looking black combat boots and a matching Chloé Bag. Body chain by Haati Chai and earrings by The Dark Horse Jewellery.

4. Negin Mirsalehi in Majorelle for Revolve

Negin Mirsalehi is a Dutch blogger, who created her fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog in 2012 and who holds an Instagram account with over 3.9 million followers.

She is seen wearing the gorgeous “Harvest” white crochet dress from Majorelle Collection, paired with two buckle belts at the waist. She added black combat boots and a black Chloé “Nile” bag to finish off the look.

The look overall is very feminine with touches of edginess, which is why it is one of my favorites.

3. Milena Karl in For Love and Lemons

Milena Karl is a German blogger and digital influencer. She is the founder of the blog “Milena Le Secret” and currently amasses over 460,000 followers on Instagram.

For the last day of the festival, Milena was seen wearing the For Love and Lemons Flamenco Strapless Dress. The pink mini dress features an all-over floral print, with a ruffled skirt and off-the-shoulder sleeves, a popular look this season. It also incorporates the choker trend, as a necktie is included in the same print as the dress.

Milena added more festival items, such as a metallic flower crown and glitter on the cheek. These elements added a more laid-back, free flair to the outfit, which made me love it even more.

2. Thássia Naves in John John Denim

When I first saw this look, I knew I had to write about it. Thássia Naves was one of our previous featured bloggers in the “A Look Into” series, so she does not need much introduction.

The dress is the “Jacquard Dots Dress” in burgundy from John John Denim. She paired it with a buckle belt at the waist, and matching boots (only available in navy blue) from the Universe Collection from Brazilian designer, Luiza Barcelos.

Layered necklaces in silver tones embellish Thassia’s neckline, with matching rings on her hands. To tie everything in, a Chanel Chevron Backpack poses itself on Naves’ shoulder to give the look a more casual vibe.

What makes this look, in my opinion, is the wig Thassia’s hairstylist and friend, Dafne Evangelista, utilized. Coachella is a time to experiment with new looks and ideas. Being a natural brunette, Naves definitely challenged the norm and proudly showcased her new (but temporary) locks.

1. Camila Coelho in LPA for Revolve

Coachella by night🎡🎼✌🏼 #coachella Porque a noite é bem mais divertido!

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Of course Camila was my favorite out of all the looks I saw during this first weekend of Coachella. She was the first fashion and beauty blogger I followed and her fashion choices have never let me down ever since.

In typical Coachella fashion, the fringe is present in the look as it adorns the sleeves and sides of her cozy sweater. The LPA “Skirt 59”, is the perfect pairing to the sweater. I love everything about this piece. First and foremost, it’s black leather. It also has a silver zipper down the front and studs all along it, which I love. Finally, the floral embroidery makes it very adept to the recent trend in embroidery in clothing.

The boots, that are from Brazilian brand “Carrano,” and the hat give the look a more rocker vibe.

Overall, I’m obsessed with this boho-chic look.

There you go, those were my top five looks from weekend one of Coachella. I tried to link all items listed. Don’t be afraid to click them if you want to cop some of these items! 🙂

A look into: Danielle Bernstein

The definition of Girl Boss: Danielle Bernstein. Founder of blog “We Wore What,” the native New-Yorker writes about everything, from fashion to lifestyle to interior design.

Afternoons in camel and gingham 👩🏻‍🎨

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pop pop pop 💥

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With an Advertising and Marketing Communications degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Danielle began building up her empire by establishing her brands multiple collaborations and clothing brands. At the end of 2016, Berstein launched “Second Skin Overalls” a collection made up exclusively of every 90’s kid favorite: overalls. It started with “The Basics,” consisting of five styles of overalls in stretchy cashmere-like denim that hugs every curve of the body without losing comfort. The first batch of overalls made Danielle over $70,000 in three hours, according to this Elle article.

Since then, the materials have evolved into velvet and leather, giving the often simple look of an overall, a more edgy and feminine look, right up Danielle’s alley.

THEY'RE HERE! SHOP NOW!

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Collection Two drops next month!

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Bernstein has also created a collaboration with Strut This, to elaborate her perfect workout pieces.

In May 2015, Bernstein opened up about the amount of money “digital influencers” make from publishing sponsored posts on Instagram. The Harper’s Bazaar article gave Bernstein and her brand a lot of exposure and gave her a reputation of being “transparent” in the web, as she declared that she made approximately $15,000 from an sponsored Instagram post.

If this doesn’t make you want to become a Fashion blogger, then I don’t know what will!

A look into: Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni is an Italian fashion blogger with over 9.3 million followers on Instagram.

I'll always have my sunsets

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Sunday in LA #AmericanDays

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She is known worldwide for her blog “The Blonde Salad” (available in both English and Italian,) which she founded in 2009 along with Riccardo Pozzoli. The blog, as many of the ones we’ve talked about in previous posts, started as a fashion blog, but quickly evolved to offer insight into the travel and lifestyle realms.

In 2012, Ferragni launched her own brand of shoes “Chiara Ferragni Collection,” which started with her own collection of shoes and later branched out into clothing, tech cases and, my personal favorite, backpacks. All items in the collection transmit Chiara’s fun and laid-back personality, with lots of glitter, bold patterns and colors.

❤ #ChiaraFerragniShoes #ChiaraFerragniCollection

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@chiaraferragnicollection everything 🤗 #ChiaraFerragniShoes #ChiaraFerragniCollection

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Chiara was crowned with one of the spots in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2015, becoming the first fashion blogger to be a part of the prestigious list.

With an award like that, there’s no doubt that blogging is taking more and more force in the latest years.

A look into: Aimee Song

Perhaps the most multifaceted blogger out there, Aimee Song maintains a career in both Fashion and Interior design. Not only does she run, “Song of Style,” a blog, but she also maintains a YouTube Channel, with over 100,000 subscribers, where she creates videos that appeal to the beauty, fashion and even lifestyle masses.

Her blogging career began all the way back in 2008, while she studying Interior Architecture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Because of this, her content began with a focus on that realm. Although fashion was not Aimee’s desired career path at the beginning, her natural sense of style inevitable shaped her career, as her “OOTD” (Outfit of the Day) posts collected positive feedback from her readers.

With the perfect mix between edginess and girliness, Song constructs the most jaw-dropping looks that never fail to impress.

She is a lover of black, just as I am, so naturally I’m a big fan of how she puts her looks together.

As if her resumé wasn’t impressive enough, Song is also a New York Times Best Selling Author with her book Capture Your Style,” in which she spills every tip and trick she’s learned over the years about how to capture life moments in the perfect Instagram image.

She is also part of the Forbes’ “30 under 30” list since 2016.

Nowadays, Aimee has over 4.6 million followers on Instagram and those numbers are amassing as the days pass by. Can’t wait to see what she does next!

A look into: Camila Coelho

What started as a simple hobby arising from a passion for makeup, turned into a full time fashion job.

Camila Coelho began her career over six years ago, with her YouTube channel “Makeup By Camila.” She focused on just that: makeup. Then, she began experimenting with hairstyles, fitness advice and slowly began getting into fashion, with shopping hauls and brand partnerships.


As years passed, she became more and more recognized among the fashion community. This recognition brought her closer to the most renowned events and designers. Gave her opportunities she could not even fathom of having when she started off.

Nowadays, she is the most famous blogger and digital influencer from Brazil, with over six million followers on Instagram and thousands of visits on her blog. Her YouTube channel remains intact as one of the most popular beauty and fashion channels, with nearly three million subscribers. Needless to say, hard work pays off.

A look into: Thássia Naves

With nearly three million followers on Instagram, Thássia Naves positions herself as one of the leading fashion bloggers of not only Brazil, but also the world.

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A “Minas Gerais” native, Naves stays true to her roots and often sports local designers, such as Patricia Bonaldi and famous Brazilian brands “John John“and “Skazi,” brand with which Naves did a collaboration in 2014.

Being her third fashion week, Naves continues to escalate positions in the fashion world, getting closer and closer to that desired “front row” in the most renowned shows, such as the Chanel and Giambattista Balli runways.

Next week, we will be keeping it at home and talking about Brazilian blogger Camila Coelho. Don’t miss out!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Paris Fashion Week

The time of the year I’m always looking forward is finally here: Paris Fashion Week.

Amazing collection by #MariaGraziaChiuri for @dior 😍 #TheBlondeSaladGoesToParis

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Fashion Bloggers, celebrities and icons of fashion gather together in the same place to show off their looks in the streets of Paris.

In this blog entry, I’m going to show you the best looks from my personal favorite bloggers the first leg of Fashion Week.

Starting off with my three favorite Brazilian Bloggers, Thassia Naves, Camila Coelho and Camila Coutinho.

Where to start with this look? First off, major props to Thassia’s loyal photographer and best friend, Rhaiffe, who always gets the best shots and who truly captures the movement of each piece of clothing. Red is one of my favorite colors to wear, so evidently I am captivated by this look. The sleek, nude, lace-up pumps add a little something to the look without overshadowing the protagonist of the look: the Fendi dress and jacket. The patterns along the skirt are different, but they harmonize so perfectly that they do not clash with each other. The jacket is made up of yet another pattern, but somehow it all blends together effortlessly.

I love seeing metallics on items of clothing, as I think they give any look a contemporary take. Camila paired the midi metallic skirt with a emerald green turtleneck to undertake Paris’ gloomy and cold weather. The tough-looking Louis Vuitton Boots give the look a “bad-ass” vibe, without making it too masculine.

On a more casual note, Camila Coutinho’s upstreet look is everything and more! The Chanel sporty jacket with their staple slingback pumps give the look a balanced contrast that only she could pull off. The cuffed jeans add on to the relaxed vibe of the look, making it one of my favorites.

In Chanel for Chanel 🤙🏻🍊 #pfw #discretinha ph: @moeeztali

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Só quer ser a Chanelzinha ela… 💁🏻ph: @moeeztali #pfw

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One of Camila Coelho’s best friends, Aimee Song, never misses a Fashion Week. She deserved a mention on this blog post as her looks always resonate with my feminine side. There’s only one word I can use to describe this look: flamboyant. Just as in Texas, everything is big: the sleeves of the shirt, the pattern on the shirt, the flair on the pants. I love it. All of it.

Versailles baby.

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Wearing @apmmonaco meteorites pieces at Versailles. ✨#apmmonaco

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Stay tuned to the next posts for some life background on all these gorgeous ladies!

Fashion Bits Introduction

Hey everyone!

This is the first post of my new writing adventure. In this blog, I’m going to be introducing my favorite fashion bloggers from all over the world and all their travels and events.

Since I was very young, I’ve always been attracted to fashion and the beauty world in general. I know this might seem superficial to many, but growing up in Venezuela, most girls are brought up with the idea that a woman must be lady-like and feminine. The importance of physical appearance is essential and it shows through pageants such as the Miss Venezuela.

Currently, Venezuela holds the most pageant titles combining Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International and Miss World crowns. They all add up to 22 titles for the South American country. Venezuela also holds the record of being the only country to have won the Miss Universe pageant “back-to-back.” In 2009, Dayana Mendoza, crowned her successor Stefania Fernandez, making Venezuela the only country that has two consecutive Miss Universe titles.

 

People were definitely happy about the back-to-back for Venezuela.

In my next post, I’ll be talking about my favorite looks from Paris Fashion Week, which is coming up next week. Stay tuned!