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Thursday 27 September 2012

Corset as daytime wear for limp spirits

I drew on the extraordinarily rigid structure of this wonderful corset to prop up my limp spirits today. There is no room for sagging or slouching in this marvel of sartorial engineering. I don't lace it up tightly for waist-cinching; wearing its boning to fit my existing frame provides quite enough spiritual support.

Forget Maid Marian - feeling like Robin Hood is infinitely more empowering. My cross-slung camera feels like a quiver; one misstep and I'd have to shoot you, but only if you were fabulously dressed.

  • Voller corset, made in England, retail many, many years ago
  • long black T (you can see it under the corset), retail
  • airship pendant, new from Little Lamp Sculpture on Etsy, my friend Monique 
  • ivory silk blouse with mother-of-pearl heart buttons, retail, Tokyo many, many years ago
  • black stretch riding pants, sample sale (usually worn as jeggings with a tunic)
  • stretch wedge-heel boots, thrifted
  • fingerless gloves, retail
  • "had-it-up-to-here" attitude, my very own
I wore this corset with a similar pairing on Christmas Day. I also wore it here. The blouse was worn here.

This last photo reminds me of a time tunnel. Funny how a shift from colour to black and white takes me from Sherwood Forest to the world of sci-fi.

I lament that this outfit is all black and white. How much more fun it would be to wear a similar ensemble in rainbow colours, but you work with what you've got at the moment. 

At +50 some might question the age-appropriateness of this attire. I'm afraid in my current mood I would have to refer those people to my expletive-laden music video. Sorry to be so abrupt but Robin brings out a feisty shooting-apples-off-your-head non-chalance. 

Would you/have you ever worn a corset for daytime wear? Do you have one?

Also, thank you for your kind comments on my last post. Now that I am recovering from my drunken Spider Woman hangover, as Pao so astutely pointed out, I see the wisdom of your words. It also helps that my cleaning is finished.

Now excuse me while I go find my merry man (that would be O) to drink grog (coffee) and feast (exploding garden salad).

PS. This post was written Wed and posted today, I like to marinate for a night.

Monday 24 September 2012

Please hang up and try again

I have a street style blog and as a rule I don't interrupt people who are talking on their cell phones or texting or browsing other interactive devices to ask them for a photograph, which limits my style pool considerably - tech devices are everywhere. The other day on the "up" escalator at a high-end fashion retailer I was almost squished by a man who momentarily lost his balance while he was navigating a riveting website on his full-sized laptop perched on the sliding rubber handrail. I think he expected me to apologize to him for messing up his keystroke rhythm as he fell back onto me.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when O showed me this wonderful item he found at an online store specializing in ergonomic design.

It's a portable laptop stand. My favourite feature is the hood which fully conceals your head, but I think perhaps the manufacturer should consider adding wheels to the device and mounting a webcam on the front so that while you are wheeling down the street, walker-fashion, you don't have to interact with the environment AT ALL! Simply, you will see the street ahead of you on your laptop. Imagine the convenience - no more annoying sidewalk chats, no more online seconds wasted, no more irksome sunshine!

When I go out on my daily inspiration walks I see potential buyers everywhere. If I didn't already have a profession, I bet I could make a bazillion bucks selling this revised product. I'd call it the Pro-tech Walker (I should trademark that name). Do you know anyone who could use this miracle device?

In fact, the product, as is, is designed for photographers who shoot digitally on location and other such professionals, which sounds very useful. I just needed a good rant and this product was easy pickings.

Finally, here's a peek at what I wore today. It's not a proper outfit photo because I'm a supremely tired of me, me, me. Just seeing me in a photo makes me nauseous. And I've been doing my spring cleaning...

Details: vintage haori; up-cycled thrifted nightie four sizes too big, worn inside-out with lace trim removed; thrifted flare girdle yoga pants (aaaaa!!); boots, retail; fingerless gloves, Canadian Tire automotive store bought with fingers on; thrifted wool indigo beret, and; magic voodoo pendant (everything O gives me is magic).

This week should get better. Things are getting sorted out. I hope you are all partying at Patti's Visible Monday. I'm just plain too tired to join today, but I most certainly will stop by to check out the goings-on. Do you ever get sick of seeing yourself in photographs?

Thursday 20 September 2012

Kiss of the drunken spider woman

I'm not in space any more but the retro rocket is still firing - thanks to this gift from the fabulous PAO from Project Minima: vintage maxi knit dress with an enormous brown velvet bow, once worn by her mother. Clearly we know that PAO is exploding with style and artistic talent, but now we also know that she inherited some pretty awesome get-your-groove-on genes from her mum.

It's too bad I didn't have a champagne glass as an accessory when I went out today, as surely the elevationary effervescence from a raised glass of bubbly would have flown me and this magical dress to my coffee shop in very good time and in much better style than Mary Poppins with her priggish umbrella; I would just have to hang on to the stem of the glass very tightly and watch out for spills. This dress made me feel very '60s martini/champagne party and bewitching at the same time. 

After my photo session I remembered a photo I had seen of Sonia Braga in her Spider Woman role from the movie Kiss of the Spider Woman. Our poses are similar but I think for my own good I'll end all comparisons there! Her web is very Alexander McQueen, don't you think?

My walk home was challenging: Step step step POSE. Step step step POSE. Sometimes you've just got to flaunt it; I'm glad I didn't pull a muscle from the exertion. "Here she comes, A-walkin' down the street, She gets the funniest looks from, Everyone she meets..." (Lyrics from the Monkees)

Details of the outfit:
  • knit maxi dress, by Paul Stanley, New York, gift from the magnificent PAO
  • maxi white nylon slip, thrifted (it came with my maxi sequin dress here)
  • animal print shoes, Dolce and Gabbana, thrifted
  • pantyhose(!), retail
  • wooden matryoshka*, retail, Lee Valley Tools, refashioned by me, hardware by O
Accessory-wise I made do with the all-knowing-eye teacup carrier that I made from a wooden matryoshka - colour on one side (above), black and white on the other (below). The following photo also gives you a better idea of the fabric. The geometric pattern is a dark chocolate brown on ivory and there are textural horizontal lines throughout the fabric as well. I really needed the slip. (*edit: I learnt the correct word is matryoshka or matrushka, not babushka as originally posted)

So a huge thanks and hugs to PAO for making my magical journey possible today!! I couldn't have done it without you. This is my new absolute favourite dress!! 

My outfits often remind me of animals, plants, and even, in this case, a female spider. Do you make comparisons like that about your outfits? Curious. I hope you are enjoying your magical journeys in your fabulous frocks and slacks and what have you's. Breathe, breathe, breathe, aaaah.

(When I say today in this post, I mean yesterday; I wrote this up last night.)

Sunday 16 September 2012

Maxi dress across the universe

Such a huge job for such a wee maxi dress - transporting me across the universe - all for the low, low price of $4.99 at local fabric mecca Dessew.

The dress is a new old stock garment made of jersey knit fabric so the plasticization effect that often occurs with old polyester is not quite as deliciously cringeworthy as it would be with a heavier-weight fabric. The triad of blue, striped middle, and bottom are cleverly sewn into unified magnificence. I love the shoulder pads in this too, which is odd because it's one of the first items to go when I buy a period piece. 

Obviously I am continuing the space theme I started a couple of posts ago. I carried my gold bag out again to protect from cosmic rays, but I think in this dress I am impervious to meteor showers, cosmic rays, and other such space matters - except Dr. Spock.

Details of the outfit:
  • new old stock maxi dress, fabric shop Dressew
  • long-sleeved black T under short-sleeved dress
  • black tights, retail
  • Frump heels, retail
  • universe, free for all

It looks like I'm falling from one world into another and orange energy is spewing out of my head. I sometimes feel like the expression on my face. 

I didn't retouch these photos except to crop them - I simply curled onto my painting's surface on the floor under my camera, which was balanced (precariously!) on its tripod jammed into the painting rack. I don't have a remote so running back and forth with the timer was challenging - especially when the shot demanded absolute repose in the galaxy enveloping me.

Below is an excerpt of lyrics from the Beatles song Across the Universe:

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe

Thoughts meander like a restless wind 
Inside a letter box 
They tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe

I did that painting a few years ago. It's big, and until now I never much cared for its galactic imagery; now I love it. If you've got art you are not fond of, try putting it on the floor and rolling around on it - and photographing the process. I guarantee you'll feel differently about it afterwards...

Gorgeous Patti is hosting her magnificent Visible Monday again. Of course Monday's there are great, but her blog is welcoming any day of the week: Not Dead Yet Style.

PS - If you couldn't watch my band's (Just Bad Enough) debut "music" video on your system, I've put it on YouTube. Fabulous Miss Simmonds commented already because I gave her a sneak peek, but sadly I took down the original (and her comment - so sorry!) because I reposted it with better quality. So if you haven't seen it yet and want to question my taste even more, go have a look. Watch out for Language.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Twirl-o-rama dress action

I saw this dress. It saw me. BAM!! True love. I carried it home with a silly grin on my face, laundered it, then tried it on. A perfect fit.

Mis Papelicos in full bloom comes to mind when I wear this diaphanous dress with its brilliant bold plumage - the flowers, the stripes, the frills - and it twirls most excellently. 

The dress has spaghetti straps so I had to wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath. The top part is shirred and dark brown, not black, which is difficult to see in the photo. Also, the dress is fully lined with black satiny fabric. I love everything about this frock, including the fact that the yellow stripe is not near my face. 

The wind was whispery cool today and my hand flirtatiously brushed up against the fabric making it breathe and sigh all around me as I willowed down the sidewalk. Why the Earth did not stand still in my sartorial euphoria is beyond my ken.

  • dress, thrifted, $8, Wildlife Thrift Store (WTS)
  • little-nothing fishnet tights over pink leggings, sample sales
  • Miu Miu boots, thrifted, WTS
  • denim jacket, thrifted, Value Village
  • fingerless gloves, retail, Canadian Tire automotive store

Ironically, this colourful dress lends itself to black and white photography. The painting on the wall was previously on the floor. I think it's finished.

I broke my rule: I told myself not to post again so soon, but how could I not? Does that happen to you? You tell yourself not to post and then you put on something that feels so overwhelmingly satisfying that you just can't help yourself?

We're sailing into the weekend. I hope your week has been grand so far.

Monday 10 September 2012

What to wear for space travel

When I think of space travel I think '60s, definitely the '60s, more specifically, Lost in Space, the US TV series that started out in black and white and then went full-on groovelicious colour. When I saw this tunic I thought of Judy Robinson, one of the show's characters, the eldest daughter of the space-travelling Robinson family, who had a crush on the ship's pilot, Major Don West. Even in my tender years I had hoped that Don and Judy would get it on, but it was a family show...

I have some of the early Lost in Space episodes on DVD, and the soundtracks with their theremins and other assorted creepy monster sounds still send a chill down my back. I'll never forget Will Robinson, the annoying whip-smart young son, telling his family that the alien space ship must be "preprogrammed to swallow visitors." I like to quote that line on many occasions.

I hauled out my go-go boots for this outfit because they seemed to up the space vibe. Who wouldn't wear go-go boots into outer space? Moon boots (and Uggs) are just too clunky, plus teen heartthrob Justin Bieber wears silver moon boots and I'm not exactly a fan, big understatement. And my gold bag could be worn on my head in emergencies to protect from cosmic rays.

Details of the outfit
  • brown velour tunic, thrifted
  • black turtleneck, thrifted
  • black jeggings, thrifted
  • go-go boots, Winners, ultra-cheap because nobody else wanted them
  • gold bag, hand-me-over
  • magic pendant, handcrafted for me by O
The go-go boots were last seen here as go-go-sno boots.
And I thought of doing my Treading Water pose, which I learnt in Miz Bagg's fabulous tutorial here, but it was too late...

Also, thanks, everyone, for your kind remarks about my music video. I know it's crude, oh-so-unladylike, but I just couldn't help myself. That song helped me connect to my inner ditchwater, and I hope it gave you a laugh. And it wasn't really heavy metal - more like punk - but what the heck. I am still committed to spreading light and happiness here on Earth - and in outer space. Yee-haw! The name of my spaceship is Grushenka V.

What would you wear for space travel?...

I'm linking up to Patti's splendorous Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. There is definitely a lot of positive energy over there. All your shining faces are the perfect way to blast into my week. Five, four, three, two, one...

Friday 7 September 2012

Debut of travesty-of-music video

Watch it and weep. I scribbled these "lyrics"... (every time I write about my "band" I put quotation marks around everything, so let me preface this post by saying that key words about my "music-making" deserve quotations thereby cancelling them all out, okay?) I scribbled these lyrics just before our last band practice. What you'll hear is the first read-through that Sandra and I did and me composing music on the fly (lots of quotation marks in that sentence!). This was our last song of the day so we were very good by then with those secret communications that go on between band people (and baseball coaches and players). I looove this video. I hope you do too. It's one of my most intellectual projects in a long time. You may need your dictionary. Warning: there is language in this clip.

PS - It's not true about oxygenation.
This is the second video I've ever made - the first one I put together in my university days when video editing equipment took up a sizeable room. Here I used free software, which made me feel old but oddly liberated at the same time.

AND - Don't mess with this cougar!!
I premiered these leopard-print pants yesterday. One young fella purred at me and said, "Mm, cougar!" as he passed by. I had that coming - very funny. I should have taken a closeup of the soft fabric which has a furry texture.

I went for broke and wore my D&G leopard-print heels and added a gold bag. I tried these pants with a black sequin top as well and decided to exercise a teensy bit of restraint because the spanglers get snagged inside the jacket.

Details of the outfit:
  • leopard print furry pants, high-waisted, Perry Ellis, thrifted, $10, House of Vintage
  • black fine-cord jacket, Plum, thrifted, True Value Vintage
  • leopard-print shoes, Dolce and Gabbana, thrifted, True Value Vintage
  • knit fingerless gloves, retail, Canadian Tire automotive store

That's all from here. I hope you can see the video. It turned out exactly how I pictured it - make of that what you will...

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Monday 3 September 2012

Evening gloves and pearls at high noon

Welcome Visible Monday! I have only about 15 minutes left before my black evening gloves turn into rubber dish gloves, so I'd better hurry... I'm speaking of course about Patti's fabulous Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style - soon it will be Tuesday.

I don't have a specific outfit photo to share with you today but I do have this very short video clip filmed downtown while Sandra and I were out making our travesty-of-music video. It's grainy, sorry, but it gives you an idea of what I was wearing - it will just HAVE to do. While I was prancing about a throng of tourists fresh off one of the cruise ships wandered past. Tra-la...just another typical Vancouver day I wanted to screech at them, but I didn't want to spoil my Isadora Duncan moment. At the end of the clip I am slightly distracted because the tour group leader was waving at me.

I hope you can see this; it's a Shockwave file and it's the first time I've posted moving pictures.

This is a still of one of the final frames.

Details of the outfit:

- full high-waisted skirt, upcycled from a thrifted dress (I wore a similar outfit in "I feel like Amelie")
- white blouse, thrifted and upcycled
- pearls, thrifted
- thigh-high tights with Harlequin pattern in silver lurex
- pointy black shoes, retails
- vintage black evening gloves, thrifted, made in Paris

We got loads of footage, including some awesome scenes with Sandra. Regardless of what becomes of this stock, it was a very fun outing - the rock star and the princess go for a walk.

I like the Mink in the background.

By the way, the Vancouver magazine article on sexy street style is online now, so if you are interested you can see my wee contribution to the issue. 

Have a great week everyone. What a holiday day!
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