November 29, 2012

Rain Break

skirt and blouse - thrifted // coat - old UO // boots - TopShop // brooch - vintage

Apologies if these are bit out-of-focus... There was intermittent rain all that day, and Rachel and I had to perch ourselves in the cozy diner across the street from this Out of the Closet (I love the colors of this wall!) waiting for a break so that we could shoot. I'm terrible at dressing for the weather, and humidity makes my carefully flat-ironed bob frizz into a coco puff, but at least I'm wearing waterproof shoes.

These were taken by the Out of the Closet thrift store just a few blocks from my house. Whenever people ask me how the shopping is there, I never know what to say. On any given day the shopping is terrible, but I pop in all the time. I usually find nice things, sometimes amazing the answer is yes and no. I actually hate recommending thrift stores to people. Not because I'm afraid you'll snatch up all the finds, it's actually quite the opposite, because if you go to some thrift store I've raved about and don't find anything I feel bad, like I've somehow wasted your time.

Your trust is very important to me.

November 23, 2012

A Holiday Gift Guide (to Guide You on How to Buy Me Gifts)

I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. My boyfriend and I spent the day in our tiny apartment, watching Freaks and Geeks and cooking a feast just for the two of us. This time last year I was still recovering from surgery after a terrible cancer scare. We didn't really celebrate Thanksgiving, since part of my coping mechanism was to mentally check-out from anything beyond the daily business of life, and in the interest of self-preservation it was a good tactic, but this Thanksgiving I allowed myself the chance to reflect at length upon my disposition. I was working on a very long, heartfelt post about how thankful I am for my health, nay, my very existence at this point; but I was getting so emotional it became difficult to type, and then my boyfriend danced into the bedroom and farted in my coffee. I got insanely mad for a second, then laughed hysterically and deleted the post, because at this point there is nothing more I can say with utter certainty than this: 1) I am alive and 2) I am loved.

That's not to say I don't want to fill my life with cool stuff.

Yeah, I still like stuff, okay? Contrary to popular belief, enduring a life-threatening experience does not automatically make you a better person. I wish it did, but the truth is I'm pretty much the same now as I was before I got sick—I don't float around in monk-like serenity, eschewing the fleeting and material pleasures of this world. If anything, I am resolved celebrate the corporate holiday season with renewed capitalist verve. To that end I have compiled a short list of gifts you are welcome to send my way (my birthday is only a week before Christmas, so double up!)

1) The Smiths Complete Box Set - This is self-explanatory. The Smiths are the glue that holds pretty much every watered-down iteration of Postwar youth subculture together. Everyone I know, no matter their taste in music, has strong feelings about The Smiths. You may love them, you may hate them, but to be indifferent is to inhabit your days as a mere shadow of a human being.

2) Walkable, heeled ankle boots with extraneous design details - The problem with being all ooey-gooey about fashion but not economically privy to owning designer clothes, is that you become hyper-aware of the provenance of appropriated design details in just about every piece of clothing that you actually can afford. These boots are a little Phi, a little Burberry, but not too recognizable as copying any one specific high-end shoe (unless I'm slipping in my old age; please send reference pics if you find any—jk don't do that), and they would go with literally everything I own. A rare feat, indeed.

3) A mother-effing iPad - I am fearful of becoming the kind of person who takes in the world through a screen, but damnit I want an iPad. Sometimes mass-market rags aren't worth having as physical books, and even textbooks are fast disappearing as part of my college experience. More often than not, my professors simply give students a very long list of articles and PDFs to read online. I would love to be able to bring my reading to class, take notes, write papers, complete time-sensitive blog posts and respond to urgent emails with one convenient, terrifying, super-machine that knows everything about me.

4) Nat Sherman Fantasias - If you are yet wanting for inexorable proof that hardship and ill-health can teach you nothing about the sanctity of life: since my surgery, I have tried, twice, to take up smoking again. I don't enjoy it as I once did, but I'm keenly aware that cigarettes are social tools, and am at times powerless in the face of their effectiveness as such. If you've ever been to a party surrounded by unfamiliar faces, you know that the implied intimacy of sharing a cigarette with a stranger can open up a world of possibilities—a one night stand, a new job, a lifelong romance... None of these things will actually happen, ever, but at least the denizens of the smoking patio are obliged to make small talk with one another. A single pack of these super-light, rainbow colored jobbies should be enough to get me through the holiday season. If you see me with one, you can give me a real present by snatching it from my lips and snuffing it underfoot with a disappointed look on your face.

5) Crosley Pictograph 35mm film scanner - This cute little thingy makes high-quality digital images from film negatives and slides. I shoot with 35mm film quite often, so being able to digitize, edit and print photos directly from the negatives will save me at least a few trips to Walgreens, where several of my precious rolls have already been sacrificed to the malevolent spirits that also hold single socks and hair elastics in eternal metaphysical bondage.

6) Anything shaped like a mouth - Burgers, pizza, cats...  I'm not always up on the latest design motif trends, but I am always up for kiss-print clothes, and jewelry in the shape of lips.

7)  M'as Tu Vue by Sophie Calle - I don't remember where I first picked it up, but this is the first art book that spoke to me on a deeply emotional and intellectual level, and I've never had the pleasure of owning it. Sophie Calle makes the business of being alive seem like a mystery to be solved, that identity itself a complicated game at once magical and abject, whose rules can be alternately studied, twisted, or flipped at will. Instead of stifling her confessional, exhibitionist nature, she transforms into art, holding up the idea of feminine pathology to to public scrutiny with far more significant and poetic results, in my opinion, than someone like Tracey Emin. I can only hope that one day my constant barrage of TMI will coalesce in to something even slightly akin to some of the work documented in this book.

There you have it. Now get to work.


November 15, 2012

Weekday Warrior

Joe Fresh shirt // vintage thrifted blazer // thrifted purse // vintage jeans // vintage loafers // vintage cutlery pins
Who knew that my eternal search for the perfect denim pant would end with a pair of jeans from America's finest purveyors of motorcycles and motorcycle parts and motorcycle-related goods and apparel? I find it very funny that these jeans are actually from Harley Davidson, because they're the exact cut I've been looking for: high-waisted with a straight (not flared, not skinny) leg. When rolled up they actually look kind of cute and nerdy.

I picked them out of a stack of old Bongo's and Levi's at Vacation, and even thought they fit wonderfully, I hesitated when I spotted the tag. Fashion's continued appropriation of motorcycle culture is on the verge of critical mass, and I'm sure that I could, in good conscience, participate in its continued proliferation (these are the kinds of abstract notions of dress I try to avoid, but inevitably fall into, thus setting off a temporary paralysis of the fashion-blogging muscle). The moto jacket became a fashion item decades ago, and I consider it a classic, but we're still trying  to come up with ways of be-jazzling to the verge of recognizability. Don't get me wrong, there are amazing and even subversive ways of doing it, I just think we've near exhausted them. Motorcycle culture is still a living, breathing, real-ass thing. I wonder what all of this looks like to them? I guess it doesn't matter. Besides, the only enthusiast anyone would mistake me for in this getup is an antiques enthusiast.

And they wouldn't be mistaken at all.

November 8, 2012

Fruit Salad

Agn├Ęs B shirt // vintage cardigan // thrifted skirt // vintage bag // shoes from Ebay // // photos by Rachel
Hello. Sorry I checked out there for a minute. I was preoccupied with work and doing a bit of mental / emotional / spiritual housekeeping. Taking all of the rumpled ideas I've crammed into the chest of drawers—can't decide if it's a heart or a brain—airing them out, evaluating the moth holes, and for the most part folding them neatly and putting them back where they were. Spraying them with Febreeze and throwing them in the dryer. Issues explored include the role of art and its personal significance to my life, fashion blogging as consumerist pathology, systems of value whose efficacy is based solely on the number of its adherents, and climate change.

Here's some shit I wore a couple of weeks ago.