Monthly Archives: October 2008

That 70’s blouse (what?!)

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I’ve long considered myself a bit of a thrift-shop junkie. From way back in high school when a few of my friends and I would pile into my sea-green Corolla and troll the Goodwills, ThinkThrifts, and Salvation Army’s on a stretch of state road 441 in South Florida; from when I’d wander into my college town antique malls so often that the sales people knew me by name and would call me up when something came in they thought I’d be interested in; to now when I pilgrim (well, hop on the L train) to scour Beacon’s Closet and the other vintage shops in Williamsburg. I’ve got clothing, bags, jewelry, etc from all over the place historically… but it honestly rather surprised me when I found myself drawn to the following items:

You may remember my post on how much I’ve had a tendency to abhor a great many breeds of the serious-clothes strata of apparel, yes? Well, button-ups have Always snuck into this category of distaste – pretty much any kind of button-up. Couple that with the fact that I have never had a huge yen for 70’s apparel (outside of a phase in high school)((and some occasional McClintock Gunne Sax fare)) mostly because once I became more into the art of design I became a bit (to a lot) of a fabric snob. And it’s not uncommon for a lot of clothes from the 1970’s in thrift/vintage shops happen to be in that really crude sort of polyester and other synthetic fabrics that just turn me off touch-wise… Which isn’t to say that sometimes that fabric snob sense can be over-ridden by an otherwise fabulous/interesting design. So, at Beacon’s Closet last week I found myself walking around the store holding these items in front of me thinking, really? Really?! Lurex?!!! I have always – and I do mean always – hated Lurex (ok… maybe it would’ve passed muster in the time period when hippie/flowerchild-kid and glitter-fiend meshed a bit…). Anyway. Generally, so very very not my thing..

So, why did I suddenly found myself SO attracted to these items? Why, did I coast out of that store proudly toting a bag filled with two 70’s era blouses, one of them in a polyester (it’s not *too* awful)((I think I really like the 1930’s-type lady waving farewell)), the other in cotton (well, the print *is* adorable)((I’m pretty sure I have both vintage glass cups and some vintage organdy with a similar print/character)), and a neutral-toned sweater with a golden sparkle courtesy of Lurex (I’m still not 100% sure)…..

I’m not uncommonly interested in things anywhere from right before they come into style or a year or more ahead of the game… Which, naturally, isn’t a bad thing as a designer, haha. So……. ?? 70’s? Prints? Lurex? Button-ups?? etc…… I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

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Ring ’round my heart

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The other day I was perusing the internet (shocker, I know), curious to see again a ring that I was smitten with a bit over a year ago, when I stumbled upon the blog at The Carrotbox: a store/blog devoted entirely to rings. And not your standard fancy-pants rings hawked at many-a-store; no siree, here is a display of mind-boggingly fabulous rings that bridge/blur the gap between jewelry and art. Wearable art, my favorite!!! I suspected but truly had NO IDEA there was so much ring specific awesomeness out there, and I adore Alice, owner of the store and blog, for her commitment to sharing the kick-ass works of jewelry artists out there. Interesting note is that in her store The Carrotbox sells rings made out of anything else but metal, as she is allergic. Here are a some pics of a few of my favorites, but I thoroughly recommend checking the site out for yourself as new stuff is added daily:

The ring that led me to The Carrotbox:

By Brooklyn designer Aesa

Have trouble keeping your manicure in pristine condition? Never fear, with this amusing look by Dutch designer Emmy Möller


Make it personal with these rings by Australian designer Jonathan Ben-Tovim in which the tiny blobs and holes that represent letters in binary code – enabling you to encrypt a message up to 64 characters long.


Intriguing works by Cleveland based designer Austin Bates

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Imagine (!) if you will…

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The beauty of :


“specimens butterfly” by hitomi ifuku (via designboom)

+


Achille Castiglioni’s “Taraxacum 88 Suspension” lamp at Design Within Reach

or


Rody Graumans’s “85 Lamps” at Matter

Especially if it came in multiple styles/shapes (which it kind of looks like it may) and resembled in some way when lit, an effect similar to that of the Lumen lamps by Adam Frank

Oh la la, I’d say!

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(Interpretations of a/my) Serious Dress

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Ladies and gentlemen, there comes a time in a gal’s life when she ought to have some “serious clothes”… You know, business-y, interview-y… Things that say “I may be young, but You Should Totally Take Me Seriously”. Some people have a LOT of those clothes; however, I, my friends, do not – and the one’s I do, have historically generally been purchased at the insistence of my mother (the black slacks, the khaki pants, the button up shirts, a sensible blazer, the tweed pencil skirt (well, I did kind of like that one but it turned out to be itchy so I pimped it out to a thrift shop)). And you know what (!) those clothes pretty much always wind up hanging out neglected in the back of my closet (*this is where my mother shakes her head and sighs in the manner that almost always means and is often accompanied by, “Tilly….what am I going to do with you?”*).

I think over the years the family has maybe, possibly gotten over the irritation at my insistence that I have no desire to ever, ever own any generally standard interpretations of the: suit suit, khaki slacks, standard button up shirts (namely in white), etc. Or at least given up the expectation that these items will be worn specifically in the (serious) manner for which they are prescribed. Yes, the reaction that was once laden with a majority of irritation and frustration has been perhaps slowly infiltrated by at least a touch of amusement (thankfully, I am the lone starving artist in a family of more serious professions so my quirks are still kind of cute in addition to maybe a little exhausting. I’m sure it’d be a whole other story if all of us were struggling to make it in a creative field… in this *ahem* faltering economy)((Seriously, my brother has a HOUSE!!)).

All that aside… I can (sort of) admit that now that I am about to hit the apotheosis of “mid-twenties” I wouldn’t mind having a few pieces of clothes that are a little more serious. Because maybe every now and then the vintage-eclectic-eccentric-bohemian-classy-artistic look of my collegiate and immediately post-collegiate years doesn’t always cut it; and so I have been slowly been attempting to grow it up a touch. But. I have realized it would be better to approach serious in my own sort of way. And so, while milling around a handful of stores becoming overly disheartened by the lack of interesting (or interesting and affordable) clothes that I could pass as somewhat serious and/or professional in a way that wouldn’t make me feel like shouting while wearing that “MY SOUL IS DYYYYING!!!” I found this dress (at Banana Republic):

And I was like, OMG I think this is a could very well be a serious-esque dress that I don’t hate. And so I tried it on and get this- it FIT…perfectly. So I called my mom and relayed this information: I found a serious sort of dress that I don’t hate AND it actually fits AND (here’s the kicker) it was on sale. You could hear the (cautious) jubilation in her voice as she recounted this information to my stepdad and as they eagerly insisted that I Must Get It. The whole ordeal was probably not unlike their recent trip to South Africa where they went safari-ing and got to see animals interacting in their natural habitat and when they did something exciting you want to exclaim about it but you also have to be careful and not be *too* excited because then you might attract attention and the animal will notice you and Stop And Run Away (or charge at you.. and you definitely DON’T want that). So, they were excited but not too excited and the result of this subtle dance of praising the pretty seriousness (but not TOO much) and casually extolling the virtues of having a Nice Professional (or as close as I’d get) Dress I was successfully encouraged to by the dress.

Of course, it also happens that while in the dressing room I started layering on top of the dress the other things I had worn that day, and rationalized the seriousness of the dress with the notion that I could play with it and make it so much MORE. And, darlings, I got all excited about my serious dress on the way home thinking about everything I could do to make it even more interesting and this happened:







And of course, this is only the beginning! There’s also layering it with tights and shoes and/or boots, jewelry and headwear, etc. The possibilities are really endless, y’know. Moral of the story, break out your own “serious” clothes and have fun with them. You can get some interesting additional “serious looks” or turn those serious clothes in a more, fun, creative, going out looks. Stretch your imagination (and *ahem* your wallet (and wardrobe)).

Think out of the box, cupcakes, and have fun!

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Seeing Red

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(Been pondering posting something on this subject for a bit, but finally inspired to do so by this gorgeous print by Art and Ghosts)((Seriously check out her work – it’s beautiful)

Red has always been one of my favorite colors. Ever since high school I seem to have had a pair of red shoes that I’ll wear with pretty much anything; even garnering me the title of “The Weird Girl with the Red Shoes”, before the whole brightly colored sneaker trend hit somewhere in 2000 or so (I think?). Red is my black, I guess you could say. Shoes, dresses, skirts, coats, lipstick. Orange-tinted red, blue toned red, red red, and everything in between. I’m a fan of them all.

So, naturally every now and then I toy with the idea of becoming a redhead. Like true-born redhead. I’ve done a bit of the other darker, less natural red hair in the past…. but I can’t help but wonder how I’d look in one of the more natural varieties. I like to think I could possibly pull it off, especially in the winter when I get super pale… not that I’m ever all that tan. With that idea always lingering in the back of my mind and with my tendancy to troll the internet and blogosphere as well as gleefully peruse most any magazine I can get my hands on, I have to say that I’m feeling a both subtle and not-so-subtle increasing interest in redheads. Such as:


This popular shot of model David Brunier (click his name on the side for more pics) captured by The Sartorialist


The blog A Rare Breed, a blog devoted to pictures of redheads I first saw on A Cup of Jo


This season’s America’s Next Top Model contestant Elina, who looks SO much more interesting as a redhead.

and so on…

I just feel like I’m noticing the color more and more, and wonder if it may soon be the next-sort-of-big-thing in hair color. It would be interesting because:
– It’s one of the ultimate ways to stand out/be unique. If you have pink or blue hair it’s obvious you weren’t born with it; but with a quality redheaded dye job you could pass as being a member of the rarest naturally occuring hair color (approx. 1-2% of the entire human population, thank you Wikipedia).
– Status symbol of sorts. You’d likely want to get it professionally done if you’re trying to make it look natural. And I imagine it would be a lot of upkeep. Not so cheap.
– It would be some sort of quirkier hair color to stand out in without being blatant (pink/blue/etc) and it isn’t yet associated with any major social sub-strata (except maybe people would assume you’re Irish..). Not to mention maybe people are getting bored of black and blond, two other popular rare-ish natural colors to come by (depending on where you are, naturally) that people are fond of dyeing their hair.

Anyway. That was a bit of a ramble/speculation but I hope it made some sort of sense and was coherant. Maybe one day I’ll find the money and time to devote to being a redhead. :)

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