Thursday, 28 April 2011
Sooo, these are a bit late... life kind of shot off in all sorts of unexpected directions. And I remembered that my three papers plus some coursework are due next week, after procrastinating all month on them. So I'm holed up being very industrious, or trying to be!
This is what I wore on Easter Sunday, not that I particularly planned it or anything. I was just determined to get this outfit photographed before I left Barcelona, and the weather was not cooperating at all for most of my stay. Still, I'm really happy with this one, which was somewhat inspired by this, from the Nadinoo lookbook. Or I tried, with what was available at hand! The box I'm holding housed a most delicious Easter cake from one of the little pastry shops in the neighbourhood. Mmmm!
So, I should probably quit typing while I'm ahead, but this outfit also brought to mind some other controversies that I've been turning over in my head the last little while. My outfit mostly vintage (either thrifted or courtesy of mom), which is a head to toe look I neither aspire to nor avoid, it just occasionally happens. I kind of feel though, that there's a certain "vintage clique-i-ness" on the subject of vintage these days. What is this obsession with vintage anyway, which when I was growing up, was called "second-hand," and came from the garage sale, and now is "vintage," and costs upwards of £30 for some heinous 70s dress in London?
A huge number of my favourite blogs are vintage blogs, but I guess I just start wondering sometimes why there needs to be a special club of it, and why we can't just celebrate looking good, rather than looking good in vintage specifically. After all, there are plenty of other ways to dress well for cheap. For example: keeping your clothes for years and wearing them over and over again (like our grandparents did). I feel as though vintage gets to occupy some morally superior place in blogland sometimes when really 1. It's no more ecological if you're buying it from ebay or from a vintage shop where it may have been flown or trucked in from wherever and 2. Having lots of old, cheap(ish) stuff is still having lots of stuff, and still feeding our consumerist "buy buy buy!" society. And I include myself in that, of course.
I'd love to know what all you ladies think, vintage or non-vintage! And now that I've alienated everyone, I'll get back to essay # 2!
Photos, by Albert
Oh right: everything vintage, except the Fly London shoes. Bag via Mom. : )
Monday, 25 April 2011
In addition to being Easter, this weekend also featured El Dia de Sant Jordi in Barcelona, which is a bit like the Catalan Valentine's Day, but much nicer and much less mushy (I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day). Sant Jordi, or Saint George, is the patron saint of several places, Catalonia among them. A clever bookseller one year also realized that April 23rd was also the day that both Cervantes and Shakespeare died, and it was restyled as the day of the book. Traditionally, men buy a rose for the women in their life and women buy a book for the men (Albert generally buys me a book as well as a rose though). : ) Rambla Catalunya is transformed into a book stall extravaganza, and people typically skip out of work for a bit to enjoy the atmosphere and wander the streets. There are also rose sellers on every corner.
Two years ago we had our own little Sant Jordi's day in Vancouver, but it was fun to engage with the crowd this time. We also got some books signed, caught up with some friends, and went to open day at the Palace of the Catalan Government, which was all good fun. I tried to dress in red and yellow, which are the colours of the Catalan flag, and sort of succeeded. I bought this little black and yellow vintage eyelet dress a year ago, but somehow it hasn't appeared on the blog yet. The back is the cutest part so I'll have to wear it again soon!
Friday, 22 April 2011
So, this look is a bit more cream puff than I usually go for, but it's always fun to experiment outside your comfort zone a bit. I bought this dress off ebay with some of my Christmas money, which I got in lieu of presents this year, due to locational and address difficulties. I wasn't sure whether to bid on it, but finally I couldn't resist the novelty pattern, which consists of robots, russian dolls and skeleton keys, among less recognizable shapes.
On another note, I stole these socks from Urban Outfitters--inadvertently I promise! My usual routine in Urban Outfitters is to wander around, think "Oh that's cute.... wtf, that is so not worth £80." Then I'll try on something by tba and be outraged at the price vs. the fact that it's made of polyester. Then I'll reach a breaking point when I throw up my hands and think "I need to get out of here." Which is what happened this time, except that I forgot I was holding these socks. I realized when I was at the underground station, and I didn't go back. I guess I'll have to go to confession this Easter. ; ) Whatever, these shoes were $40, and while they're very cute, they are murdering my feet from all directions, so UO and I can call it even I suppose.
Look how heavily it weighs on my conscience...
Speaking of Easter, a sweet tradition in Barcelona is that all the pastry shops sell chocolate statues. Some are amazingly detailed, and often they represent popular figures, such as Barça players (I'm still sad about the final of the Copa del Rey, for any Spanish football fan readers--unlikely, I realize). Anyway, there was a selection in the windows of the little square where we took these photos.
dress: See by Chloe via ebay, socks and sandals: UO, belt: charity shop
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
This post is dedicated to my blog friend Emily, who loves tranquility so much she named her blog for it, and who, despite never having been to Yorkshire, enjoys Yorkshire tea as much as I do.
So, I spent a week in the North of England, where my father is from. He hasn't lived there for many years, but we all used to go back frequently to visit my grandmother, who died last year. Going without a reason was rather strange, but it was fantastic to see my dad, who I hadn't seen since last July, and to enjoy the magic of Yorkshire in the spring time. I feel an undeniable connection to the place, which is to me the England I knew before I ever set foot in London. Yorkshire is a world apart, and in the spring it's full of golden daffodils, gamboling lambs, and cream teas in sheltered valleys.
I was not very stylish while I was there. It's basically impossible to be while staying in my Grannie's old house. When I was a child, I loathed having showers there as there was almost no pressure coming out of the tap. That finally got fixed, but now the cold water tap has stopped working all together. Painful. ; ) I was also unable to bring my tripod, due to severe baggage restrictions. Oh, the things we bloggers have to worry about! But here I am writing in my new journal (first one I've had in years, it's nice to get back to writing long-hand).
All pictures by me except the second, by my dad.
Monday, 18 April 2011
I'm sorting through some of my photos from last week, when I met up with my father in his internet-challenged hometown in North Yorkshire, but in the meantime I thought I'd post something up-to-date for once!
When I bought this dress (for half price, I can never get over a bargain), I suspected that I was going to wear it a lot, but I never imagined it would be quite so versatile as it is. I mean, it's a dress with a see-through top. But I've discovered it's secret: it isn't actually a see-through dress, it's a skirt with a lace top, and it goes wonderfully with almost all my blouses. And I have a lot of blouses.
Anyhow, when I emerged wearing this, my boyfriend's response was "you look like a Japanese comic girl." So obviously I had to bring along my new comic book as a prop. We went on Friday night to the comic fair in Barcelona, and Albert treated me to this book about (of course) dragons. I actually wasn't very geeky about comics in my childhood, and I'm still not, but was introduced to some great graphic novels (Persepolis, Maus) in university, and spent a summer a few years ago happily improving my Spanish vocabulary by reading my boyfriend's childhood Spider-Man comics. In fact, for anyone trying to learn a language, I highly recommend comics... the pictures provide most of the context and there are few enough words that you actually might look some of them up!
dress (sale) and socks: American Apparel, blouse: Desigual (gift), shoes: KG by Kurt Geiger
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Same outfit as last post, since it was the same day. Before my highline exploring Albert and I and our friend/host went for brunch to meet Kallie of Happy Honey and Lark, and Nicole of Coco Maria. I'd actually already met Kallie for drinks the night before, at which point I'd inexplicably had four beers to her one, and we both got home ridiculously late. To say I was not at my most glamourous on brunch morning would be an understatement. I wasn't my most punctual either--I don't understand at all how in New York you can get on one train, and it turns out not to be that train at all. But anyway, we eventually arrived. Sorry again to Nicole for keeping her waiting half an hour by herself.
I'll say again: I love meeting other bloggers. The blog often feels like a secret part of my life, since I don't tell my friends about it or most of my family, and it's so great to meet up with others to gab about everything from the best sort of light for outfit shots, to how non-glamourous it is possible to look on off days, so general gossip about other bloggers. Oooh, who did we mention?! ; ) Anyway, I really enjoyed meeting both these ladies, and seeing how much like their blogs they were (and how different, in ways you can only appreciate face to face). I really hope to meet everyone again, be it in New York, or somewhere else...
Kallie and Nicole, who are much more "real-time" bloggers than I am, already posted their favourite pics from the day, which you can check out here and here. I really loved the ones which showed us interacting the best.
fotógrafo extraordinario. thanks again!
It was actually pretty funny how set everyone can be in their own "poses." Here, Kallie art-directed Nicole for some shots.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Sick of me in this scarf yet? Too bad... that's what living out of a carry-on is all about. It's something I'm doing again for the next three weeks too, which is so uninspiring I can't even tell you. And this outfit is very much a carry-on leftovers outfit. However, I do kind of love this sweater, as cheap and synthetic as it is. I've been really loving Liebemarlene and her simple reworking of the same formula over and over this spring, so when she started wearing a loose cropped sweater, I knew I had to have one. I hadn't actually been to H&M for ages mainly because I don't want to be tempted into buying things regular price, but I just knew it would be the place to indulge my need of a trend, and it was.
So, this was my second to last day in New York, and in the afternoon we went to the Highline. A friend in my course in London had told me about this; it's essentially a raised avenue/park, built on the derserted tracks of the elevated train. A great use of abandoned space, a great way to get people out and sharing public space in a semi-social way, and generally a cool idea. There are even train tracks remaining, which have been converted into gardens, and people can stroll, or sit on deck chairs. Glad we made it over there.
dress and sweater from H&M, charity shop scarf, Steve Madden via ebay shoes
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
As I said before, I've met a lot of bloggers in the past couple of weeks. I knew that I really wanted to take advantage of being in New York to hook up with some girls I felt I knew already. Some meet ups didn't work out, sadly, as people lived further away than I thought they did, but I still managed to fit a lot of blog gossip into a couple of days. First up was the lovely Monique of Tipa Tipa. I only found Monique's blog a couple of months ago, and it became and instant favourite for her intelligence, grace, and lovely Brooklyn style and stories. So I was delighted when she agreed to meet me!
We meet in Brooklyn on a horrible day when it was absolutely pouring, and tucked ourselves into a cafe, which served delicious sandwiches (I had Brie, pear and mustard, mmmmmmm). And a couple of hours simply disappeared. It was so nice to get to know her; she's just like her blog, except louder and chattier, and we had some great conversations about traveling and New York. I just hope she'll come to Europe and hang out with me there... or I'll come back and take her up on that bike tour she was offering, and meet her fiancée and so on.... ; )
Also, these pictures are some of my favourites from the trip. How awesome is our unintentional colour blocking? I also like how we're basically dressed quite alike... clearly there are some commonalities. Also, I couldn't have asked for a better backdrop.
Photos by Albert
I wore my vintage coat, charity shop scarf, Warehouse jeans, American Apparel socks and shoes from ebay. Check out Monique's post here.
Monday, 11 April 2011
One particularly chilly day in New York, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Frankly, I was bored. I don't blame it on the Met, which I actually think is a great museum, but seeing as we spent ages at the beginning looking at Egyptian antiquities, and seeing as I study five minutes from the (free) British Museum which is full of all that stuff, I felt as though I'd seen it all before quite recently. Yes, I have no soul. Moving on...
Seeing as I was bored, I turned my thoughts to more superficial pursuits... defining what I like and don't like. I've been thinking along these lines lately with regards to style, with an aim to streamlining my purchases and figuring out what I need. I figure that taste in art and taste in style are related, and set about photographing works that I liked, whether or not I could explain why...
My conclusions are:
1. I like happy atmospheres (see below and above)
Whether it's bucolic or flirty, I like things on the light side. Life is sad enough, I want my art to uplift me (not in a cheesy Hollywood way though).
2. I like colour
The more the better. I guess that ties in with the happy atmospheres
3. I like representations of working class life:
Marie Antoinette bores and enrages me. I was brought up with a severe sense of class-consciousness and I'm fascinated by the history of ordinary people. In style, I manifest this in enjoying items like plain wool sweaters and scarves, and in trying to make do with less (at which I fail miserably).
4. I like Canadiana
Albert rolled his eyes that I liked this picture, and I have to admit, it's pretty bad. But when the world of art from the past feels really Eurocentric sometimes, I like to see these old-world interpretations of the majestic New-World landscape. And I like to imagine people in the times before TV and National Geographic looking at these paintings, and imagining...
5. I like contrast
Colourblocking and smooth round brass? Yes please!
6. I like small details, and wonderful materials
I just wish I liked cheap materials... it would be way easier on my bank account.
7. I like dragons
Strange but true. I just adore dragons!
So, anyone know where I can get some colourful, good quality clothing featuring happy, working-class Canadian dragons? ; D