Thursday, 8 August 2019

Bare arms, plunging necklines, and tower hair, oh my

My arms are bare and I'm starting to be okay with that again. I was a bit wobbly (heh) for a while. Pfft. Bring. It. On! 

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, Grizas dress and jacket, Vancouver 2019

Grizas sent this dress and matching jacket to me over a year ago, April 2018, and I wrote about it here and even made a tiny video. 

I've said it before, I'll never be as young as I am right now, and if I already cover my arms, what will be left to show of my entire body in the years ahead? It's not about the body; it's about what's in the body, so go do something amazing. Go on!! - I tell myself.

And below, another thing I wore this week: my acid orange jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and no coverup top underneath - it's a first. And arms showing. It was just so dang hot and this jumpsuit was so dang cool I had to do it. After about five minutes I forgot about the neckline completely.

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, tower hair, vintage orange jumpsuit, Vancouver 2019

It was a good hair day when I wore my dress. Really, when my hair is sticking up all over the place I have yet to figure out what, from someone else's perspective, would constitute a bad tower hair day. "Uh, Mel, your hair is sticking up there." To capture said hair I went down to the Art Gallery for some photos and took the little step stool to sit on.

Exhibit A: Hair.

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, tower hair, 2019

My hair is on the cusp of falling over so I have to enjoy every good hair day left before another Big Chop.

And below, the matching jacket. I feel like I'm sitting for a Sears portrait. Heh. Sears is/was a big North American department store, which always seems on the brink of collapse these days. And bye-bye Barneys - almost. At least they are keeping their New York flagship stores open.

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, Grizas dress and jacket, 2019
Mel Kobayashi laughing, Bag and a Beret, Grizas dress and jacket, 2019

I even brought my rockstar shirt from O and a vintage tie. I switched out the heels for my slip-on Converse running shoes.

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, Grizas dress with rockstar top and vintage tie

Somehow the baggy crotch of the jumpsuit balances out the neckline. I also put on the diamond encrusted meteorite pendant as a distraction from the plunging neckline. That was kind of a big fail - it's big, shiny, and positioned right at the lowest point of the plunge - but it made me happy.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage orange jumpsuit, 2019

SWOOOOSH!!! You can see a bit of pylon or traffic cone in the corner. Coordinating perfectly. I can't lace the top lace holes of my shoes unless I wear socks because the sandals bite my ankles, and I didn't think socks would go.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage orange jumpsuit, 2018

And why not a kick to show you that this is not a dress. It's an even cooler jumpsuit!

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage orange jumpsuit, 2018

The parasol was given to me by Lily-Lark last year. I often go out with it to protect from the sun. I went to the Art Gallery again. I love the light up there.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage orange jumpsuit, 2018

And the Pride Parade was last Sunday. I wasn't in the mood to dive into the crowds so I hung out on the periphery in a cafe and sketched in my journal, as I do. That photo below is two photos stuck together. I didn't have my tripod or camera so this is the best I could do with the phone. It still freaks me out taking photos on a phone.

Mel Kobayashi Bag and a Beret paillette top and palazzo pants in Vancouver

That's been my week. How has yours been?

I'm too late for Patti's Visible Monday, dang! (word of the day), but I'll skedaddle over to Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike, at Not Dressed as Lamb. See you there!! 

Stay cool, my friends. 


Monday, 29 July 2019

Agent Bagsy to the rescue!!

Hello! Hello! I'm wearing red!


I have been a busy little Canadian beaver this past week, making videos mostly. Here's one of them. If you've seen it already on Instagram, just move along. Or watch it again! Hahaha! The music is The New Order by Aaron Kenny. 


Yes, we need more secret agents over 55, or even over 40. I'm happy to oblige, especially armed with a vintage handbag! There are no shots of me actually thwarting the "bad guys," but that's how Agent Bagsy rolls. I want to team up with Mr. Bean so we could be Bagsy Bean or Bean Bagsy.

It was a challenge filming this solo, acting all weirdly downtown and in the alley with my tripod, and filming at the coffee shop. Luckily, I found a spot to myself.

If there was whispering - stay away from her, she's a bit odd, isn't she - at least I didn't hear it. I had to order that expensive juice to lay claim to the location. It was a good investment. I got the footage.
And this is a photo shoot I did this past week as well. It's the outfit I wore to the Nordstrom campaign launch party just shy of a year ago. I had such fun that night, made especially memorable with my friends Suzanne, Patti, and Shelley who came to help celebrate. I wrote about it HERE.



I swapped out the fashion glasses I got from Nordstrom, which had pale pink lenses, with these sunglasses.

I was getting a Marilyn Monroe vibe, shots of her with her hair blowing at the beach. Never mind that MM's hair was platinum blonde and my hair is getting white on its own, or that she was voluptuous and could sing, act, dance, and pose to make us weak at the knees. My knees are just getting weak. Heh. But I can still dream - that never gets old. That's what Hollywood is all about, dreaming. Agent Bagsy agrees.


Shelley gave me that cotton robe. It fluttered wonderfully in the breeze. And it was cool-ish outside.


That next shot actually feels '60s. It's the sunglasses.


Next, putting myself into real perspective. I'm just a dot in relation to this humongous bridge support. I guess that statement would be more profound if that were a galaxy behind me and not just a bunch of concrete. Of course I am small compared to a bridge support. 


That's better. Although I had to boost my size for you to see me at all.

Galaxy photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

That's all from me this week. I'm going to link up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. Maybe see you there!!

Thanks for visiting! Dang, I'm out of cheese nippies. I knew I should have got more. But I still have some gherkins and Cheez Whiz light cheese spread and a couple of cartons of fine wine.


Sunday, 21 July 2019

New parts in Faux France

I woke up to discover that the part in my hair had changed sides during the night. How did this happen? What mysterious forces are at play?

Actually, I like my part on this new side - it's like a whole new Mel. Hooray! Not that I disliked the old one, but it's too bad that I can't wake up with a new firm neck. Maybe if I slept with my feet over my head that would work because I've tried every other position with failure. Sigh. I don't know how I managed this hair trick.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

I am wondering if this sneaky hair shift is due to the movement of the North Pole - yes, it's a thing. Seriously, it's moving, which is totally off-putting. I can't count on the north being north? Canada has always promoted itself as True North, so now we are Off-kilter North? Faux North? Fact are not facts anymore?!! Nothing new there, I guess. Sigh.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

Now, obviously, I have to check my hair whorl to see if it has also switched direction. Given that water swirls down the drain counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Northern, it would be logical that hair whorls everywhere are also shifting madly with the movement of the Poles in a whorly-whirly-gig event.

My whorl goes clockwise - or is it counterclockwise? Gaaa, I've forgotten! Why don't we have bracelets with this vital information? Now I'll have to go digging through old photos to check, but I can't do that because I'll lose my appetite and it's almost time for nibblies.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

Or maybe my part reversed because of all those earthquakes on the West Coast and the geographical shifting that happened. Sherry, Petite Over 40, of Seattle has said she's inching toward Vancouver. Whoa, free transportation! Again, hooray: reliable and inexpensive transport is vital for a thriving economy, I always say. And it will be great having Sherry as a neighbour for when I need to borrow baking supplies. ??!!

(Note to self: Check out border real estate to cash in on this phenomenon; not sure how shrinking land mass will work to my benefit yet though.)

I took these photos in Faux France, where everyone is attractive and happy and stylish and I speak fluent French, yet with a touch of an English accent to make me exotic and alluring - although I'm not sure it works that way. Speaking English with a French accent sounds so awesome to my ear but the other way...?

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

I stay at the Hotel George X (double better than the George V), where everything is fun and free. This morning, for example, I had breakfast with Javier Bardem and Colin Firth. Wow! Croissants with butter and blueberry jam, and avocados on the side, and wine of course. And there were loads and loads of flowers on the table, so many I couldn't even be sure if that was Javier and Colin over there; I just took an educated guess. I'm clever like that. Not a genius though, I admit.

Some people might mistake this location for Vancouver Art Gallery, the steps to nowhere because the doors at the top are permanently sealed. It is also malodorous there. I ask you: Why would I go there when I can skip through the streets of Faux France?

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

No matter what, the reality is the wind in my hair and this faboo outfit, all old, thrifted, energizing - man shoes, black jeans, an oversized top. The amazing neckpiece is from Anja, Curly Traveller, from a few years back. I love it!!

And that, my friends, is my day. I'll be hopping on the Concorde (the good kind that exists and doesn't malfunction) for New York in a few hours. Maybe we can have lunch at the Met? Wear a gown. Toodle-loo. Heh.

Hope you're all having a stellar time being your fabulous selves.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, black jeans, man shoes, Jul 20 2019

I'll link up to Patti and Catherine at Not Dead Yet Style and Not Dressed as Lamb for Visible Monday and #iwillwearwhatilike.  Yup.



Monday, 15 July 2019

We're not posing - we're LIVING!


Or how about, if a style blogger doesn't take a camera on a meetup with friends, does she still exist? Of course the answer to both would be a resounding YES! Our outfits are just the coating for the goodness within; in fact, sometimes a camera just gets in the frickin' way if it's remembered at all. 

But for those other times, when one has an impish beauty itch, a whack-ton of makeup and a tripod, a remote control, and a conspirator, well, see exhibits AAA below. These are from Shelley's visit to Vancouver in June, which I posted about here. Shelley posted here and here.

This wall in a nearby alley was perfect: mossy, concrete, grey, and black. There also wasn't too much garbage or smell, which is a critical make-or-break location factor, especially with guests. The micro-distillery gin joint on the corner, closed at the time, still provided great mental ambiance. 


Marching with fortitude into position.

There was nobody around, unless you count the ring of residential highrises. The few people who strolled by probably didn't notice us, and there were a couple of cars, but, pffft, when you're professionals, you don't even bat an eye unless it's on cue if ya knows what's good for ya.

*******************************

ME: CUUUUT!!! (I stamp my platform-shod foot) DO IT AGAIN, SHELLEY! How many times do I have to tell you!? The look I'm going for is you're dangling your feet in the pool and there is a giant guppy attached to your toe. Now ACTION!

SHELLEY: Is he nibbling or biting?

ME: He's a mutant cross between a guppy and a piranha. Doh!

SHELLEY: Oh, okay. Is it a salt-water pool or fresh water?

ME: Ummm, salt water. Now ACTION!!



We managed to get a few serious shots (below, not above), mainly at the beginning, before the cling of adulthood had blown off. Shelley wore her floaty silk dress with a watercolour motif and I wore my vintage satin pearl pink palazzo pants with a floaty orange/coral top. 


Strenuous posing is hard fun, so of course we demanded ice cream (gelato) afterwards. Coming right up at an independent coffee shop on the other corner. Hey, if the distillery and the cafe joined forces, they could serve gin floats! Or not.

The sun was shining and we sat outdoors while we planned an air-conditioned afternoon watching zombies (Jarmusch - The Dead Don't Die).


The breeze couldn't have been better even if we had rented it. Did you notice that I put light blue in my hair? And the metal earrings weighed a ton; every time I hopped or skipped, like above, OW! But it was for ahhhrt.

I am startled sometimes when going through my photos, especially the more hilarious ones, that most women in their mid-50s, or any age I suppose, do not engage in this sort of thing. Of course, for me it's just who I am. And Shelley too and my other friends when they're in town. Shelley wrote about this in her post

I suppose I never unlearned how to play, although its expression has gone underground at various times in my life. I'm grateful now that I can still tap into this powerful resource as a liberating force and share it at every opportunity. It definitely puts a rose tint on what might otherwise be a bleak outlook.


I also managed during that week to slip in a night at the theatre, Bard on the Beach, to see The Taming of the Shrew, as a guest of Mara Gottler, pictured below. She is a co-founder of the company, now in its 30th season, and a celebrated designer who designed all the costumes for this show.

How I laughed! - a rollicking (perfect word here) good time. The production had a western theme and featured a very strong-minded Kate (the shrew) with a few well-placed tweaks. And if Instagram were a thing in the Wild West, Bianca, Kate's twittery sister, would definitely have been a selfie star!

The show runs until mid-September. Check HERE. (not sponsored)


I wore my prairie dress for the western theme, and Mara was a chic gunslinger.

The next photo is called Traces - what stays behind. I walk by that alley now and smile remembering our photo session.


And finally, an outfit featuring a blazer spied for me at Turnabout Luxury Resale Granville store by Sheila when she joined me and Shelley for a day (see previous post here and Sheila's post here). Navy, velvety, and with split sleeves. Oh my! Worn with my Marni for H&M drop-crotch purple/gold lurex pants, which I farked with side stripes. Sunglasses from an outing with Suzanne.


And that's all. I loved the process of doing this photo session with Shelley, and in the end, I'm glad to have these cool photos as visual reminders of our time spent together, the reflections cast in digital form. As with most of my creative pursuits, the process is paramount.

I hope you have all found avenues of liberation in your lives, even for micro-moments. Who doesn't need little escapes? Which reminds me, I must get to the woods - with my camera. Hahaha!! I'm a style blogger and I need to record the process!

Thanks for dropping by. xo

I'm linking up with Patti at Visible Monday over at Not Dead Yet Style and later with Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. See you there maybe?



Saturday, 29 June 2019

Friends galore and imaginations gone wild

Uh-oh, someone got into the maaakeup!


This is what happens when friends come to town - all hell breaks loose, usually on my face. And on my friends' faces. That's Shelley of Forest City Fashionista on the right. She visited Vancouver for a while and we got into all kinds of trouble.

But things really got started for me on a trip to Toronto where I hooked up with Suzanne Carillo when my work finished early. Suzanne took this photo in a cool consignment shop called Common Sort on Queen Street East. From there, we wandered the neighbourhood and had some laughs and a bite to eat at Tabule. Unexpected mini adventures are the best kind!


The day I got back to Vancouver, Shelley arrived in town, and the forecast was for sun, sun, and more sun. Plus, I had a grip on my workload, so ready or not Vancouver....

On our first day we wandered into Nordstrom where we promptly got lost in the sale racks in the designer section. We are die-hard thrifters but couldn't help ogling the spangles, boucles, plastics, and denims, all at eye-popping discount prices(!). One thing led to another and before you know it, we were arms akimbo throwing stuff on in the change rooms. Big thanks to Mary Jane who enabled us!

"What do you think, Shelley?" "I dunno, Mel. I think the sleeves could be longer. Which reminds me, wanna go see that zombie movie?" And yes, we did go later, The Dead Don't Die, by fave director Jim Jarmusch, starring Tilda Swinton and Steve Buscemi, among others. (It was didactic. That's all I'll say. And Tilda stole the show, as usual.)


That's a new thing for me below, poses with hands around my face. It feels so wrong but a photographer told me that it "reads well on camera." Okay, fine, so I'm practising. We had some laughs as I tried out new moves. My favourite so far is the "pulling-off-my-own-head pose," not shown here.

Doesn't it look like I'm in a moisturizer commercial? Or maybe I'm just remembering that I forgot to buy Ted a new jar of Nescafe instant coffee. And also, who's Ted? And why am I buying him coffee?


Shelley was afraid to come too close because there was a padlock on my coat. Clearly, I must be a secret agent and that lock is keeping all my feminine secrets safe. Or maybe that's a new super mini handbag. Cool! But if it is, don't you think it would be kind of awkward fiddling around there every time you need cash? Plus, it would only hold bit coins.


Those "pants" actually have feet on them so they are tiggings (tights/jeggings - I made that up). They are a bit see-through but I got-got-got no time to figure it out, cool as this ensemble may be, and despite it being the most "affordable" set of the lot. I bought the sunglasses at Common Sort.

Those pink pearlescent cycling shorts on Shelley are dazzling we both agreed. Except they didn't fit. Minor detail? - in a thrift shop, maybe, but sadly not here. At least they look awesome from the front and sides. And for a laugh and great photos, they are a deal.


I erased the light reflections on my sunglasses in the next photo. I was swooning over this zesty lemon coat, just the thing for a hot June day. In fact, it is! But I didn't buy it. And the dress looks great on Shelley, but we weren't shedding tears over not being able to buy either piece; not wanting them made us feel better. For me, there's something unnatural or off-putting about perfection.


And no wardrobe is complete without a suit. For months I've had my eye on the jacket Shelley is wearing. There is a skirt thing that goes with it. Basically, the jacket has been chopped zig-zaggedy and you can wear it buttoned or flopping. I like the freshness of the idea, but it's the kind of thing we could fark ourselves if we wanted to, but won't - it's been done already. Shelley's shorts look great with it though.

The suit I'm wearing is a tad out of my price range. And the pants are way huge on me. But the jacket sleeves are cool, don't you think? Wait until you see the thing I thrifted later on with a few digits lopped off the price. The boots (my own, "Jericho" from Fluevog) added great attitude.


Next, sing it with me: 🎵
We're gonna take our horse to the downtown road, 
we're gonna shoooop at the old thrift store.


Alert, another face pose! This aluminum-foilesque blazer is exactly my style. I adore the humongous acrylic buttons. Shelley grabbed it for a try-on on our way out. The way I farked this photo reminds me of a popular Canadian TV ad where a couple heats their home so hot that it melts cheese. In this case, I would be the potato.


Huge thanks to Nordsrom Vancouver for this excellent dress-up opportunity! You never know what will happen.

Next we headed for coffee at Quantum, a cool newish cafe that attracts lots of hipster gig-economy brainiac trendy types, like ourselves, well, kinda, perhaps like the children we never had...? That's a scary thought. It's conveniently located just across the street from Alley Oop, Vancouver's brightly painted alley where IGsters and garbage/delivery trucks vie daily for supremacy, in a friendly way with toots and waves.

Who's the big banana? Shelley! Her bag has horns. It's pretty shocking how many strangers can't keep their hands off them. No, seriously.


So that was Day 1.

Day 2.

Sheila of blog Sheila Ephemera arrives in town! She took a day off work to fly in from Vancouver Island special to meet Shelley for the first time. They've known each other more than seven years from blogging and it was the perfect day to hang out together. Our friendships took off like we've been neighbours, which kind of we have been. I've met Sheila a bunch of times from her annual wedding anniversary pilgrimages to Vancouver with her husband L.

I had no idea if the photo below would come out. It was so sunny I couldn't see a thing on my viewfinder.


We headed straight to My Sister's Closet for some thrift shopping. No photos there - we were too busy. Then we hopped the Aquabus to go to Granville Island for lunch before hitting a shoe store, where Sheila got the deal of the century, and a couple of consignment stores called Turnabout

Happy Shelley on the boat! Who doesn't love a boat ride? I took her photo while she was taking one of me and Sheila.


Look at me - the happy puppy! Doesn't Sheila look amazing!! The glasses, the earrings, and that dress, oh, that dress!!


This is the part where I fast-forward to the close of our day together over some Italian food before Sheila had to catch her plane home. 


Sheila did a mega write-up of her day trip HERE, and Shelley did a post already HERE. She'll have another one soon as well. And I'm the slow poke. Heh. I'll also need a Part 2 to cram everything in.

I hope you are all stellar! Meeting my friends in 3D is such a great reminder of how our online selves open all kinds of unexpected and rewarding pathways to explore.

I'm linking up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. Hooray! And also Catherine when she goes live with #iwillwearwhatilike" at Not Dressed as Lamb.

Thank you for visiting!! It's been a while since I've been home here, so I appreciate it.
xo

PS - None of these links is sponsored; they are journal notes of our time together, but we loved all these places.




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