Friday, 22 February 2019

I am not a cone

A big cotton dress worn backwards, a tablecloth, a tutu, a wedding dress, two hoop skirts, and a pink net skirt. The writing, tacked on in felt letters, says, THIS IS NOT A CONE.


The inspiration for this fark fantasy is courtesy of the painter Magritte, the brilliant design duo of Viktor & Rolf, and Shelley of Forest City Fashionista who challenged me to riff on Viktor & Rolf's latest collection, which featured big dresses with memes on the front. Shelley's version is awesome, HERE. She also includes more background on the V&R collection.

Below, feeling couture-ish in my favourite neighbourhood garden. I wanted to experience what it would be like to actually wear something like this as everyday wear. Short answer: I did in fact feel like a giant cone and passersby approached with prudent caution.


I loved doing this shoot - a couple of hours with my tripod - but the tablecloth kept snagging on my glitter platform shoes and shrubbery. I hate when that happens!


The underpinnings above. And I was wearing tights and jeggings and three long-sleeved shirts to keep off the chill on this sunny but cold day. The breastplate of the wedding dress is jewel-encrusted and weighs a ton. It's hidden under there too.


I did not edit the next photo. The sun created a brilliant patch of light in this alcove. But I'll never scramble up a hill like that in those shoes or that dress again.



This bumper-car of a dress is now deconstructed, making transportation and life in general much simpler.

Thanks for this challenge, Shelley. It was a great way to beat the winter doldrums.

Also, stylista Monica, who writes the blog Mrs. Allnut, found me in one of Spain's top magazines S MODA EL PAÍS. Hahaha! It's also in Brazil I think. I had no idea there was a print version. She scanned the cover and the article photo and emailed them to me. Wow. Huge hugs, Monica!




And finally, I was included in The Zoe Report, which is a big online thing, HERE.
"11 Stylish Women Over 50 You Should Be Following on Instagram." The writer, Sarah Lindig, asked for permission to use my photo for a piece she was working on. And then, bam, there it was!

There's lots going on here, and work work work. I'll be holed up for a while at it. I hope you are all surviving the season, whatever it may throw at you - heat or cold. Thank you thank you for visiting.


Thursday, 14 February 2019

The devil made me wear neon yellow plaid

Everyone hop on the happy bus! I'll serenade you with my expert tambourine playing until we hit Milwaukee - no guarantees after that. Greyhound bus line is defunct in mid- and western Canada now, so I really think we need a Partridge Family bus line to take its place, full of happy people with shag haircuts wearing baggies (wideleg pants) and peace pendants.  

Why this burst of glee? Because I'm feeling guilty. Very guilty. And I've manufactured this outburst to cancel all that out. 

What happened?

You know I thrive on thrift. Well, I bought retail. RETAIL!!! Gross, pitui. Puh, puh, puh - I scrape my tongue with paper towels. But I couldn't help myself. 

There I was, my body moving down the sidewalk towards home after sketching kitty in my journal, then suddenly, I heard a squeaky braking sound and my left-turn ninker came on. Before you know it, I was on the stairs. Then BLAM, I was in...Topshop!! (sound of horrified screaming)


What's the big deal, right? Lots of people shop there and the Earth keeps spinning, mind you, with a bit bigger wobble these days. The big deal is: 1) my closet is a glamazardous off-world colony; 2) I support thrift shopping to halt the wobble trend; and 3) I'm only dressing off-world these days (my closet). I still regularly shop at high-end designer stores for style inspo, though. 

I digress:
I used to visit Topshop, mostly for ultra-cool footwear with sales of 80 percent off, cool shoes that nobody except me wanted. (You must check this post here to see an example. It's a fave.) Then those mega-sales dried up, probably because retailers in general have had to scramble to feed buyers deals in new and improved sale events, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day Month. Discounts seem lower but more frequent. This is my guess. Have you noticed it?


So when I realized where I was, at any second I expected the angel on my shoulder to garrote me with a harp string. But no, I heard a high-pitched sound, almost like singing: it was the devil on my other shoulder, tickling my ear with his spear! (no comment) 

I went to scope out the shoes, but there in front of me was a row of neon plaid puffer jackets. I approached with trepidation and checked my rear view to make sure I wouldn't smack anyone when I recoiled at the underwhelming sale price. Gaaa - 80 percent off. I lunged. Oof. 


But wait, there were a few more racks to nose through. And did I buy again? Let's just say my angel's harp strings are all broke; I'm more thick-skinned than I thought. And the devil, with so much action, he dulled his spear. 

I only bought one other piece, which I'll reveal later, but this was a big deal for me - non-shoe retail. To balance things out, I've been revving up my sewing machine at home. I'll show you that later as well. Is it clothing? Is it art? 

And a couple more photos of what I wore last week.


My awesome men's Oscar de la Renta wool/cashmere overcoat made in Bulgaria with my black skinny jeans and pickle-stabber ankle boots. Every single piece here, I realize, is from My Sister's Closet thrift boutique, which supports the Battered Women's Shelter Services. It's one of the very few thrift shops in the city (actually, the only one that I know of) that doesn't charge GST based on its charitable status.


You can see in the above two photos how the light moved in the short time I was there. The second one was taken before the first one. And then this corner below always seems to have light but I don't go there often - it's a bit scungie despite the great graffiti.


I'll do linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed a Lamb for her #iwillwearwhatilike when the time comes. 

I hope you guys are all fine. No, not fine - stellar!!! And why not? We're alive, we can dress up almost for free with stuff we have around, and the world is still turning, a bit more wobbly now, but turning. 



Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Menocore style because they're not menopausal

A woman turns 50 and she suddenly turns into a confident potato with waistless pants, at least that seems to be the view of menocore, the hot flash style trend among 20- and 30-something women who love dressing up (in this case, dressing down) as menopausal women. How flattering - a style that looks so good it's simply named after our reproductive life cycle. And by the way, you have the face for radio!

When I found the word menocore in a New York Times article, The New Mom Uniform of Park Slope, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, like a detective who smells blood - or not. The writer called it a "a hateful takeoff on normcore." I followed the link to the source: the blog Man Repeller, a June 2018 post called Menocore is the New Normcore, and It's a Lot More Comfortable. Now I know who dunnit.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
This coat is a men's XXL - solid menopausal style.
photos by @vancouverbarbara, edits by moi

I learned that menocore celebrates baggy clothing, hair scrunchies, exposed bra straps, neutrals, and a host of other fun stuff we wear. And we are lauded for not caring how we look to other people. It's because we're so frigging confident. Ross writes that with the menocore trend, we middle-agers are finally getting our time in the spotlight, meaning, presumably, baggy neutrals have never looked so good because now they are on young bods?

Don't get me wrong. Menocore has certainly empowered me. That's why I'm excited to announce here, for the first time, a new trend for us of the baggy-pants set: Fertilcore (or Menstrucore, your call), named after the reproductive life cycle of women in their 20s and 30s. How freeing to feel insecure enough that we can finally care how we look! Hooray! If my friends raise an eyebrow and say, Gee, Mel, you're looking very Fertilcore today, I can blame it on those frisky fertiles.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
New fab Fertilcore look: gold lycra catsuit, platform runners, neon yellow wig, white brows you can't see here. This outfit is not my fault!

So rip up those What Not to Wear Over 30 lists, my menopausal friends. Hello mini skirts, stilettos, and hoop earrings! And don't miss my soon-to-be-released list of What Not to Wear in Your Reproductive Years. I mean, if you want to dress as mutton, you better do it right!

Mel Kobayashi, fertilcore debut
Fertilcore - here we come! 
See my attempts at super-tight leather pants here and here if you haven't already.

I have to say, I won't hold menocore against its adherents. I am satisfied knowing that hopefully some day they will all experience the special secret surprises that accompany menopause and middle age.

And I get it: comfortable clothing feels good and can look great. But why not have the vagina (because balls are for juggling) to just own it all on its own? I think that's what menocore is about anyway - confidence, period, or not. My fertile-free-ness should not be an excuse for someone's neutrals any more than someone's fertility should be an excuse for my platform shoes. 

I thought women's style had progressed beyond an us/them issue. We are all in this together, for the whole ride. So how about we forget about ageist labels altogether and enjoy what we all bring to the table? (Like Pao's comment - womanocore?)

As Jessica at Warning: Curves Ahead concluded in her famous viral blog post in response to a list about what women shouldn't wear over 30: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should WearWhatever the f*ck they want." Words we can all live by any time.

Mel Kobayashi, gold catsuit, yellow wig, fertilcore style
Cool sparkly owl pendant from Patti, Not Dead Yet Style.

Edit: I'm linking up to Catherine's #Share All Linkup at Not Dressed as Lamb. And later to her #iwillwearwhatilike. I'll also link to the next Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style.



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