Saturday, 30 October 2010
I've been in half a mind about whether to post these photos or not. On the one hand, they were taken in low light, and are accordingly slightly fuzzy. On the other, I love the mood, which perfectly captures some early evenings in my little room. I actually took two sets of pictures, one set with flash and one without. But by the time I'd finished grubby-ing up the flash pictures enough to recreate the low-light atmosphere, they were almost as fuzzy as the originals...
I'm interested to know what you all think: are they too fuzzy to post, or does it not bother you? And does anyone have any tips on low-light photography (keeping in mind that I don't have a DSLR or anything like that). I suppose an intermediary solution would be to buy more little lamps. Or just organize my time better and shoot during daylight hours!
Moving on, I'll just spare some love for the tartan lumberjack shirt. I nearly got rid of this years ago, and my mother wisely saved it from the chopping block. It's a proper man's lumberjack shirt, given to my mother many years ago by a friend of my grandfather's. It's pure wool and about the coziest thing ever. I've been living in it, though I've given it a bit of a break since one of my flatmates commented that it and my plaid pyjamas were a headache-causing combination!
shirt: old, hand-me-down
belt: Spitalfields market
skirt: Urban Outfitter's (stolen from my sister)
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Art print, available here.
So it seems I am invited to a Halloween party, which, damn it, means finding a costume. I'm thinking of wearing this gingham dress and going as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Although I still don't have any ruby slippers!
Meanwhile, I'm entertaining myself by planning an imaginary Day of the Dead themed party, and the outfit for it...
Silk satin and silk organza sugar skull dress, available here.
Calavera mary janes or a Til Death do us Part ring, anyone?
I think this elegantly ghoulish carry-bag should keep my vanity in check for the evening. Available here.
And you better believe I would decorate with these guys!
For what reason do we audit classes, but to skip them at our leisure? This is my way of saying that Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Migration isn't happening tomorrow morning at 9 am. Especially not after homemade cannelloni and a few bottles of wine as a housewarming/thank you for having me dinner with the girls I spend two weeks with at the beginning of my time in London. Good times, but my head is too fuzzy for ethnological approaches to anything now...
So instead, I'm just going to mention that later this week is one of my favourite holidays--and no, I don't mean Halloween! Actually, I kind of dislike Halloween, since I find cobbling together a costume quite difficult from a traveller's point of view. One of my favourite holidays is instead, the day after, the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead.
I love Day of the Dead because it is many things. It's colourful and musical and energetic, involving dressing in costumes and dancing around town and drinking hot chocolate, and it's also reflective and commemorative in a happy way. People in Mexico make shrines in memory of the dead, often including photographs, sugar skulls, the ubiquitous purple and orange flowers, and any items that could be considered to represent the loved one. When I asked one of my students last year about the day itself she replied, "Well, my mother likes to go visit her parents in the cemetary," and I generally found the whole attitude, the acceptance of death and the celebration of memory, to be a refreshing change from our Western culture of pretending unpleasantness doesn't exist, and sanitizing everything. Plus, just to be shallow again for a moment, the decorations can be exceptional!
Here's a makeshift shrine with many typical elements I managed to get together last year, when we were living in Puebla:
We went to a very typical place to celebrate the day itself, but more on that later! I've got to go read about global migration, or not...
Monday, 25 October 2010
I don't know if anyone else has been sighing over the dresses from smallish label tba to the same extent that I have. Until recently, it was internet lusting only, but I remembered that the UK Urban Outfitters stocked a selection, and made a point to pass by one last week. Since I had my camera, and since it's likely the closest I'll ever be to those dresses, I thought I'd give you a "publicity vs. reality" tour. Oh, and I know the photos are not up to my usual standard, etc. etc, but I was in a changing room after all!
The three guinea pigs:
First up, the white silk dress:
I have to say, I was actually not impressed at all by this dress in person, definitely not to the tune of £180... It says it's 100% silk but certainly didn't feel like it, and overall was strangely stiff and had a shape of it's own, which didn't have much to do with my shape. And it was just so peculiarly large and poofy. I like things that are "doll-like" in theory, but there's a difference between doll-like and looking like a doll. I could imagine being sent away from the Christmas dinner table to stand in the corner in this dress. Most odd.
The pom-pom dress:
This dress was a whole other story. I wasn't expecting to particularly like it, but I just loved it. The skirt is heavy black velvet that rises and falls in an inky wave when you spin, and the top (though clearly a bit sheer) was a nice colour that didn't wash me out, as neutrals often will.
The blue velvet dress:
Sighhhhhh. I'm really in a velvety mood this year (I think I've always loved velvet, but there hasn't been any nice velvet to be had since about the 90s...) This dress was a dream, heavy yet bouncy, gorgeously collared. It even comes in burnt orange on Asos... And there was masses of fabric:
Both the pom pom and the blue velvet dress had me doing mental arithmetic to the tune of, "if I don't eat for say, a month..."
However, I've been saved from such drastic measures. Just this afternoon arrived a lovely vintage 1960s black velvet dress, which I ordered on Etsy before I left Mexico and have been waiting for an address to send for it. And the best part? It was only $33... : ) Good things come to those who search!
Friday, 22 October 2010
It would be pretty difficult to exaggerate how few autumn and winter clothes I have at the moment. Coming straight from Mexico, I have a lovely collection of summer dresses and blouses, and every morning is an exercise in how to winterize them... and exercise that is not helped by also having only three cardigans and two pairs of tights. Charity shops, here I come! The charity shops can be really good in the UK, I already scored this cozy green Angora sweater for £5...
Right, so I'm not exactly "on location" in these shots as you've come to expect seeing me. Not that London is in any way short of locations, but time is short and tripods are annoying to carry around, and I'm fairly sure most of my friends here wouldn't understand. So here you have my back garden!
Not to despair though! No outfit exists in a vacuum, and here are some shots from the day I wore this particular get-up:
A friend and I walked to the Thames, on one of these beautiful afternoons that London has been having
We found a tiny beach, with access from an ancient set of stone steps
skipped some stones with pretty dismal success
and enjoyed the sunshine. And then got a bit lost going home and ended up wandering up and down the canal in the pitch black! (Not pictured)
On another note, it may be sunny these days but it's absolutely freeeeezing. Here's hoping I find the perfect winter coat this weekend! And that you all have a good one!
sweater: charity shop
jacket: my sister's donated/borrowed
skirt: Urban Outfitters (I think that was my sister's too actually); )
Thursday, 21 October 2010
On Saturday, my first weekend in my new flat (I'll try and get some pictures and introduce you soon enough) I ventured out alone, enjoying the solitude in the sunshine. It was one of those cool but sunny days, when you just want to reach out and embrace the sunlight. And you can see me doing just that in a few pictures!
And I know I'm florescent white. It took me about five minutes to lose my tan! And yes, I considered that putty colour I had before to be a tan!
Enjoying the changing colours...
I am Canadian after all...
dress (as skirt): Vero Moda
boots: Timberland (about 12 years ago, hehe)
jacket: Smart Set (stolen from my sister, or let's say traded)
scarf: gift from student
earrings: Spank (in Vancouver)
Monday, 18 October 2010
These are my last pictures from Guadalajara. That's not a promise or anything, because I'm sure I still have some in a random folder, and one day when I'm lazy or busy... however, from now one, we'll be transitioning into London!
These were taken on my last day, when I was feeling contented and nostalgic at the same time. And I was saying goodbye to my lovely vintage bicycle, which I don't believe I've introduced you to before, despite riding it every week down the closed streets on a Sunday morning (a great recreational initiative in Guadalajara). I was so sad to leave it and its lovely green colour and "1977" sticker. Usually my bikes have function over form; this one was the opposite. I know that stuff isn't so important in life, but sometimes it's hard to let go of nonetheless. Still, my boyfriend managed to sell it for more than we paid for it, and I did turn a little against it when it pulled a thread out of my dress. Don't you hate it when your vintage bike attacks your vintage clothes? Hehe ; )
Ah well, adios bici, and Mexico. It was fun.
sunglasses: from Sanborns