Running with Seam Rippers

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So, it’s that time of year when everyone is walking around in a coat (except for you warmer climate readers ::glares::)…which means I’m confronted every.single.day with one of my huge pet peeves:

People who leave the tacking in on the vents of their coat. (Of course, this pertains to many jackets (suit or not) and pleated, slit and vented skirts. This applies to both men and women. I have seen it all.)

For whatever reason, I can’t not notice this and every single time I want to run up to the person in question and let them know they ought to take that little “X” stitch out. That it’s a temporary stitch, meant to keep the garment in question all nice and neat while in production, in transport, hanging up the store and then hanging on your body when you try it on and strike a pose in the mirror.

Since I can’t figure out the right way one ought to make such a suggestion, and since it would probably be even more strange of me to dash over to them with a little pair of scissors and yank it off whilst emitting a small squeal of glee, I’ve wound up scooting around behind them trying to snap a picture of the sartorial mishap. Sometimes this works better than others.

Onward!

Some of these tacks are just temporarily meant to hold a vent together. The vent’s presence in your garment is intended  to allow for movement and comfort while wearing – dashing around, sitting up and sitting down, striding down the street and up and down steps. Kind of like a slit in a tight skirt (where, ahem, I’ve also seen some ladies leave in those little “X” tacks), they allow for a wider range of motion in an otherwise somewhat constricting garment.

When you don’t take this tack out, the coat/jacket/skirt will wind up bunching and gapping in a strange way when you move. It can be kind of hard to capture on camera, but trust me, it’s there. SO very there. Take that “X” out and rock that sophisticated coat.

Some of the tacks are also holding down pleats that are usually intended for both aesthetic AND movement purposes. When you don’t take the tacks out, something like what’s going on in the picture above happens. A chic, fun, kick-y feature of the coat now looks, well….awkward…to say the least. Even more awkward in a skirt/dress. Move freely and let that coat/skirt/dress swing around you as it was intended. Pretty pretty please. With a cherry on top.

Additionally, the pockets in some jackets – especially those of suits – and some pants as well, come tacked closed. If you can fit a finger in there, notice the stitching is pretty loose and can feel a pocket pouch, it’s safe to say that you can take those stitches out. Personally, I’ve plucked them out with my fingers, but you can also use scissors or seam rippers.

Ask my former roommate how excited I was when, after I told him about these little mishaps, he let me inspect and take out the tacking in a nice corduroy blazer of his. I was jazzed. Very, very.

What can I say, I’m easily (or dork-ily) amused.

Now, go check your coats, jackets, pants, skirt and dresses and save a girl a little anxiety.

Screw the Sparkles

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It’s not uncommon for me to joke about kind of wanting to have a sparkle-y tiara. Now, I don’t know about you, but I gave up my princess ambitions long ago; I do I think, however,  it would be a fun thing to have around when feeling blue. Because when life is getting you down, wouldn’t it be awesome to be  have sparkle-y pretty jewel perched atop your head around the house? Or is it just me?

ANYWAY. I’m not feeling so hot today… I’m hoping it’s just a mean case of allergies to who-knows-what, but it’s looking pretty possible that it’s a cold. Blarg. You would think that I’d be in-my-mind reaching for that aforementioned tiara….but, as it turns out, these pom-pom tiara-y headpieces I spotted over on Style Bubble‘s coverage of Cats and Brothers clothing collection managed to make me crack a grin (at least on the inside – the outside may’ve been stuck on some kind of light pout).

Yeah, the clothes are pretty rad (loving the above sweater muchly), but it’s the pom-poms that seem to really grab my attention. They’re making me sad that I seem to have everything BUT a bunch of pom-poms hanging around my apartment, because you can bet your bottom that my grumpy self is actually itching to try my hand at making one of my own.

Screw the sparkles – I want to top my head with bunches of pom-poms.

Pale Blue Dot

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I know that this fantastic short animated video by ORDER which brings the words of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot monologue to life is currently careening around the web, but I thought it was worth a share regardless. Sagan‘s original speech was inspired by a photograph taken of the Earth in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

It was taken from a record distance of around 3.7 billion miles from Earth.

Great as the animation is, it’s only a portion of Sagan’s piece. Here is “Pale Blue Dot” in its entirety:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, 1997 reprint

Love space? Check out NASA’s instagram feed, here.

Getting Inky

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I first spotted Shane McAdams’ work a few years ago and became immediately enamored with his use of the drippy, exploded ink of everyday ballpoint pens. The images were filed away in my brain (this was, after all, before Pinterist) and I went on with my internet hithering and thithering, with McAdams’ lush, colorful work crossing my mind every once in a while when I spotted some other variety of pen ink related art.

And then!

New York Fashion Week happened (yay!) and then London started up, and found myself perusing the goodies that fashion week brings. Always a fan of Matthew Williamson‘s fantastic prints and patterns, I checked on his show as soon as it went up on Style.com. From the very first look, I noticed something familiar:

I knew I recognized the drippy inky prints, but I couldn’t recall the name or place of where I’d seen it; luckily, I’m a fantastic google-er. Soon enough, I realized that it was none other than Shane McAdams’, and it all clicked.

At first, I thought I had stumbled upon some super-sneaky/shady “inspiration.” I was all ready to pop up and break some “Caught ya!” news….

Pretty swiftly though, I found Matthew Williamson’s Facebook Page, where they listed McAdams’ work as an inspiration for the collection and also a collaborator. A very good thing which has been noted in much of the press regarding the show.

For this, the collection’s 15th year, Williamson referenced his early years as a designer and the enduring inspiration he’s found in India.

It is the colorful Holi Festival that the Spring 2013 collection looks to, incorporating McAdams’ colorful ink explosions to mimic the colored powders thrown during the festival, along with landscapes of Kerala and Tibet.

Some of McAdam’s prints appear to have been used mostly as is – art  translated beautifully to fabric –  while other fashions were adapted from multiple pieces and amended landscapes alterations. There’s no question, though, that they served as color and flow inspiration.

Personally, I loved it. And I’m kind of wondering if some precise-drippy ink DIYs will be popping up around the interwebs. Hmmm.

That’s So Meta

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You might remember how a few year’s ago I mentioned my perusals of Craigslist’s Missed Connection section and Sophie Blackall’s illustrated depictions of select postings (she’s gotten a lot of attention since then – including a book).

I still check out the section from time to time and a few weeks ago I noticed the above post. A missed connection about a girl carrying a missed connection bag?! Brilliant! Of course, my curiosity was immediately piqued in regards to this mysterious bag and I dove into the internet intent to dig it up. And I did!

The bags are made by Oh Deer Dry Goods and they seem to have sold out in the few weeks since I saw, saved and am now posting about them. Sad face. Still, I think it’d be kind of The Ultimate if they whipped up bags with the missed connection referencing them. Really and truly. Especially if someone then posted a missed connection referencing THAT bag. Meta meta meta.

Alas, though I feel like a goof for having saved the Craigslist post and the bags weeks ago and am only now getting blogify them  (better late than never?), it turns out that in the interim Oh Deer Dry Good’s have listed some missed connection tank tops that’ll be on sale soon. So, it’s not a total loss, amiright?

Mod Walls

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If you’re interested in fashion history, you might know that the 1960′s produced a legion of paper dresses. I stumbled upon these gorgeous 1968 examples up for sale on 1stdibs while I was browsing vintage eye-candy indoors, doing my best to stay cool on this oh-so-sweltering hot day.

Oh course, these made my heart beat a little faster.

Designer Harry Gordon created these Poster Dresses out of 75% rayon and 25% nylon and though not truly paper, it was recommended that you not was wash them. Clearly a man after my own heart, the packages to these stunners advised:

“Toughness is woven into the non-woven fabric for long, l-o-n-g wear, and should you tire (which is doubtful), just cut open all the seams and hang it on your wall as a poster, or cover pillows.”

Now, I’ve long been a fan of hanging my dresses – especially vintage ones – up on my walls or in my windows. They certainly qualify as art, in my humble opinion, in addition to a piece of fashion and cultural history; and so, my closet, dress rack and drawers tend to overflow with vintage pieces I don’t frequently wear and yet can’t bear to give up. I consider them my small but growing “costume history collection”. It’s a totally valid method to my vintage hoarding madness, of course. So, yes, when I spotted these lovelies online for sale I agreed  wholeheartedly with the seller that, decked out in frames, they’d make killer pieces for your walls. Kind of like these vintage swimsuits showcased by DeCesare Design.

Though the Poster Dresses were originally sold in 1968 for $2.98 by the USA importer “Madison House”, today they cost a wholllleeeee lot more, so I’m betting that this complete addition is very, very, very out of my budget. Sigh. Nonetheless, they’re amazing and hanging them up on your walls is a perfect homage to these pieces.  I suspect, however, that if someone redid these in something like a lovely silk, they’d make quite a killing on the fashion front even today.

Get on it, fashion industry.

A Solid Soul & the Blood I Bleed

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I spent the evening of my 28th birthday in an airport. And then, after a multitude of delays, on a plane bound back to NYC after visting my family in South Florida for Thanksgiving. Way back in September when the flight arrangements were made, I will concede that I chuckled to myself about how I would be literally “up in the air” as I gained an official year in age; as I officially hit my late twenties; as I realized that I was now a scant two years away from the big 3-0 (yikes). The sentiment felt particularly relevant because, really, how many times in the past year – or years for that matter – has my life felt up in the air? I’d have to say that the answer would be too many to count.

It’s not uncommon for me to ponder every year as my birthday draws near this question: what have I accomplished? (Perhaps everyone does this? Or maybe they just wait until New Year’s. Ha). Anyway, for the past few years, I’ve felt somewhat stumped. It didn’t matter whether I was working or not (or how much), or how much money I made, or whether or not I was in a relationship or in love, etc. No matter what those answers were, I still somehow felt something was missing. I knew it and felt it in my bones. And because I’ve always tended to be an analytical, over-achieving, perfectionist person who really, really loves to understand and fix things, I’ve found myself digging away for years trying to figure out what that was and remedy it. It’s been a long, long process and I’m sure it’s not over yet (because you can never be done growing), but I am grateful and quietly proud and ecstatic that this year, my 27th year old life, I accomplished something.

So. I figure you can look at the evening of my birthday two ways: 1.) I (and my life) was up in the air or 2.) I was flying. Perhaps I was both at the same time. And just maybe that’s okay, because the thing I got back was Peace. Which sounds hokey and cheesy I know, but while I had always realized that I had a few “issues” to work through – hell, we all do – I hadn’t realized quite how deeply the things that happened to be in my past ran through me and how much they had affected me and the way I lived.

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