December 31, 2008
The gist of what I wore to just walk around yesterday. It was beautiful outside, the sun was shining, wasn't ridiculously cold out, so I just walked around all day. I also found those silver Yohji Yamamoto DMs again, for half the price (still out of my range though, resolution and all)
This is execution #1 of that shirt I made awhile ago. I think the size I bought was a little too oversized. I don't want a fitted T but the size was bordering on the too too big side. Or the shirt is cut in a strange way, with the sides dipping a little bit.
Overall, it was fine for a day where my coat didn't come off, but too droopy for much else.
December 30, 2008
The red dress I saw a few days ago at Fawn is also on sale at Holt Renfrew. I was parusing a few sale racks and while in the change room trying on a magnificent leather jacket (original price was approximately $1200 yet I see no difference in fit or feel to others I've tried on, expensive and inexpensive) I spotted it on the rail people leave the clothes they don't want on. I immediately ran off, found my size, and checked the price: a full hundred and a bit off the sale price at Fawn. I tried the dress on again to make sure it fit the way I remembered (it did) and while standing in the change room my thoughts flip flopped between:
Do I want to give Holt Renfrew my money, or would I rather have it go to Fawn.
But this dress costs less.
But do I want to support Holt Renfrew, as opposed to a local business.
But this one costs less.
And so on. Cost won over morals this time, I put the dress on hold.
However, while I drifted through the shoe section (thank all heavens I was distracted) I started thinking about local business, cost, and shopping habits. My shopping habits.
I thought about quality and quantity and at some point came to the conclusion that the way I shop (collecting H&M as if it were facing bankruptcy) really is doing nothing for me. I forgot what the benefit of shopping from those kinds of places were, especially since they start to fray after a month or so, and I spend just as much time mending them as I do wearing them. I've been searching for a cardigan and keep picking up the same one from H&M before putting it down, remembering the 3 others that ended up with irreparable holes in them.
I prefer the quality of stores that yes, are slightly more expensive, but are smaller, and sometimes are locally owned/designed. And how many times I've gone into those stores and thought that the sweaters are too too expensive, but how often do I think that thought after having spent "less" at a store like Forever 21? I end up spending the same amount of money on 4 sweaters that I'll have to replace. I own a cashmere sweater that, after 4 years has kept it's shape (the only problem with it is due to a bad experience with a dry cleaner). I'm more inclined to care for my more expensive pieces as well - the silk vintage dresses, and the Twenty8Twelve pants I own are treated delicately and put in their place while my jeans, t-shirts and etcetera are carelessly strewn about my teensy bedroom. Even after cleaning out my closet I still feel as if I am left with a mountain of crap I don't want to wear because it has lost it's shape or I feel it doesn't "go" with whatever else I own.
In short - I think I need to change my shopping habits.
SO. My official new year's resolution list was compiled as I sat in Lettieri staring out the window and staring at the boots I bought in order to replace a cheaper pair that broke.
#1: Buy Less Buy Better.
I resolve to shop less often and window shop more. I resolve to really try to shop locally, for better quality pieces and instead of saying "oh well I wish I could get the Acne jeans" I will save and buy one pair of great jeans instead of 3 that are too long, too wide, or too _____. I will care for these pieces, and get them tailored if necessary. I will also take the time to find my size instead of guessing, and I will find and keep a really good tailor and cobbler.
#2: Get In Order.
I resolve to put my material life in order and to do my best to keep it that way. Too often I have lost a backing to an earring (or vice versa) due to throwing it on a shelf and not thinking about it until I decide to wear it. Too often do my things fall through the crack of my bed and I am altogether too quick to replace it. Not anymore. I also resolve to procrastinate less. I've made quite a bit of progress in this area in 2008, but in 2009 I'll take another step in the "do it" direction. I won't let my "alterations and sewing" basket overflow and if I really want to d-it-myself, I will DIY with the idea still in my head.
#2 - A: I will not let my google reader get out of hand.
#3: Stick to Something.
In regards to this blog, I resolve to get back to basics. I started writing to really break down what I wore, why, and track my progress. I wanted to focus on how I project myself to others (and the best way to see this, is to project yourself to others) so I resolve to commit myself to posting outfits, ask questions, and really look at what I am doing. I resolve to try new things and narrow down what I really like and explore them further. I suppose this is a companion to resolution #1. And if I shop less, I'll have less to incorporate and more time to devote to dressing myself the way I want to. I resolve to create a style for myself, as an extension of merely dressing well.
And on that note: I'll clear out the "inspired" folder on my computer at least once a month so that maybe I'll look at those photographs and use them in dressing.
#4: Practice, dammit!
This isn't necessarily related, but I resolve to dedicate at least one day a week to rehearsal so that I am really prepared for theatre school auditions when they start popping up a few months from now. And to continue them afterward so I'm prepared in general.
December 28, 2008
I'm making up for a week's worth of nothing, can you tell?
The key is the lighting. It is what makes one (read: me) want to imitate these looks, otherwise I would turn my back and walk away from shiny red leggings with striped legwarmers, and a studded oversized sweater.
I'm already convincing myself out of that shirtvest. I feel it was the release of writing about it (benefit #4566 of blogging).
I've been thinking (for the past month actually) about getting these or something like them to attach to a pair of nylon winter boots I bought.
There is a bead & supply store near the store I work at that may sell something like this. Seeing as it is a bola my chances of finding two for a reasonable price that doesn't include shipping are fairly high. If not a supply shop I'll find some at a vintage store.
I really hate the boots. I only bought them because they were a) nylon b) warm and c) on sale and therefore cheaper than other winter boots I've seen. They've since let in water and I had to buy another pair of boots (insert eye twitch). This is the only idea I've come up with to make myself less unhappy/angry at the $50 I basically threw under the salter.
I tried on a vest today that is $300 out of my price range and now I can't remember who the designer was. I don't feel like I can go back to the store, because if I do I'll buy it (I know myself too well - I have very little self-control), which may not be a bad thing (you see?).
It was a shirt actually. This beautifully draped, pinned and tucked in at the waist so it looked like it had pockets but doesn't actually let you hide your hands in it. Apparently the salesladies had never seen it worn as a vest, and were so impressed they called the owner over to show her how I had ingeniously twisted the top of the back and worn it open creating a vest-style out of a quasi-grecian shirt.
And it was black (so I could wear it to work and look really cool).
It was a little oversized. But not too much. And it was fitted, yet bubbly. And part of me thinks that it'll still be en vogue a year from now, but part of me thinks that the oversized thing may not last past spring.
And the rest of me is still thinking about this shirtvest, wishing that I had bothered to look at the label. I think it was whyred but am fairly sure that the reason I think that is because I tried on a (beautifully fitted) blazer by them. Because at least then, I could find it online, download the picture, put it up here, and then forget about it (or get my sewing-savy friend to maybe make it for me).
I also went to Fawn; a very awesome store in Toronto (They sell Posso Spats. They hold the keys to the "Materialism" department in my heart). I found a beautiful, red, sale-priced Imitation dress (that I may go back for because it won't go out of style and isn't $300 away) and this vintage military pin.
It has satiated me for some time. The last piece I bought was the hat, so if I'm weak enough (and am still thinking about it on Tuesday) I may go back for the dress.
Or I'll grow a backbone and stay at home.
December 26, 2008
Hi. I'm sorry for the week-long hiatus but I've been exhausted. I got back from a visit to Windsor and then worked practically every day, went christmas shopping and went to (one too many) christmas parties.
And today I worked 11 hours (Happy Boxing Day). I'm only writing this because I have a little left over adrenaline and the last dregs of caffeine floating around in my body, but I'm fairly sure I will crash once the bright lights of my computer screen are all gone.
I also really wanted to share these:
Defenestration by Brian Goggig
But starting tomorrow/Sunday I'll get back to semi-regular updating (as I'll be back to a semi-regular schedule, free from holiday retail hours).
p.s. this is also why I haven't responded to your comments. but I have read them. and do appreciate them, very much. I'm going to go collapse into bed now.
December 25, 2008
December 16, 2008
Well hello again. I've been away for a few days, visiting friends in Windsor and taking a tour of WindsorU. Very scholarly, and it was kind of amazing to get away from Toronto for a few days. I won't go into it, but it was really relaxing not having to worry about........aesthetics.
I want to know what kind of environment creates the minds of people who do stuff like this:
It could be that I just don't know about it, but I know few people who would go so far as to dress up and meet up for anything like the Tokyo Rockabilly Club. It's more than detachment from the culture it comes from, because you can appreciate and covet a lifestyle from afar (I'm very familiar with the feeling) but there is a line you have to cross to actually pay homage to it at this level. It involves study and immersing yourself in a culture (or sub-culture) that is far enough from your own that you really have to rely on 3rd party opinion and interpretation so you can create you own version of it. For example: I'd have to have an entirely 3rd party view of "hipster culture" through books, photographs and film in order to create my own idea of it without influence from someone who knows the "truth" of the sub-culture and can tell me that I'm doing something wrong.
December 12, 2008
I bought a fedora years before it became cool, and because I was never one of "them kids" who reveled in the fact that they were somehow different from "the pack", I hardly wore it and my mom ended up donating it to Goodwill.
Luckily I kept the little red feather that was once attached to this fedora.
Lately (and by lately I mean, the day after I found out the hat was in the big bag that was now in a big bin somewhere) I have tried to find a new one. I didn't want something patterned or something that had ribbons or bows or other trimmings on it. Most vintage hats were either too big or too rigid (or too soft) but never "just right".
And where did I end up finding the "just right" hat? At Forever 21. When I was looking for a cheap wallet so I could stop using my change purse for everything. It has a brim that isn't too too wide, it's the right size and cost me less that $10. AND it is solid black. No trimmings or frills or trendy baubles, it's just a black hat that I can wear over my face or on the back of my head, and am free to pin however many hat pins/feather/removable baubles as I wish.
It just goes to show that sometimes you just have to sit back and let certain unimportant things come to you.
At this rate, I may go back and buy another just so I can copy this hat I saw at Lilliput (Toronto milliner) last summer. That is, after I do the YSL sweater project, the "good copy" of the YSL t-shirt, and spray paint my shoes.............
December 08, 2008
Augh. This week already feels like a wind tunnel.
I bought a hat on impulse. Why? I don't know, I meant to buy gloves, instead I bought a trapper's hat from a department store that originated from a fur trapping company (10 points for the name of this department store).
And this was my outfit of the day.
Oh. A store I really really like is having a sale. I'm hoping to go later this week. Perhaps by then my face won't look like a Hussein Chalayan dress from SS09.
!! Something less random: After watching that Janelle Monae video and seeing someone with one, I kind of want a cummerbund to use as a belt. I'm fairly sure these cost about as much as another belt at Value Village (~$3), but we'll see where this goes.
Blogging is better than post-it notes when it comes to remembering certain things.
I've never seen one like this, dammit why'd it have to be sold out?
Joy Division (to put this into context, somewhat) is one of the remaining bands from my quasi-wannabe-punk phase. Such a depressing band (with possibly the most upsetting name origin) but when pushed and pulled into larger than life expressions of themselves, the songs become really uplifting pieces of emotion.
Sorry it's really early and I can't sleep. Basically, a) I want that shirt b) it is sold out c) I want it because I have an emotional attachment to Joy Division.
And before I forget (because if anything this blog should serve as a record of ideas, even the ones I may not go through with) - I think I'm going to spray paint a pair of shoes. I need black shoes for work and I figure if I find a nice, glossy and/or shiny black paint I can just convert and old pair into a seemingly new pair. I also want something to dress up the ultra-winter boots I got. What can I say, I seem to be on a DIY kick.
Outfit from a past day to follow tomorrow, I have a few questions.
December 05, 2008
Evidently I am an "invisible-for-various-days-then-multiple-offender" kind of blogger seeing as I leave this and then visit it more than once when I do.
This is just one of my projects. I didn't finish the other YSL project because I realised that it would probably be best to work with a clean gray sweater, as opposed to a not-so-much one. So I went with this first, based on the following image (which I found via Google Image search)
First I thought of rendering the girl in Illustrator but that was a pain in the ass so I decided to outline her instead (which didn't show up properly when saved and printed). So instead I opted to print it out blank and then improvise.
- I liked the shirt. It is from H&M and is this a nice heathered/sheer fabric/wash.
- the image is still really stiff. The shirt is currently in a knot on my desk to be wrinkled into relaxation.
- I'm going to do this again, and when I do I will fix Yves Saint Laurent's face. This was merely attempt 1. I will also try to center the shirt more because it's kind of off to the left right now.
- I really like the red line and the separation. I think it's a little sinister - what is your opinion of this? Does it distract from the image? Do you think I should just make it one thing?
I'll post picture of it post-knot-wrinkle.
December 02, 2008
The other day while going off to work I thought "you know what would be cool? Leather knee pads"
If anyone knows where I can find leather kneepads (or if they even exist outside of my own cluttered mind), please tell me.
I also had a dream in which Phillip Treacy designed a hat for me and it was made out of hammered gunmetal with a red velvet underside and had a matching clutch. The clutch was AMAZING. It was a rectangular box with two bolts on the side and if you pressed them down, one of the sides popped open to reveal a red, plush inside (it looked like A Diamond In The Ritz in a box) and if you turned the bolts a small chain strap popped out from another side. It was also hammered gunmetal.
IF EITHER OF THESE EXIST SOMEWHERE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME AS I WILL RUN, WALK OR CRAWL TO GET TO THEM.
(even if I can't afford them)
December 01, 2008
I took a wee blogger break which I a) already told y'all and b) do from time to time.
SO I made this:
It's a compilation of photos that have been piling up in my computer file labelled "For Still" so I can remember to share them on here at some point in time.
These are from FaceHunter, FotoDecadent, Life Magazine Photo Archives/Gnarlitude, and the Miu Miu website and more, I just don't remember where all of them are from. Oh! and Fak!
- A lot of people are using bullet notes. This reminds me of school and how easy it was to convey information in short form. Lucky for you I have decided not to use the short form "language" I use for school, because you would NOT understand that.
- I'm almost done that YSL sweater project. I just have to actually attach it to something, which I will do on Thursday (I'm very determined)
- Adobe Illustrator is a pain in the rear. The Gradient Map tool is the work of the devil. I don't know why I ever use it. This has to do with another DIY project I'm doing because I am a) crazy and b) bored with what I see in stores that I can afford.
- The project that involves Adobe Illustrator is (I think) kinda cool. I'm excited for how it turns out, Illustrated or not.
- I came up with yet another diy project which I promise I will not do until I'm finished the other two. Damn, I do this with books too. I'm always reading about 3 at a time and it takes me forever, then I complain about it taking me forever to finish a book, even though it is all my own damn fault.
I was tagged by Jam-Bo-Ree to name 6 Unimportant Things That Make Me Happy. I have been working on it since then. And then I kind of forgot about it while taking a "blogging breather" which I do from time to time.
Call it unreliable (which it totally is. My friend once edited the Michael Buble page to say that they were engaged and then it was deleted. She then put it back, and it was changed to "formerly engaged" for about 6 months before being deleted again), but where else can you read about Project MKULTRA, Roberto Bolano, Chaos Theory, the Zodiac, Isabella Blow, and Joaquin Phoenix in one place, and from the comfort of your own home? I love it.
2. WNYC's RadioLab.
Here is the link to what I consider the best not-music oriented podcast I've heard in awhile - you can download it off of that website and also through itunes. Hosted by Rob Krulwich and Jad Abumrad, two very charismatic, smart and kind of strange guys, they have shows about science for the curious who don't necessarily want to read scientific journals. They use interviews that are cut and pasted with their own commentary, and a variety of sound clips to explore the topic from the perspective of the listener. And the two hosts have great chemistry. My favourite shows are Memory and Forgetting, War of The Worlds, Pop Music. Choice, the most recent and the opening to their 5th season, is also a good one.
3. The Latest Issue of Camoflauge.
It's the shoes issue.
I'll scan my favourites soon, they did something very interesting with shoes. But it um....makes me happy.
4. Coffee and Pie.
Separately, both can make you feel better, comfort you when you're down, but together they can raise you up higher than Josh Groban manning a crane.
5. Non-Pretentious Music Blogs.
I say "non-pretentious" because sometimes when reading Stereogum or Pitchfork I feel like I'm being talked down to, which I do not like (it does not make me happy).
I go through phases in liking music so discovering new music tends to come in handy. I also like to read about music. Music blogs bring the two together. Some I really like are Fluxblog, Marathon Packs and Star Maker Machine.
6. Life Magazine Archives.
Just the fact that we have access to all this makes me so so happy.
I just thought of many other things that make me happy. But instead I'll spread the happiness by tagging Pandora's Closet, Garbage Dress, The Vain & The Bored, and......ANYONE ELSE.
Sheesh. I forgot about this tag until today.