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 with adult, not baby, teeth. 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 would look great on men and women - architects, scientists, designers, photographers, shopkeepers, anyone who needs a quick vision fix.
AND, he started to make rings, like the ones he made me, also to sell. He has made three different designs, all 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 like this 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 for me and 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 anyway.
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?