It’s not always easy to locate the origins of The Discourse. Terms like “intention,” “doing the work” and “unlearning” might be on-trend vocabulary now. On trend for whom? Angelenos wonder. These aren’t just pedagogical buzzwords in L.A.; they’re how we make it home.
Ask any person who has attempted to get off the 10 at Hoover or Vermont, or tried not getting stuck going to San Pedro, what happens when you do so without intention. (You miss the exit.) “Doing the work” is top of mind as we glance at organizers offering free phone charges to unhoused people while the luxury towers cast shade over Little Toyko; it’s what we think about walking past some neighbors sweeping aside the unattended nails loitering in the middle of Wilshire. The people of L.A. know what it takes to reveal beauty: unlearning the many stages of fugazi that created the eyesores in the first place.
The beauty of L.A. is intuitive. We get credit around the world for what’s above the hood but here, beauty is just as much about feeling as it is about looks. What moves us is having some skin in the game. The pushes, pulls, pokes are really just signs that love can hurt so good. Beauty punctures — and we would have it no other way. We seek out that space of vulnerability; the search for where beauty resides is a shared experience. Angelenos are proselytizers of process. Our desire to reveal beauty moves us, bonds us, empowers us to be accountable to its promise. We know what could be. So we use our imaginations; in our mind’s eye our beloved city looks like it does in our dreams.
Issue 5 is titled “Reverence.” Your warm embrace has arrived in the form of art, stories, conversations — tender hugs from L.A.'s very own. Julissa James bears witness to the humanity contained in the faces of loved ones drawn on bodies by some of the best portrait artists around. Jean Chen Ho mines the rawness of loss in the form of a thirst trap. Mr. Wash shares his gift of empathy with AJ Girard. Taylor Renee Aldridge talks to Texas Isaiah about the photographer’s “ability to evidence parts of ourselves that we don’t know or intentionally conceal.”
Seeing, thinking about or creating beauty begins from a place of deep respect, love. Los Angeles has been doing the work. It’s time The Discourse took an intentional westward turn.
Ian F. Blair
Editor in chief
Tattoo their name on your body if you love them. Get their face if you really careArtists Nikko Hurtado, Arlene Salinas and Steve Butcher take you inside one of the most intimate energy exchanges in the world: tattoo portraitureRead the story ✍️
Grieving via thirst trapsCan posting a photo of myself on Instagram wearing a triangle top string bikini help process the nothingness of loss?Read the story 🥀
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Issue 5: ReverenceOrder now
What am I supposed to do with my sideburns? Feel no shame and style them as you wishWhether shaped up, slicked down and swooped, braided or gelled down and brushed, the world’s most neglected hairline deserves to be seenRead the story 👱🏿♀️
Don’t block your blessings, cis straight men. Embrace the beauty of skirtsTo figure out what it means to be beautiful, you must banish the fear from your brainRead the story 👗
Texas Isaiah is reimagining photography’s capacity to reveal what we know on the insidePhoto art doesn’t have to perpetuate visual violence. There's possibility to be found in a more mutual exchangeRead the story ☁️
Keep this L.A. bodybuilder in mind the next time you flex in front of the mirrorCan a body actually turn into a marble statue? Ajay Holbrook will show you howRead the story 💪🏽
Your hands deserve the beauty of airbrushed nails. Tell this L.A. artist we sent youLila Robles is one of the most celebrated nail artists on the internet. You’ll leave her Highland Park studio feeling nostalgic and fiiiiiiiiiiiineRead the story 💅🏾
See if you can count the multitudes in these self-portraits by Clifford Prince KingUnpacking the layers of the self never looked so tenderRead the story 🪞
This L.A. beauty and hair-care guru is rearranging the industry in her imageEntrepreneur Nyakio Grieco, leader of the beauty and hair-care vanguard, knows what’s nextRead the story 💆🏾♀️
Styling Myself: Rhuigi VillaseñorA new American dream is on the horizon. This streetwear visionary sees a Rhude futureRead the story 🌅
7 mandatory cozy items for those cold autumn nights out in L.A. with no heat lampsFrom From Zegna’s Pure Cashmere Overshirt to Esquivel’s Jolene boots, you’ll be ready for those cold fall nights out in the cityRead the story 🍷
The Drip Index is here to fill those fall planners with the best L.A. has to offerLooking for the best things to do in L.A.? Try these 12 pop-ups, merch drops, eventsRead the story 🤠
Image MakersA celebration of the L.A. luminaries of style pushing fashion culture and streetwear forward
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Parents are cool!A toast to the myriad ways in which L.A. parents practice the craft of care.
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L.A. — We See You!How to properly remove the blinders? A starting point is sustained looking.
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RemembranceTrue style, after all, is time travel.
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