Another Man: Personal Favorites

If you haven’t been living under a rock you’ll know that recently the English publication Another Man magazine came out with an issue entirely dedicated to the one and only Harry Styles, and it caused a stir to say the least. As he is my all time favorite celebrity/human being ever, it was amazing to see the plethora of beautiful images that were featured, as well as the unique and eclectic nature of the magazine itself. I had never heard of Another Man until now, but like many others I would imagine, this has made me infinitely more aware not only of the magazine but of my own personal style in general. However, one of my favorite portions of the issue was The Harry Styles Archive which shows a collection of Harry’s treasured possessions. There was something incredibly intimate and fascinating about this concept, and I immediately thought about doing something similar until I realized, “Oh wait, who would actually care about seeing my favorite things?” But thankfully, the amazing Cara and Caitlin from the podcast Talk Direction swooped in and saved the day, saying that they would love to see their listeners do their own version of this. I was so happy that they were just as enthusiastic about this idea as me, and it conveniently gave me an excuse to be self indulgent, sentimental, and artsy, which are three things I’m always up for! So without any further ado, here are my personal favorites…

“And then the moon, like to a silver bow/ New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night.” ~ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favorite work of Shakespeare’s, and this is my favorite quote from the entire play (which not too many people recognize because it really isn’t that pertinent to the play). But it’s my favorite because the language itself is so beautiful, and I absolutely love moon and night imagery. It’s pure loveliness and celestial linguistic beauty, and whenever I read it I feel drowsy and happy.

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Solène Chevaleyre Painting

This slightly crooked picture is a print out of a painting done by Solène Chevaleyre, a French artist who I found on Tumblr a while back and has made some of the most stunning work I’ve ever seen. To me it stylistically looks like Disney concept art, which automatically makes it feel familiar and comforting. The colors in this piece are so rich and enveloping, and it reminds me a lot of the view outside my window at home so the image is like having a piece of home with me.

ASOS Black and ‘Bowie’ Shoes

These two pairs of shoes are my pride and joy. The black ones are the perfect height for me – as I’m already pretty tall and not uber-skilled in walking in heels – and I love how simple and cool they are. They’re also pretty comfortable, which is always a bonus. I feel like they were one of first catalysts to me developing the casually rocky, edgier style I have now, so I definitely have an affection towards them.

The blue suede one’s are probably the coolest things I own, and I often worry about wearing them because I know I’ll never forgive myself if I get them dirty! They’re special to me not only because they’re so majestic, but because of the significance behind them. I received these in the mail literally the day before David Bowie died, and it was so weird that I had gotten this pair of shoes that immediately made me think of his spacey, out of this world style, and then the next day he was gone. I love these shoes and what they represent to me. They remind me of Bowie and of his most important message, which to me is to be as strange and daring and yourself as possible. I always feel different when I wear them, which I guess is to say I feel a little more like him.

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Leather Jacket

What can I say, I’m a rock ‘n’ roll wannabe. I love anything black and leather. But I especially love leather jackets because they look good with anything and they’re easily accessible at most stores. This was a purchase that occurred by accident, as I wasn’t looking for anything for myself that day, but when I tried it on it fit perfectly and was, shockingly, only $20! So thank you Target for your amazing deals and for spectacular jackets that make me look a million times cooler than I ever had before. This is my favorite jacket I’ve ever owned for sure.

Vinyls

I just started getting into vinyl at the end of last year, and now I’m obsessed. My collection isn’t vast by any means, but I’m thrilled and very proud at what I have so far! The Joplin record was one of the first vinyl’s I ever bought; she’s an absolute icon, and her voice is perfect for the crackly nuances of vinyl. Jimi Hendrix is an absolute all time forever favorite for me, and it was only fitting that I began my Hendrix collection with where it all started, the Are You Experienced? record.

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Speaking of Bowie! One of the most essential albums in the history of music. I’ve had that poster for ages, and now I’m happy to have the vinyl version.

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Now this is legitimately one of the greatest things I own, especially because of how rare this particular vinyl is. I got it from Norway (shout out to my familial motherland) because I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it in a store anywhere. The Runaways are one of my favorite bands, and Live in Japan this is one of my favorite albums I’ve ever come across. Their story as a group is a hard one, as it holds many of the struggles that come with being females in a male dominated sphere, but in Japan they were treated like the rockstars that they were. This is a perfect rock album, and one of the most important. There is nothing more punk rock that women who don’t give a fuck, and listening to them shred and kill, still merely in their teens, empowers me all the time.

Mug and Sketch Book

One of my very good friends got me these, and I treasure them both. He got me the mug when he went to visit family in Ireland, and it’s basically the only mug I use. It’s a quirky, boxy shape and I always think of him when I use it. The sketch book was a repayment for picking up his dinner tab, and it was so oddly affordable that I was like, “Yo dude, forget paying me back in cash, just get me this.” And he was like, “Done.” It’s absolutely gorgeous and I only ever draw in it if I really know what I’m going to do. Some things just aren’t meant to be gone through casually. It replicates Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” which I have come across periodically throughout my life and have always thought it was a powerful image. The shiny, metallic sheen of the sketch book makes the wave look strangely more alive. I love it a lot.

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Female Symbol Necklace

I’m really not much of a jewelry person. I’ve always been playfully chided at formal family events by my aunt for never wearing accessories, but in all earnestness I never feel the need to have any. Not to mention that I get incredibly distracted by them. I fiddle with them, take them off and on, bite at them, and I eventually lose them all anyway, so after a while I just stopped bothering. But this necklace has stayed with me, and it’s the only accessory that’s ever really felt natural on me. The second I realized what it looked like I had to get it. I’m incredibly proud to be a woman, and though these symbols are arbitrary, I liked the idea of showcasing my womanhood in a physical, tangible way. There’s a badass, feminist aura that emanates from this minimalist piece of jewelry that makes me grab for it over and over again. It’s very strong and sharp too, so in a way it feels like a secret weapon.

Favorite Quotes

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~ Socrates

“The centaurs were invited too, for though wild and lawless, they were nonetheless distant relatives.” ~ D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths

“One regret, dear world,
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
Is that
I did not kiss you enough.” 
~ Hafiz of Persia 

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Books

Books are a huge part of my life, as words can affect me more than anything else. If I read something that moves me I never forget it. Here are four of my favorite novels that I’ve collected over the years.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling has been a part of my childhood since I was about 10 years old, and though some people may brush it off as that weird fantasy series obsessively consumed by avid Millennials, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was an incredibly formative force in my life. It was one of the first books that broadened my imagination in a way that was, dare I say, magical. The characters felt so real, magic seemed entirely plausible, and Hogwarts felt like a second home. To me Harry Potter wasn’t just a fabricated entity, he was a person that was truly a friend and hero. And if I’m honest with you, he still is. 

F**k by Rufus Lodge is basically the articulated history of the word ‘fuck,’ and it’s undeniably one of the most childishly satisfying possessions of my earthly existence. I mean, come on. It doesn’t get any better than this. My favorite word, explored in so many different ways. This is a book that deserves to be in Oprah’s Book Club selection, if I do say so myself, and anyone who disagrees is just deluding themselves.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman was recommended to me by a friend a couple years ago and it quickly became one of my all time favorites. It’s funny, philosophical, irreverent, spiritual, mystical, apocalyptic, and contains the line “The Earth’s a Libra,” which instantly makes it genius literature in my eyes. The relationship between the original angel and demon, Aziraphale and Crowley, though, is what really makes this novel as special as it is. They’ve known each other literally forever, and though they’re supposed to be mortal enemies, they basically have the understanding that if they’re going to be around until the End Times, they might as well be friends. They both bond over the fact that they hate their leaders, capital G-od and the ol’ Devil, for inevitably planning to destroy the world, because they both quite like living in the human world. Aziraphale likes sushi and books too much, and Crowley likes his car. It’s brilliant.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse has been one of, if not the most powerful book I’ve ever read since I was 15 years old. It makes me cry every time I read it. There’s so much that resonates with me. I am not a religious person, but I would definitely describe this book as a spiritual awakening. I found things I really needed in this book, and it showed me a lot of the things I had already felt deep in my heart. Now, if you’re not someone whose interested in ‘spirituality,’ or deep philosophical questions like, “What is truly fulfilling? How does one acquire inner, lasting peace? Is there a way to love infinitely and all-knowingly, or am I bound to the limitations and soul shackles of my human ego?” then this probably isn’t your thing. But for me, it’s been life altering and exceedingly enriching. (And though it seems like a crazy coincidence, no, I didn’t copy Harry… If anything he copied me!).

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Birth of Venus

This is, above all, my proudest artistic achievement thus far. As pretentious as it sounds, I sometimes look at it and marvel at all the different pieces that it took to make it, because there are a lot of them. My recreation of The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is done entirely out of colored duct tape, and boy did it take a long time to finish! I did this Junior year of high school, and when my teacher told the class that we were going to make an art piece on a piece cardboard out of duct tape, I thought he was going senile. But it ended up being a great experience learning how to create in a completely new way, and I’m glad that I did what I wanted to do. ‘Cause quite honestly, I’m not a super creative drawer. I can’t draw from memory or from imagination, I can’t create elaborate scenes with just my mind’s eye, I have to look at something. I have to be able to look at it and study it in order to put it to paper, so I knew that I wanted to do my project in honor of another piece of artwork.

I was nervous though, I didn’t know right off the bat what I wanted to depict, and technically everyone was supposed to think of their own design. I started frantically looking around the room at other people’s developing ideas, when I saw on the wall above the door a laminated print out of The Birth of Venus, and a nearly audible click sounded off in my brain. And since we were supposed to do two sides that made a continuous piece, I was initially going to do a pop art version of the same image circa Andy Warhol era, but it took me so damn long to do the original, I ran out of time and simply continued the ocean line and made some more flowers for the the other cardboard half.

What I like about this is that it’s not perfect. I didn’t use the tape correctly, I cut it into chunks instead of having them be long and uniform (which would have made it 10 times easier), making it look like a stained glass window instead of a neat, cohesively formulated image. I kind of like it that way though. In broad daylight the face is especially piece-y looking, but it shows just how much meticulous detail and work went into it. I’m genuinely proud of it, and I couldn’t imagine my room without my Venus lady.

 

Hopefully this wasn’t too long winded, but I really loved how the magazine constructed the personal archives and I wanted to recreate it as accurately as possible! It made me realize how important these things really are to me, and it would be great to see other people doing it too! I’ll also be posting a part 2 with my ‘Top 10 Songs of All Time’ playlist at some point, even if it is emotionally and psychologically taxing. But, hey, if Harry can do it, I can do it!

Here’s my info:

Twitter: @VeronicaBrevik (x)  Instagram: @veronicabrevik (x)

Email: brevikbanter@gmail.com

And go check out Talk Direction as well if you’ve been looking around for some prime 1D fandom content! Cara and Caitlin are the absolute best, and it would be awesome if more people went and supported them! I’ll link their Twitter here (x) which has the links to the rest of their social media platforms!

* The banner is the paper bag I got the first time I went vinyl shopping. It has a stamped print of the album “Physical Graffiti,” by Led Zeppelin and it’s most likely going to be the coolest bag I’ll ever receive for free.

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