Sunday, 21 May 2017

Hooped and louped

I was out on my inspiration walk - dum, dee-dum, dee-dum - and I swung by My Sister's Closet thrift shop, as I usually do, inexorably drawn by their famous $5 rack. And look what I found, brought to my attention by my friend Su, who happened to be volunteering that day.


Yes, a closet staple: the magnificent hoop skirt. It brings back memories of dress-ups and dreams, and I figure there's absolutely no reason to disengage from such frivolity just because I am many decades older without any baby teeth left. And for only $5, that's cheap and sigh-worthy thrills. Now the owner of two hoop skirts, I have some serious hoop shoots to tackle when the weather warms up. Can't wait.

Trying to look bad ass with a hip-slung hoop skirt is not as easy as it sounds. Heh. Under the hoop I happened to be wearing: vintage jumpsuit in dark brown/black with floral patterning, vintage wide suede tie belt, purple Mozart jacket, and my still-hanging-in-there D&G heels.


And then below, how I looked downtown carrying the skirt, tied and shoulder slung so it didn't bell out and limit arm function (although that's also a look) or shove oncoming pedestrians into traffic. Unfurling didn't happen until I got home.

Definitely, a hoop skirt is one of those things you've got to wear like you mean it, and I did, even if only over my shoulders, "Ho-hum, I always walk around like this." A few people even complimented my style. Heh. The skirt does look a bit like fairy wings, far from Björk swan-dress-worthy, but the next best thing on a budget and impromptu. Best of all, I felt Björkish.


And a bit of breaking news...

You know how I'm always wearing my magic loupe, right? Ninety percent of my all my photos feature it, and if you can't see it, it's probably tucked inside my clothing. O made it for me as a talisman and reading aid and I never leave home without it. 

If you've met me in real life, you'll have seen it in action. Often it is passed around the restaurant table as we order or in thrift shops to read labels. No one wants to fumble around for reading glasses on the fly (or admit we need them at all) when I have the magic loupe at hand. And I use it all the time for checking photo previews on my camera. 


Well, O decided to start selling them in an Etsy store. They are just like the one I wear. Knowing how much time he put into crafting mine, I thought there's no way he could make them affordable, so I was shocked when he told me they'd be $175 Canadian (that's about $130 US). He streamlined the process a bit but still...

He manually turns the stainless steel on a watchmaker's lathe, he hand polishes all the metal parts, including the screw, and he even hand turns the magnifying lens to get the size he wants. 

That's a closeup of what they look like below, C$175 (US$130). It's such a minimalist design it looks great on men and women - architects, scientists, designers, photographers, shopkeepers, anyone who needs a quick vision fix. Some people mistake me for a pro photographer because of my loupe.


AND, he started to make rings, like the ones he made me, also to sell. He has made three different designs featuring an industrial ruby and stainless steel shaped with a milling machine and manually turned on his lathe. They are hand polished, all in size 6 3/4 (17mm).

Below, Style A, with angled surfaces on the top and sides of the ring, C$490 (US$362). 


Below, Style B, C$490 (US$362). The outer band is smooth but he angled the sides.


Below, Style C, C$390 (US$288). This is his most simple design. In this photo you can really see the high polish. There is something called a mirror finish, but this is a higher level of polish called a black finish, which is often used in very high-end watchmaking. 


Every time I wear my rings I get compliments. There is so little contact between the ruby, the band, and your finger that the stone absorbs maximum light, which reflects an intense red glow. This is definitely a good luck ring that brings me lots of positive energy.

Opening Etsy was pretty scary. Heh. I hope we got it right (I helped). O's production is limited, only one or two of each ring design and four of the loupe at this point. His shop, Fine Metalwork Studio, is HERE. It would be so cool having Louped Sisters - not that I don't already, hahaha!

And back to what I wore...

Below is a variation of the outfit I wore to the big fundraising event I wrote about in my previous post.


This is a vintage '80s silky pyjama suit in neon orange with bright fuchsia dots and linebacker shoulders. I wore it with my thrifted pussy-bow Scotch and Soda blouse, D&G shoes, and the magnificent ruby-red velvet coat, which was a generous gift from Fairy Thrift Sister Su's personal stash. 

If I were to hear the line, "Hey, lady, the '80s called, they want their suit back," I would respond, "Pardon me, the 2000s called, they want their clone back." I feel so empowered in this suit, I suspect I won't need this line, but it's best to be prepared I always say. Plus, the padded-shoulder gyrations, triggered by intense '80s flashbacks, are of such magnitude that it's likely nobody could maneuver safely into earshot when I'm on the move in this splendid number.


And below, something I wore last week as well, a black lace dress bought at a sample sale, Totem brand I think. I removed its black sewn-in slip that morning and instead wore a lacy vintage bright red slip which I mitten-clipped to shorten into a swag. And those are Fluevog shag boots, Jericho, in black, bought at a consignment shop. I also have them in bright green. 

Coincidentally, this vintage graphic coat was also a generous gift from Su. Her gifts are absolute favourites in my closet. Hugs, Su!


I felt a bit odd in this outfit. It's very, hmm, tidy I suppose. Or wrapped up or ordered. Maybe it just feels slightly magaziney, which is not my usual style. But I still felt empowered, which probably had something to do with my hair being its peaky best.


Maybe this outfit is too modern-ish. I'll probably wear it again though, when I'm in a weird mood.


And a laugh, in case you've forgotten that that's what I usually look like when I'm with my friends.


Finally, I spent a lovely day with Vancouver Barbara recently, which included booze and breakfast, not necessarily at the same time, and I am happy to report that she is now on Instagram HERE. At last you'll be able to share in her amazing sewing creations and artistry. 

Of course I'll be linking up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. I'll see all youse guys there. 

I hope you have had a stellar week. Life is topsy turvy here, but what's new?


45 comments:

  1. Not that there's anything wrong with booze and breakfast! Love your new hoop, and its versatility, and that graphic vintage coat is the bamba (I don't like to say bomb any more - life is too precarious!). So glad to now have the opportunity for a magical loop. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. I'm so on board with your use of the word bamba. I'll use it too if you don't mind. Hahaha. We're pretty looped already when we wanna be. Thanks, Patti. xo

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  2. I just threw my hoop away a couple weeks ago. The bottom hoop broke, I tried to repair it with duct tape but it still died on me. In the ren faire world, the wider the hoop the better. Find you a six hoop skirt and you'll REALLY be the belle of the ball. And those rings tho! STUNNING!! And oh my gosh now I've finally seen your O's face (Esy profile)!

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    1. Oh, now I'll be pining for a six-loop hooper! I'm sure mine are just wedding cast-offs.

      O's photo is so serious. Hahaha. I rarely see him like that. He'll put smiling photos up later. He doesn't like having his photo taken.

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  3. Enormous congrats to O on opening his shop! And to you as well Mel! His work is simply stunning!

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  4. Omggggg the rings and loupe!!!! So awesome!!! I'd wear the loupe everyday, too. Fantastic. The purple jacket and as always my fav leopard print pumps :)

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    1. Yeah, those pumps just keep on going! Thank goodness - they are irreplaceable. Thanks for this.

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  5. Oh, your outfits really are so splendid, you create immense joy. Thank you! I love your O's rings, too.

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    1. Joy is what it's about for me so I'm really glad of that. I'll tell O. Thanks!

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  6. That pyjama suit is sublime, I love it! You fabulous woman!
    How cool is that loupe? That sounds like the perfect invention for me, as I'm so short sighted that I bought my friend a vintage charm bracelet I believed was inscribed "Innsbrook" as she'd just come back from there only to discover it said "Interlaken" instead. xxx

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    1. Hahaha re the charm bracelet, but it will be a good story to tell. The pyjama suit is definitely a fave, loving it more and more all the time. Thanks, Vix. xox

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  7. Wow, so much good stuff in one post! O's magnificent jewelry. oh my. Vancouver Barbara finally in pictures. whoopee. And your kick-out-the-jams ensembles. so feeling groovy, bay-bee.

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  8. I love how you wore the lace dress! So cool!
    The rings are gorgeous! Wow!

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    1. All of O's jewellery has special power. Yesh. The lace dress is seldom worn but I like this way too. Thanks, Bobbi!

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  9. Ooh, I might need a loupe...and a ruby ring! I must send this link to L ASAP. Birthday gifts are a-callin'! I adore your orange jammies, the red velvet coat, and am JEALOUS as heck over those fringed booties! Want want want!

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    1. Oh, yes, Sheila. I believe you DO need a ring and loupe. Hahaha!! These jammies are the best. And the boots were destined, one green pair, one black. Hugs to you, xoxo.

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  10. Hooray! You've opened an Etsy store!!! FABULOUS!!! All of his pieces are spectacular. I am still reeling after seeing his photo. I now know that O is a real person and not just a character you've made up. Ha ha! He'll hate me for that now ; P

    I want to see how you're going to style that hoop skirt. All the possibilities! Ha! Plus when you need a tent you have one at the ready.

    Your PJ outfit is wonderfully visible. So much colour I'm sure you stopped traffic. Is that a burning sun? Nope, it is just Melanie on her way to another highfalutin media event. It's not just the hair, it's the whole package.

    Also that lace outfit is gorgeous. So many great textures all vying for attention.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Yes, O is a real live human. Heh. It's a very serious photo but I like it best when he's laughing, of course. Yes, one could camp in that skirt, and now I'll have two rooms. That's about all I can afford with Vancouver housing prices. Heh. xox

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  11. What wonderful outfits! Sue has certainly gifted you two beautiful coats - I love the ruby red velvet and brilliant black and white abstract one. The Pyjama suit and blouse is amazing and the farked black lace dress looks gorgeous on you.

    As for O's loupe and rings... what exquisite craftmanship...the loupe looked almost different in the each of the photos in the photo montage. Simply amazing. I hope he sells lots - I wish I could afford them.

    Have a lovely week

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    1. Su, she fulfills my wildest coat fantasies! And thank you for the compliments on O's work, I'll let him know. Hugs, Veronica. xo

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  12. So much coat porn I can barely stand it. You have a working friend to gift you both the red velvet and the graphic print. I am new to your blog and this entry has made me a fan for life!

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    1. This is definitely XXXXrated coat perversion. Heh. So glad you came and commented! Thank you!!! Big huge welcome.

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  13. I love your comeback and do so hope you get to throw it out there to some unsuspecting twat!! That Orange with pink spots suit (silk jimmies) is awesome. Well done on O starting an etsy shop, he will do very well with you as his advertiser and model!!!

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    1. Gaaa, thanks for commenting, Sue!!! I'd love to invite you in for a cup of tea or something stronger to catch up properly. I'm O's biggest fan, of course. Big hugs to you!xo

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  14. I can't tell you how many pairs of reading glasses I have broken or lost, mostly because I throw them in my purse without protection. A magic loupe would certainly take care of that problem! I like the magic loupe montage---I also love how you wore the hoop skirt over the shoulder.

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    1. Reading glasses - gaaaa - so annoying. At night sometimes I wear two pairs over my regular glasses. The loupe is therefore a lifesaver when I go out, no more glasses. I simply can't find my glasses in my bag EVER. Thanks for your comment, Tilda!

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  15. my laptop just exploded from your fab photos.

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    1. Hahaha. Now you can get a new one. xo

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  16. The black lace with the Fluevogs is amazing! And so is O's work!!

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  17. Honestly,
    who else could rock a hoop skirt! The mix mastery is superb and I adore the fringed boots. another on the who list is
    who else could make a photo in a stairwell (?) look like a magazine cover, and I mean that in a good way, i love the glossies.
    0's work is superb!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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    1. Yeah, that stairwell is so handy, steps from home. Dick (my tripod) and I get into all kinds of trouble in there. I often come across a lost pink sequin or two. Thanks for the compliments on O's work too. xox

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  18. Magazineish, tidy, modern?? Girl, don't ever think that you look standard as that is what you meant with these words, right? Not unique enough. Am I right? Let me tell you.. WHATEVER you put on, it is always farked, it is always unique and it is always creative. Sometimes you lean towards "too far out for my taste" and sometimes you lean towards "wow I'd wear that if I looked like her". But you are always unique.
    I went over to Etsy and Nearly ordered the style A. But didn't and felt like a cheat and a fraud. As I do love the design and I do want it. But I first went back to my bank account and paid the credit card company, checked my balances etc... and found put I haven't even got money for our holiday next week. Since the cards came out of the freezer, they have been smooking again and I really need to step back otherwise I have to be on a financial diet for months again. And I want to show some restraint this time. To tell you the truth, I think O could ask double the price for these rings. They are unique in style, design and finish. You know how the world thinks.. the pricier they are, the more desirable. If they are inexpensive, the posh people don't want them as they cannot show them off. How about adding a zero? Like in 3,780.00? It is all in marketing my dear. In positioning. And you can only do that once. Only if I come back to order, I can still get it for the original price, OK?
    Greetje
    PS a loupe isn't necessary with me as I have a reading section in my contact lenses.

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    1. I laughed about your smoking credit cards. Freezing, hot, freezing, hot. That's the way it goes. And thanks for your supportive comments here and elsewhere about O's work. I'd charge waaaay more but it's hard getting anyone to click on anything let alone buy something. So at least this can be seen as an incentive price, I hope. Later he might boost the price to reflect more accurately the work that goes into his pieces.
      I need those contact lenses!
      Hugs, Greetje. xoxo

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  19. SOLD!! I can't wait to receive my loupe! You'll see me as "Craig" btw ;)

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    1. YAAAAAY, wild cheering, as you know, from my household. You were the first purchaser at O's store. He'll never forget it. Thanks so much, Carolyn. I hope you get addicted to your new loupe. Sooooo handy in my life. xoxox And big thanks from O too, of course.

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  20. Oh! The shoulder-slug hoop thing is FABULOUS.
    The loupe and rings are just so, so elegant (far too elegant for my pudgy fingers lol)

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    1. SLUG HOOP?
      That should be shoulder slung hoop DOH

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    2. Slug hoop, hahaha, that's intriguing. Perhaps slippery. Big hugs, Madam Monkeypaints!!!

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  21. Well done you guys for opening an Etsy shop - yes scary, but I'm sure it'll be a runaway success. I'd make a purchase but am a bit stuffed currently. My son needs a new engine for his boat and the bank of mum and dad didn't manage to close its doors swifty enough! The designs are sleek, and yes, I'd wear any of those rings with delight.

    I love, love, love the orange pyjama suit and how you've styled it is perfect in my eyes. Towering hair is looking fab at its sky high best.

    Anna x

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    1. Thanks for your supportive comments, Anna. This was a scary thing to do but I'm so glad we finally got it up. I can see you in a suit like this too. We have so many style points in common, at least from my eye. Big hugs!

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  22. I adore your orange outfit! It is so pretty! I am on the look out for an orange satin shirt with eye print on it- it was a Doctor Who Clara outfit and I raaaaaaaaaaaaaally want that shirt! If you ever see one (and don't fancy it yourself), please let me know!!!
    Good luck to O! I didn't realise your magic Loupe was an eye-glass! Sorry, how dense am i!?!??!?x

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  23. So much fabulousness here on this post! xx

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