September 29, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes*

 




thrifted blazer // vintage blouse from The Loved One // Opening Ceremony skirt // vintage flats // vintage bag

Rachel snapped these after a much-needed breakfast date where we caught each other up on all the new developments in our lives. The past two years were undoubtedly comprised of both the highest highs and the lowest lows, but as I work on focusing my efforts without harshing my gig, the peaks and valleys are gradually being worn into some sort of navigable middleground. Hell, upper-middle ground.

***

On a lighter note, how weird is this purse?! I'm not really into bags; I would like to have just one or two purses that go with everything I own. That's a tall order, given the frenzy of my wardrobe, but this thing just might help me get there. The blue faux-fur and white leather is so weird, it doesn't go with anything... which is why it goes with everything. I got the blouse from The Loved One shop in Pasadena. I make it a point to stop by whenever I'm in southern California, and it never disappoints (even though my last visit was marred by the fact that my parents' dog ATE my starfish brooch)—it seems they manage to squeeze more and more incredible vintage into the tiny space every time I go.

*for the record, although the title is a reference to the David Bowie song, Black Sabbath's "Changes" is by far the superior tune; and the best song for lying around and having feelings.

September 24, 2012

Outtakes






thrifted 60s cardigan and crop top // 90s denim skirt // vintage Ferragamo flats
Here are some outtakes from a little guest post I did over at the Hummingbird Girls blog. I was nervous about delivering a quality product and took way too many photos, felt super ugly for no reason, nearly cried out of frustration, took a break to get coffee, and then everything turned out just fine.

My blog-picture-taking process is pretty organic; if I feel cute that day, I'll take some photos. Sometimes I realize that I haven't posted in weeks and think maybe I should brush my teeth today... and take blog photos. But having do it for someone else just, I don't know, flipped some switch in my brain and cranked the neuroses up to 11. I can't imagine the pressure of actually getting paid to do this. Oh my god these suck, my camera is a piece of shit, why did I think I could get away with wearing a crop top, yadda yadda yadda, I'm going to eat this fern. 

If you can mentally place yourself outside of the situation, even just for second, the sheer absurdity of it is enough to laugh, shake your head, and wrap it up. Make no mistake, being comfortable in front of a camera is totally a skill and there's no real shortcuts to making it happen, but that doesn't stop me from trying. The most useless sound-byte blogging advice I hear mindlessly regurgitated ad infinitum is post original content, and just be yourself! Ooooh just be yourself? What does that even mean? How am I not myself? Do you want photos of me picking a wedgie? Wringing my hands in front of a blank GoogleDoc when I have a deadline in a few hours? Because that's me. Yeah.

Style blogging isn't all that strange; it just tends to throw into relief the balance that anyone tries to strike in their every day; putting forward some version of oneself that is once authentic yet palatable.

The varying degrees of failure to accomplish this is what makes anyone truly interesting.


September 20, 2012

New York, part 4 - The Met









After Fashion Week officially ended and the party girls went back to their respective corners of the country, I spent two whole days at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wandered for hours at a time, taking hundreds of photos for reference, and still probably only saw about ten percent of their galleries. The highlight by far was being able to preview the Regarding Warhol exhibit—it opened to the public just this week. Go, and try to make some sense of the last half of the 20th century.

I don't what it is about being in a new city that makes everything hyper-emotional; I cried like three times in the museum. At one of the San Francisco art fairs earlier this year, a group of actors staged various emotional / physical responses to art works throughout at the fair as part of a larger performance piece about extreme reactions to art. I thought it seemed very smug and romantic at the time, but there is something about seeing a work of art in person that you had already decided to love when it was nothing more to you than a photograph in a book that is completely overwhelming. I'm sure I looked crazy, standing alone and weeping before a seemingly innocuous pile of candy, but in that moment I truly did not care. Maybe the other patrons mistook it for a performance.

September 15, 2012

New York, part 3 - William Okpo







Lizzy and Darlene Okpo named their clothing line after their father, with a mission of exploring and paying homage to the way their parents mixed American influences with their Nigerian roots. I wish I knew the specific idea behind the spring '13 collection, because the displays of oranges and astroturf the models posed on reminded me of Southern California more than anything else. The clothes themselves were pretty, basic, and not too precious. Lots of collars—peter pan and otherwise—and short fitted things that I liked (cf. chambray crop top with grommets and lacing GET AT ME); but also baggier silhouettes and more masculine shapes, things that that might look strange on the rack but are very cooler-than-thou when thrown on with clashing sandals or brogues (cf. disaffected shop girls hunched over laptops). The stiffness of the fabrics made even the draped silhouettes seem open and geometric, creating the kind of airy look that is perfect for warm weather but might require some serious thought when it comes to underwear (cf. the romper above HOW'S THE BREEZE?)

The clear vinyl laceups really stole the show—the line would just not have looked as cool if everything was styled with cute heels or quelque chose comme ça. Everyone was freaking out and taking tons of pictures. Apparently these velskoen (a predecessor to the modern desert boot) are a collaboration between Okpo and the Nambian shoemaker Herbert Schier. I know from personal experience that vinyl footwear can make your toes feel like melting Rolos rubbing together, but the plastic shoe trend seems to going on for another season, so I'll be contemplating socks as well...

September 14, 2012

New York, part 2 - Brooklyn Laydeez

Kater and Emily - I'm a big advocate for dappled sunlight


You can't really see the pins, but there's a car, Mike Tyson, naked lady icon, and a bug of some sort // notebook where I take important big girl notes about art and stuff
thrifted sweater top // vintage tie-skirt // vintage Ferragamo flats
There's no wifi in the apartment I'm staying in, so every time I want to make I post I have to buy a coffee or juice or sandwich at the coffeeshop 'round the corner.... I'm actually okay with that. I wish I could pay AT&T in sandwiches each month (there could be a scale; grilled chicken breast and pesto on ciabatta bread for hi-speed, hot wet PBJ for dial-up). These were taken on our way to visit Nina of Family Affairs (more on that later, in the meanwhile you can check out Kater's post).

I packed horribly for this trip. Emily told me before I left that it was "warm" and I "didn't need" a jacket, but I'm too used to Bay Area weather tricking me at the last minute and brought some sweaters and little jackets, making me stuck with trying to pitch pit stains as bohemian trend for spring. This jobbbie was short-sleeved, so it wasn't so hot. The tie-skirt is a super-mega find. I must have had a Trader Joe's bag full of ties rotting in the corner of my room for years, thinking I would eventually get around to learning how to make a skirt out of them, until I found this perfect, short, a-line one at a vintage store in Los Angeles for eighteen bucks. You can't see it from these angles, but one of the ties is a Tabasco-themed. I treat Tabasco like Visine, so clearly there were higher forces at work. 

September 10, 2012

New York, part 1 - "I didn't come here to make friends" (yes I did)


packing in Philly
from Emily's instagram

 
from Liz's instagram - vintage t-shirt // PixieMarket skirt // ASOS sunglasses

Yesterday was one of THE longest days in my entire life. These photos barely show the half of it. I woke up at 6am at the Embassy Suites in Central Philadelphia (small detour, long story) surrounded by some half-finished French homework, remains of room-service chicken fingers (with four types of sauces because I'm a baller), and tons of towels because when I stay in hotels I like wasting towels. After dining at worst breakfast buffet I've ever had, complements of TGIFridays, I hopped on a bus to New York City, unwisely wearing the black vinyl skirt you see in the first photos.

Two trains and one unavoidable swampbutt later, I arrived relatively unscathed at the doorstep of my awesomely gracious host Emily. I barely had time to settle in with her an my and fellow guest Kater (who are both very weird and fun and cool, but don't tell them I told you) before the three of us trotted off to the Third Annual Blogger Picnic. I was like my Google reader came to life! This is really the reason why I blog—truth be told I'm still not completely comfortable in my skin and don't like the way I look in pretty much any photo, but connecting with other ladies all the way across the country who share my weird affinity for vintage clothes (and books and movies and a bunch of other stuff, turns out) is really fucking cool. Stepping into a new city and instantly feeling like you have a group of friends is truly amazing. 

(Ok I'll stop tucking now).

I ducked out of the picnic early to attend a presentation in Soho, then met up with the girls at the reading for Rookie's Yearbook One, which was very packed and crazy-go-nuts, but I got to catch up with more cool peep-holes that I don't get to see very often (looking at you, Rie). The book arrived at my house from Amazon right before I left, but I didn't want to pack and smoosh it. Just as an artifact of print, it's a really beautiful thing. I don't even want to use the stickers and paper crown and flexi disc insert because I want to preserve it as a whole... like those assholes who collect toys just to keep them in the box on a shelf. It may not appreciate in monetary value, but it will appreciate in sentimental value (gross).  Liz made us all an amazing pasta dinner at her apartment afterward, where we talked and drank beers until that special time of night when you make a beeline for the subway station, purse clutched tightly in hand.

There were a lot of weirdos out; ourselves included.






September 7, 2012

Guerillas and Bullets

I know I mention the mister a lot, and I figure this thingadoo offers a much better glimpse of what he does than anything I could write here ("he draws"). Bullet Media produced this video of Sterling and our friend Brendan Donnelly preparing for an art show that took place in Los Angeles back in June—the camera guy's equipment barely fit in our tiny apartment! You can see those bookshelves I always pose in front of, as well as the taco truck from hell.



Guerilla 24 and Bullett present Brendan Donnelly // Sterling Bartlett "ARTIST PROFILE" from BULLETT MEDIA on Vimeo.

By the time you read this, I'll probably be on my way to New York—partly to catch some events at the tail end NYFW, partly to spend a copious amount of time in museums and galleries, stuffing my brain with art. I'll be sure to post plenty of outfits and junk from what is sure to be a series of social missteps and aesthetic misunderstandings.

Peace!

September 4, 2012

She's Having Her "Dot"*






thrifted t-shirt, shorts, and Docs // Marc Jacobs jacket // "Psychedelic Fleurs" necklace c/o ViviDot
This is what I wore out to have a Romantic Dinner with my boyfriend in Chinatown yesterday. The lovely Lily from ViviDot sent me this necklace, and after accidentally being placed in my neighbor's mailbox for a week or so I finally got to put it around my neck. I rarely get excited over jewelry, but I'd never seen anything like this. I dig the weird shape of the pendant and Peter Max-like print of the fabric, and got tons of compliments on it while I was out.

I'm sure dots are due for another resurgence this fall—thanks in part to all this LV + Kusama business—but I like that the dot here is a unit of construction and not merely part of a pattern. ViviDot designs are all made from standard one-inch pinbacks ingeniously and thoughtfully assembled (I wish I had taken a picture of the back of the necklace - the dots are backed by a thin, laser-cut piece of wood that gives it a nice weight). I had a pinpack machine in high school, but I never thought of doing anything so creative with them; we mostly made pins printed with inside jokes and quotes from Amélie. Now my mind is reeling. Like... I want a chainmail-style dress made out of these.

*this is a Tom Robbins reference. Do you know where it's from?