August 28, 2012

Back to the Grind

Sorry things have been a bit sleepy around here. I just started school and I'm gearing up for a lot of travel during the month of September (including my ten-year high school reunion, which I was very ambivalent about and now I'm just meh about). Some outfit posts are coming up very soon. In the mean time, check out this little Q+A I did with Mandana Towhidy for Vice about her heavy metal coming-of-age novel Arcadia. I totally missed out on the Babysitters' Club / Sweet Valley High thing when I was younger—I was super pretentious and lived by a self-imposed mandate to only read dead authors. Something about how living authors aren't yet subject to the tide of history so there's no real way of knowing if their books are truly great. I think Murakami was the first living author to shake me out of that. Not like, he came to my house and physically shook me (that would have been pretty cool), but... you know.... anyway. I got sucked way into Mandana's book. And it has a soundtrack, for chrissakes. Highly recommended downtime reading.

Okay. Time to hit the books. The other books.

August 25, 2012

August 20, 2012

Treat Yourself

thrifted blouse and cardigan // AA shorts // vintage flats via LadyLikeADove
I found these photos while cleaning up my hard drive - I'm sure I was in some weird mood and wasn't happy with them at the time, but when I found them the other day I thought lookit me, I'm such a cutie pie. I deserve a treat.

School is just around the corner, which means student loans rain down upon me with furious swagger and deceptive visions of doing baller-ass shit. My financial aid always looks generous, but then I remember that it has to last until the end of the year, do some quick calculations, and try my damnedest to stick to a modest budget. When I was living in Los Angeles, working full time and still and struggling to make ends meet, my Dad gave me a bit of really good advice to keep from getting down; he told me that no matter what, on payday I should treat myself, however modestly, to something I couldn't afford to have or do the day before. This indulgence usually takes one of two forms: sitting by myself at a diner with a burger, fries, tall fizzy glass of Coke, and big stack of fashion magazines (not too fancy or otherwise it's not quite unwinding. I usually go for upper-echelon mass market rags from Walgreens like Elle and Teen Vogue. Marie Claire works in a pinch, but never ever, ever Cosmopolitan), or getting a pedicure from a strip mall joint while eating an ice cream cone and reading a book.

I had to settle for a mere "polish-change" the other day because I couldn't quite swing the full pedicure, nor the ice cream. I picked a bright flat blue, the color of those PaperMate pens every medical office seems to have. I settled into my chair and opened my Borges book when the woman doing my nails—who hardly ever addresses clients directly—looked up and said "This color look so pretty on your skin!" I said thank you and turned the bottle over so I could remember to ask for it next time. In tiny letters on a peeling label, it read

"Blue Collar".

August 14, 2012


Some things I'm psyched on lately:

This logo I designed for my portfolio.

The idea of having Tic Tac Toes in every color of the (metallic) rainbow.

These moo cards I had made with my photographs on the back.

This article about Oscar Wilde's short tenure as editor of a fashion magazine.

The prospect of taking a graduate seminar on Nabokov this fall.

What are you excited about lately? Anything? Nothing?

August 11, 2012

See Others, See Yourself

thrifted dress // vintage Escada brogues // navy surplus hat

Jennifer and I had a wonderful broke-lady Oakland day yesterday, getting coffee and cheese rolls from Arizmendi, visiting the Oakland Museum of California (where she took these photos) and finally hitting up the Salvation Army in Chinatown—where we actually walking out empty-handed.

On the subject of hats: berets are always a point of contention with the mister and I because he thinks they look crazy and costumey. Oddly enough, it's the other way around with this sailor hat he bought me. I like it, but I'm afraid it makes me look like one of those women who dresses like a child (and not in the good way, more like a woman who dresses like a child because she's taught grade school for too long and certain cues have leaked into her sartorial subconscious), but he thinks a sailor hat is chill. "What? It's just a hat."


The discrepancy between the way we perceive ourselves and the way others perceive us was a recurring topic of discussion between me and Jenny throughout the day (if you want to talk about smarty sociological stuff, Jenny's your lady. She's got like twenty degrees in women's studies and sexuality studies and...basket making? If I'm not mistaken?) That discrepancy is where the whole shit arena of pop-culture fashion policing exists, Glamour's do's and don'ts, Vice do's and don'ts, do's and don'ts in general... getting flack for an outfit shouldn't matter, but it's hard to not take it personally when one is attached to aesthetics as an extension of one's personality. I think they can be, and I like to think my style is an extension of my personality, but I don't actually hinge anything on it, because the language of clothes is so much more fluid than the language of words. They're signifiers for concepts that may or may not be in agreement with the people out there in the real world, on the streets, who look at me day to day. I might think this sweater or that widget says smart, funny, artistic, ambidextrous, but it just might read as dumb, weird, try-hard, colorblind. And it's no one's fault. Meaning has its own agency that can be completely out of our control and that freaks me out, but there's also a freedom to that kind of helplessness. Can you imagine if your clothes actually did define you? Fuck that.

The point is, of course we all have the right to dress however we want, but the rest of the world has every right to think we look like idiots. And neither party needs to apologize.

August 7, 2012

Anna Piaggi

I remember seeing photos of a crazy-looking old Italian bird in fashion magazines, but didn't know much about Anna Piaggi until V&A did their "Anna Piaggi Fashion-ology" exhibit in 2006. It was then I learned what a real Fashion Person looked like...whatever the fuck they want.

RIP Anna.

August 6, 2012

Stunning Old Lass

from real life is elsewhere

“That’s really why we are photographers: because we love people. The possibilities of expression through the body – its forms and poses and movement – is what really drives a lot of our work. It all has to do with showing how magnificently a human being’s body is made. I always feel like every body is interesting. Everybody’s physical appearance is so unique and endlessly fascinating for me.”
- vinoodh matadin

The names Inez and Vinoodh pop up around nearly every fashion photograph that really strikes me. I love that they don't have a set style. Their work doesn't announce itself the way a Terry Richardson or Juergen Teller photograph does. They shoot everything from highfalutin perfume ads to cheeky editorials (like this one) but there is something consistently very human that is present. Funny, considering they were some of the first to embrace digital technology and manipulation; goes to show you can use Photoshop without making people look like an alien or lollipop. The Business of Fashion blog has a great post that gives an overview of of their career.

August 2, 2012

So Shoe Me

vintage dress and bag // Pleaser shoes
Miss Ashley Miller had the brilliant idea of gathering at Neiman's for high tea on Sunday. The walk from the train wasn't too far, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to wear a special pair of shoes that I purchased from a... well, a house of ill repute while I was in Los Angeles last summer. I thought they were perfect for this golden velvet dress, which is at least three feet longer than most of my dresses. Afterward we waddled home carrying the most dainty food babies you could imagine—a pile teeny weenie sandwiches and cakes may seem innocuous enough at first, but after ten or fifteen they start to get the best of you. Thanks to Annalise for taking these photos; be sure to check out the Hummingbird Girls post for more...!

And speaking of neat things, Vice published the second part of my interview with Dan Clowes. You know you want to go to there.