Monday, 27 February 2012
"Ciphers and Constellations, in Love with a Woman," by Joan Miró
Living in a place where February, though perhaps still chilly, tends to be sunny and bright, I've been seized with a desire to wear colour, and also white. As various people have noted, I'm on a real red kick at the moment, which I'm continuing with these endlessly tomato-hued tights. The brights and whites of this outfit were more than a little inspired by a trip to the Miró Foundation the day before. The shining white building that houses the master surrealist's work interacts with the blue Mediterranean sky in a way that's more than a little reminiscent of some of his works. I've always loved how much joy can be contained in his splashes of red, yellow and blue on white. There's also a really good exhibition on at the gallery until next month, relating Miró's works to the context of the Spanish Civil war and his rural Catalan roots.
We bought posters of the work below... and early piece and a bit different from his most celebrated style, but so representative of the countryside around Barcelona...
"The Farm," by Joan Miró
Photos by Albert
dress: J.Crew (gift from Emily), tights: Boots, shoes: Fly London, coat: Zara, pin: Christmas present
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Last Saturday morning, instead of stumbling out for coffee (I just wish I'd gotten up early enough to do that first), I took the metro for half an hour to visit a squat as part of a guided tour with an American University that I had invited myself along on.
Can Masdeu, located in Parc de Collserola, in the higher elevations of Barcelona. It differs a bit from some of the ubiquitous urban squats of the city as much of its focus is growing food in the communal gardens, and aiming for a more sustainable existence. We were given an interesting, philosophical, and, erm, extremely long-winded tour by one of the residents, and while I don't think squat life is for me (or very sustainable if everyone engaged in it), I found some aspects very interesting. For example, the twenty-two residents of Can Masdeu use about 100 L of water a day, which is the average for each individual Barcelona citizen. They also had a bike workshop located in the house, and run programs in the neighbourhood teaching local children to repair bicycles to give them skills and foster community spirit. The overall focus of the place was very much building a community, and that's always a good thing in our isolated times...
gardens are worked by residents of the house and also by some members of the local community.
the first spring blossoms
"Please make sure the gate is always closed to prevent the wild boars coming in." : )
All there is to say about my 'outfit' is that it included Christmas socks... moving always does this to me... ; )
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Isn't it funny how casual outfits sometimes don't take any less time or effort than "fancier" ensembles? What exactly makes this look casual anyhow? I'm inclined to think it's the racerback and the plaid, giving this dress a touch of grunge appeal. Nonetheless, this past Sunday morning was the first time in a long time that I actually found myself ironing, after this little boys shirt materialized from a suitcase looking pretty crushed. Maybe it's the unapologetic topknot that designates this as casual.
I wore this for breakfast at the newly-revamped Moritz Factory. I flew into a bit of a rage over breakfast when the waiter, happy enough to speak Catalan to my boyfriend, insisted on speaking Spanish to me, despite my never uttering a word of it to him. Albert admitted he was stupid but justified "he probably thinks he's being polite by speaking Spanish to you." For the record, if somebody goes to the trouble of addressing you in a particular language, it is the f#($ing opposite of polite to reply in another one... while I accept that wasn't his intention, the implication is pretty clearly "your Catalan sucks." Anyway, language issues are pretty complicated here, between history, migration, people who can and can't speak one or the other... so maybe I'll treat you all to my rant on the subject another day. : D Hopefully soon, since I have internet at home again!
Photos by Albert
dress: Ralph Lauren (gift), shirt: thrifted last year, shoes: Camper
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Last Sunday, in Bonn, it was too cold to conceive of doing anything other than walk five minutes to the nearest restaurant, and stuff ourselves with fiery carbohydrates in the form of a cappriccio and a diavolo pizza--none too pious for a Sunday, come to think of it! This is probably the real reason many of us gain weight during winter... it's too cold to do anything productive like go for a bike ride, so you just end up eating all the time. Devilish indeed...
If anyone's noticed my less than stellar internet presence, it's because I don't have internet at home at the moment. My consumption of tea at the only place in the neighbourhood with wifi has skyrocketed. Still trying to decide if spending all the money in cafés is worth my increased productivity/going to bed earlier at home...
P.S. To those wondering where I've moved to... just within Barcelona this time!
Photos by Albert
dress: Kling, coat: Zara, scarf: the Hudson's Bay Company, tights: gift, shoes: El Naturalista, pin: gift, gloves: gift...and I just lost them at the airport, god damnit.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Word on the street has it that the style of the twenties is going to be huge this year, and I for one couldn't be more delighted. Although the famously shapeless, drop-waist look we immediately associate with the era can be difficult to pull off, there's a lot of other inspiration to be had from the fashion, art and literature of that time.
Spurring on the resurgence are recent films Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's tribute to and send-up of nostalgia, and The Artist, and Baz Luhrman's already hotly-anticipated version of The Great Gatsby, due out in December. Style-wise, The Artist was fantastic, and it also featured looks from the early 30s, when the severeness of the twenties' silhouette had relaxed a little, but when exquisitely-detailed simplicity was still the order of the day. I would wear Berenice Bejo's white dancing dress and dainty headpiece, below, in an instant.
Partly, the twenties are a satisfying decade to contemplate from a safe distance because the celebration of youth and exuberance was so overt, and yet always tainted slightly in retrospect by the knowledge that this was hedonism before a fall... with a decade-depression and the rise of fascism hovering in the wings. The American twenties are presented as being all jazz, dancing and sparkle (actually quite an accomplishment considering it was the era of prohibition) but reading the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald one is immediately aware of the pretense, closet alcoholism, fear of aging and even mental illness lurking behind a sea of golden-haired girls and rich men. It's the paradoxes of the era, and the joy and cynicism in equal measure, that makes them so magnetic...
Sunday, 12 February 2012
February is one of those months that makes me want to go into hibernation, for various reasons, but here I'll just mention the style blogger ones. Winter, I've had it with you. I know you just began, but scram anyway. This is less of an outfit than a grumbled afterthought of "what haven't I worn together yet?" I've done some pattern-mixing to keep things rolling, but at -10 C I don't engage with fashion beyond that!
Also, I have a cold-sore. They don't usually make it onto the blog, but I'm human and I get them, and they're pretty much impossible to disguise with make-up so there you have it...
Anyone else ready for spring?
Photos by Albert
dress: Tommy Hilfiger (gift), coat: Zara, tights: gift, necklace: gift, raven pin: gift, hat: vintage, boots: Steve Madden
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
I'm sad to think this may be my last post on the terrace of my flat. Mainly I'm just sad to be moving on before I really had a chance to enjoy its splendour in full summer. Barcelona summers are long and languorous and having a terrace to drink wine on is the height of goodness. And even though it's currently really cold, I still love watching dawn reflect on the upper reaches of the buildings around us, while the streets below are still in night.
Meanwhile, I'm loving this it-doesn't-count-as-a-purchase-since-I-neeeeeeded-clothes-for-a-job-interivew coat. It makes me feel a little boyish in silhouette, and I like the strong shouldered swish as I trample over American exchange students in the metro...
Speaking of which, if anyone's thinking of doing a Masters in Creative Writing, I've been spending some time with the people behind a really fantastic sounding one. It's run through an American University and is accredited, and most of the work (writing a novel or equivalent) is done by distance, meaning you could keep your job. But then there are bundles of courses in two-week blocks, once a year and then once for graduation, taking place in Dublin, Barcelona, Vienna and Bratislava. Anyway, I only wish I could take it myself, as I've been attending some free writing seminars this week from the director which have been really interesting...
coat: Zara, sweater: ancient, shirt: vintage, jeans: Warehouse, pin: gift, shoes: ebay
Saturday, 4 February 2012
Well, that was a bit of an absence for me! I'm usually a pretty regular poster, but life has suddenly just decided to be madness. Right after my last post I got really sick, got handed a lot more work at my job, got way more into the task of finding another job, tried to keep up with my writing schedule... I'm tired. Also it's 0°C in Barcelona! It even snowed (briefly, and I have never seen such over-reactions) on Thursday. Posts might be patchy around here for the next week.
This red dress is my winter uniform. When I first showed it on the blog in December, several people rightly pointed out that it was perfect for Christmas. It's also I guess perfect for Valentine's day. My friend pointed out today that I can wear it for my Carnival costume, holding a syringe, and be a naughty nurse. In fact, today I wore it with polka dot tights and looked pretty Minnie Mouse. It definitely veers on the extreme/cartoonish side of things, but one thing I can't argue with is the colour. When black and grey and navy make me look dead in the winter, fire-engine red is there to reignite some signs of life.
These pictures were taken in a hurry, but I wanted to show the fantastic red wall of my flat, especially since I'm moving out next week... oh right, another thing to do...
Disfraz de enfermera cachonda: Kling, tights: Dorothy Perkins, shoes: ebay, cushions: Spitalfields Market, everything else is just part of the decor!