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Monday 29 October 2012

No cure for velvet maxi dress nostalgia

This dress was singing "American Pie" so I had to Respect the Tune by throwing lots of gew-gaws around my neck and my beret on my head, and slipping on my lace-up boots with grommets (and sneaky side zippers). I would wear this elegant dress to drive my mud-spattered pickup truck, if I had one, pedal to the metal, not because the dress is unworthy of a Rolls but because I love the contrast and would love to listen to that song on the truck's radio.

This dress has been travellin', travellin', travellin' from Terri's place (RAGS Against the Machine) in the USA to Curtise (The Secondhand Years) in the UK, where it did an abrupt U-turn back to North America and my greedy little mitts. Bwa-ha-ha. I adore it! Excited hugs and clapping with glee to Terri and Curtise for this awesome dress. In this rescue parcel (it arrived on "Day from Hell") Curtise also included a moving card and a stunning looorex capelet, as well as a brocade skirt, also of Terri origin, all of which I shall show you soon.

Details of the outfit
  • homemade velvet maxi dress with a built-in lace blouse with big puff sleeves
  • mantis pendant that I made; loupe that O made; beads and bracelet, old retail
  • boots, thrifted
  • beret, thrifted

The velvet ties on the dress are very long so I criss-crossed them in front before knotting them in back. You can see them in the next photo, which also details the accessories.

Aack! That's a big face! My lips are orangey! I would have preferred a frosted pink lipstick but alas don't have any. I'm wearing a black shirt under the dress for warmth because I wore only my brown wool wrap on top to go out. Can anyone correctly date this divine dress? "American Pie" came out in '71 and that's what came to mind. Terri?

So look out. I'm tearing down that dirt road in my pickup truck to Patti's Visible Monday. I mustn't soil my frock because I'm going dancing afterwards. I look forward to seeing what you're all wearing.

In Other News

Earlier this month beautiful Smiley Clara awarded me another Liebster Award. Thank you so much, Clara, although sadly I notice that her blog is no longer there! To fulfill at least part of the awardee obligations, I am responding to her questions below.

1. Hey, how are you feeling today? With my heart
2. What was the most inspiring thing you saw this morning? My coffee
3. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play you? Gloria Swanson
4. And who would play your love interest(s)? Gene Wilder
5. If you were a song, what song would you be? "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, LOL
6. What would be your drag queen name? Miz Bagg
7. What is the best present you've ever been given? A jigsaw (among others)
8. If you could be anything in the world, what would you be? A volcano
9. What was the most romantic moment in your life? Top secret
10. What would you do with a million dollars? Spend it
11. What do you want people to know about you? I exist

Instead of naming 11 people to carry on this award, etc., I am sprinkling it like confetti over everyone with best wishes for a great week! Thank you, again, Smiley Clara. Where are you?

Thursday 25 October 2012

My Olive Oyl army boots

This is what I wore on Monday, an outfit that made me feel oh so Pepe Le Pew, the animated romanticizing French skunk, although the footwear was decidedly more Olive Oyl from the Popeye cartoons. That's a whole lot of Looney Tunes for someone wearing just, um, black.

The pieces:
- quilted cotton biker jacket with anti-cold turned-up collar, sample sale
- wool wraparound skirt, thrifted
- black riding pant jeggings, sample sale
- black army boots, thrifted, a score for $10
- lurex diamond-patterned thigh-high socks, Hue brand, retail
- fingerless gloves, upcycled from the Canadian Tire automotive store
- wool indigo beret, thrifted

The photo came out a bit dark so I had to boost the brightness, but it turned out okay because now you can see all the colourful scuffmarks on the wood rail behind me from the grating of the garbage bins. Oh, the romantic life...


Hit Us With Your Floral Stick! Floral Week Update

This is what I wore TODAY pictured with my new friends, a couple of raucous, fabulously attired dames out on the town for the day. They've been pals for 40 years and their smiles and laughter were contagious. This is one of my favourite filmy dresses, last worn here.

This photo is doing double-duty: it's here and over at my street style blog, which is a first. When I see me in the photo it looks like I'm wearing a brown bra over my blouse because the blouse colour is so similar to the dress bodice. Bwa-ha-ha. That makes me love it even more.

Sarah at Misfits Vintage said it's arbitrary Floral Week, so I naturally joined in, see last post.
Other bloggers that of know of who have worn florals this week include:

Ariane at Style Sud-Est
Dylan at Dylan's Dress
Lynne at Practical Paralegalism
Krista at Petee's Palace
Helga at Helga von Trollop for a mighty double whammy!
And keep your eyes open for Jean's flower power at Dross Into Gold

If I've missed anyone, my apologies. Do let me know.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Deep Floral Haze

Fabulous Sarah at Misfits Vintage declared this FLORAL WEEK, rather "arbitrarily" and only lasting as long as she felt like it - that's my kind of Floral Week. Doesn't she look fabulous in that floral-splashed coat that Vix gave her?

Today was dark and dreary so I decided that perhaps a little floral therapy would be good medicine. I stumbled to my closet - think of me here as Pig-Pen in Charlie Brown both in my state of mind and dress - and tugged out this maxi dress, praying for floral healing powers. Then, SHAZAM, POOF!

Suddenly I awoke and the world embraced me, it drew me to her bosom and whispered, "My pet, we are one again." Aglow, I skipped downtown with beatific joy until a smiling gentle soul greeted me with, "Snap out of it, biotch!" Bwa-ha-ha. No, that didn't happen at all. But the florals did pick up my mood. I'd say those sneaky flowers reduced my grumbling by, oh, 50 percent, which is pretty darned good.

Details of the ensemble:
  • vintage homemade maxi dress, thrifted
  • ankle boots, retail
  • white maxi slip, thrifted
  • black coat, retail
  • red wool beret, thrifted
  • oversized aubergine silk blouse, hand-me-over

I always look like that photo above when I'm cold, my collar turned up as high as possible, as if that's going to make the cold go away.

So happy florals! I found a few other florals growing in my closet while I was rooting around. I never know what I'll turn up. I hope you're all having a great week. I love that song Deep Purple. Bring it on!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Two statement pieces make a declarative

I knew I would wear my red cape today, but, ho-hum, not paired with my black jeggings and square-toe boots as usual. That would have bored me immeeediately, especially since my fingernails-on-chalkboard mood demanded something more irritating. So I decided to pull out the fall/winter/spring/summer colours of my mad thrifted floral pants. I reasoned that one statement piece needs another to achieve full-on declarative effect. The pinks in the trousers and under-T jarred shiveringly with the candy-crunch red of my cape, and the spew of flowers on the trousers grated awfully NICE with the faux leopard trim. Yumm-eew.

Details of the outfit:
  • red wool cape with faux fur trim, thrifted, also worn here
  • Versace floral pants, thrifted, also worn here
  • kitten heel ankle boots, retail
  • pink long-sleeve T, sample sale
  • wool turtleneck, thrifted
  • jewel-encrusted pendant, thrifted, also worn here
  • magic loupe, made for me by O
  • indigo beret, thrifted
Next photo: Flasher! Actually, this is my impression of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Stayin' alive, baby. Just stayin' alive - unlike the eviscerated rat close by.

Of course, these are not self portraits - I have Sandra, art project co-conspirator and blogger of Lens is More, to thank for that. We were both feeling low energy today, even after splitting a chocolate croissant and pumpkin scone, so in keeping with the mood we skulked around alleyways for a bit. Too bad (or lucky) Blogger doesn't have scratch and sniff... 

Next stop was Chinatown. I hopped into this shop for the photo op because it embodied that ultra-cool Chinatown vibe. 

Then Sandra scouted the doorway below, which she thought would really set off the cape and pants. I love this location.

Sandra flew low under the radar today but we got a couple of shots of her with graffiti and neon - she knows the locations of the city's best graffiti. I wonder if she'll post any. (Edit: Yes, she put up a couple, including one with graffiti and below is one of her with a Chinatown neon sign.)

On the way home, just when my feet started screaming, "Hey, freakazoid, you're not 20 years old any more, ya know!" a young woman stopped and asked me, "Do you know Bill Cunningham? You remind me of his photos." For those of you not familiar with him, he does street style photography in New York. His work inspired to me do my own street style blog. Suddenly my feet shut up. That's what I call a good day: friends, chocolate, scones, art, and making it home without a single blister with Mr. C. on my mind.

I'm hooking this up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, her fantastic blog. I look forward to visiting everyone, especially now that I have a little more breathing space.

PS: I wrote this Saturday just after my outing so when I say "today" I really mean Saturday.

Your Comments on the Last Post

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback on the questions I raised in the last post, particularly, what is "too far"? Your comments for me are what gave this post life. I liked the photo shoot, sure, but I enjoyed reading your views even more. I like to think anything goes and there is no such thing as too far. I am trying to achieve that as a state of mind in everything I wear and I am so thankful for the spectrum of styles you share in your blogs - so much inspiration.

Friday 19 October 2012

One skirt four way-out ways

I had just polished off a tin of Helga von Trollop's wonderful Arsebiscuits (which she is about to licence to the Girl Guides) when I had an epiphany. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I haven't been able to paint big lately, so I decided to channel that spectrum of energy into Abstract Expressionist Styling. I immediately called Miz Bagg (who always assists with comedy and critique) to join in this gorgefest of colour, form, and texture.

How far-out can I stretch a central piece stylistically with limited other pieces?
What defines the limits of what we would wear in public?

Ground: neon lemon maxi skirt, aka the Circus Skirt (worn several times in the summer, posted here)
Main palette: thrifted ballerina dress, thrifted black sequin tank top, thrifted black 3/4 sleeve top, black tights, lilac platform shoes
Accents: patterned keyhole stretch top with suspenders, thrifted hot pink peignoir, and black and white cloth belt

Below are some of my favourite Miz Bagg stylings from this session. I also took some "normal" stylings during the session, which I'll post before this skirt flies off around the world.

Look 1: Marie Antoinette (or "Oh Please Let Me Eat Cake")

I'm either beseeching the universe to rain cake down upon me or pausing mid-step at a Tim Burton ball for Louis XVI.

Look 2: Lemon Meringue Wood Elf (or "I am not a Conehead")

Inspired by Judith at Style Crone, I wound the skirt around my towering red hat. The end result was very tipsy; I should have used my belt to secure it. 

Look 3: Ace of Lemon Spades (or "Don't Ask me to Walk")

This piece comes with a skateboard with a rope attached for towing purposes in case I actually have to move. Too bad the belt tied around my knees was not elasticized. I love the balloon effect of the skirt cinched under the tutu. Veeery tricky snapping this photo using a timer walking in baby steps.

Look 4: Triple Sudden Impact (or Miz Air-Bagg)

This look features three attractive air bags formed by pouching the skirt through the armholes and keyhole of this top worn as a skirt and secured with suspenders. It's an attractive silhouette, don't you think?

This exercise was not an adequate painting substitute, but it will do for now. "There is no such thing as mistakes" was my mantra  - just as it is in painting, which is what made the shoot so enjoyable. While it would be easy to see these outfits as costumes or fashion designs, these works sprang from the neon lemon skirt, not from the need to clothe a scripted character or sell a clothing brand. I also think there is much more I could have done here. 

I would not wear any of these outfits as everyday wear. Why not? How do we instinctively know what's "too far"? I know that the boundaries of my "too far" have certainly shifted in recent years and the "too fars" of other bloggers vary wildly. I think there's more to it than just being comfortable in something because I felt comfortable in these outfits, although I probably wouldn't feel the same without the mask of bow lips and rouge and the context of experimentation which gave me permission to dress like this. Another question: What is it about "too far" clothing that some people find so upsetting on the sidewalk but perfectly palatable in a magazine?

Intellectually, I think that individual styling is a small political act, the assertion of an independent will that may not necessarily embrace prevailing trends in politics, fashion, or art. I love the fact that if I wanted, theoretically I COULD wear these ensembles out for coffee, but for me they are still "too far".

What do YOU think?

It's been a frantic week of big words and bad sound so I haven't been able to comment much. I have squeezed in peeks when I could and sometimes scribbled a few words. 

Also, thanks to my new followers for joining!!

Sunday 14 October 2012

NEWS FLASH: New "Just Bad Enough" Video

Sandra made an AWESOME YouTube video of our Just Bad Enough downtown sessions.
She calls it Just Zany Enough
The video doesn't have our original music but it definitely conveys the spirit 
of what the Just Bad Enough art project is about. 
Watch it HERE on Sandra's blog Lens is More.
(In my last post I wondered if Sandra would put up her moustache photo - 
well, she has certainly done more than that! Bwa-ha-ha-ha.) 
I hope you like it!

Oh dahlings, meet my little wittle Pucci jumpsuit

Oh dahlings, why, oh why, did I buy this $2,000 Pucci jumpsuit? Am I, as they say, fou?

But is my jumpsuit not jolie? Especially with my Miu Miu boots? In the above photo I am Puccicking in my foyer. And below I am Puccicking again at my back door. As you can see, I simply cannot let you inside - the mess is, as they say at my chateau in France, horrible.

Yes, jolly frigging right this piece is jolie. I paid 19 bucks for it at House of Vintage Fashion. Bwa-ha-ha! And it's not Pucci. Frankly, lacking a label I have no idea WHAT it is, and I don't caaaare. But I can tell you this: this polyester jumpsuit madness made me feel like far more than a paltry $2,000, especially on a rainy day.

Details of the outfit:
  • vintage floral polyester jumpsuit, thrifted, House of Vintage Fashion, $19
  • brown crackle leather Miu Miu boots, thrifted, Wildlife Thrift Store, $9
  • quilted cotton biker jacket, sample sale, Metallicus, $20?
  • indigo beret, thrifted, Community Thrift Store, $10?
  • magic loupe pendant, O made it for me
  • black wool turtleneck, thrifted, Value Village
  • fingerless knit gloves, retail ($5?), Canadian Tire automotive store

The room above is in fact dark grey, but as soon as I walked in it turned white and multicoloured tongues unfurled from the walls to blow happy raspberries at me. I swear it's true. I was drenched in fruity wall spit! 

The couple on the balcony, overwhelmed by delirious contentment gazing at my Pucciesque explosion of floral goodness as I leapt past, immediately turned to stone. Even distracted birds were flying into the walls. That's the power of style, my friends. Yup, the power of style.

Sandra, bandmate and blogger of Lens is More, and I were at it again, combing downtown for photo ops and behaving rather badly. But we have no shame... 

Pay no attention to my moustache. Whatever you do, don't look at my moustache. That black thing, don't look at it - it's not there, the black moustache thing. Kidding aside, the bronze arm under my nose makes me feel like a true artiste like Dali and ready for a sneeze at a moment's notice. See Sandra's blog for a photo of her with a moustache - if she posted it... It was her idea.

Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. 

So much architecture to climb, so little time today. We really ought to bring a step ladder on our next outing. 

I shall be linking this post to Patti's fantastic Visible Monday at her blog Not Dead Yet Style. I missed last week - bu hao. I look forward to seeing everyone there. I hope you've all had shameless weekends. 

Have you ever had someone mistake your vintage finds for designer label apparel? I'm sure many of you have, and I admit getting a laugh when the two are confused. If I really HAD paid $2,000 for this "Pucci" jumpsuit, most of you would think I'm mad. I considered trying to fool you but in the context of this blog, that would be almost impossible! But what if all my blog's "thrifted" finds were really new designer labels in disguise? Would you think less of me?

Finally, I have been LOOOVING everyone's twee-free tulle photos! Huge hugs to Sarah at Misfits Vintage for setting off this tulletarianism! See her Tutu and a Teacup Challenge if you want to join. Liberate your inner bitch ballerina. You'll feel better. Really.

Saturday 6 October 2012

Did shomeone schay birthday party?

Key party? It IS a key party, ishn't it? Woops, that was last week...
Happy Birthday fabuluss Scheila!! at ee-feh, ee-feh, ephemera.

Darn it, my little pom pom came off. (hiccup) Hash anyone scheen my pom pom?... Hey you! Have you scheen my...

Actually, that's schparkling apple grape juice. It doesn't take much to shet me off. Miz Bagg helped me schtyle this outfit. Can you tell? Takenzeepiss (hiccup) was the photographer.

I haven't worn this outfit before because it's broken, schtill is, but I, sssshhhh, dipped into the juice before getting ready and thought I was putting on my long black satin gow, gow, goooown. That's a hard word. Upon closer inschpection, hmm, I see that this outfit has schades of grey in it... What haaaappened?

Where's my keys? Have you scheen my keys? Who has my keys...?

Details of the outfit
  • thrifted fabulous linen maxi with matching top, broken zipper on skirt and missing pom poms
  • Michael Kors platform sandals
  • sparkling juice, Safeway
  • idiocy, me on the rocks
Happy Birthday, Sheila! I hope you had fun at your party. Here's to another year of looking fabulous each and every day!

My jewellery scared them

My DIY pendant. Or could you tell...?

Short story: I tied a plastic preying mantis onto a Liz Claiborne 2011 Christmas ornament backdrop, which I painted black, and added a sweet ivory ribbon. I call this The Man-eater. O likes it but would like it more if I could mechanize the antennae and front legs.

As it was, both a barista and a cashier jumped in horror at the huge bug walking towards my neck. Scaring people was not my intent - honestly! I had planned to debut this at a fashion show (as a guest) on Tuesday night but was preempted by unexpected work, so I enjoyed wearing it on Wednesday for coffee. 

My inspiration came from the fabulous Sacramento of Mis Papelicos who made a bug necklace here, and then gorgeous Lydia of and this is peak who also made a few, here and here. The original bug necklace was made by designer/artist Schiaparelli in the '30s. A bunch of insects came in the combi-pack so you can expect more such adornments in the months to come.

Below are a couple of snaps that Sandra and I took on our Freak-Rocker-Women Freak-out Photo Day. We're scrabbling all over public edifices, which is not very ladylike at all - but that's the point. 

Yes, my ballerina dress, this time with me standing in it.

Sandra stood in her socks while she let me wear her sparkly skull boots for my photo. She wore them special today because she knew they'd look great with the ballerina dress. Talk about sacrifice for art!

"Where's Wanda?"

Sandra has just launched her own blog, LENS IS MORE. She takes great photos, has a deliciously wicked sense of humour, is a talented vocalizer, gorgeous, and makes cools clothes and accessories. Have a look.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Do your clothes or jewellery ever scare people? Um, what do you do about that? I think my hair would scare people if I didn't push it down in the mornings. 

Monday 1 October 2012

Everyone needs a ballerina dress

I was meandering down the sidewalk when suddenly a tiny glittery whirlwind engulfed me...I thought I was dreaming. When I awoke, prickling warm and dazed, I found myself wrapped in a tangle of autumn leaves and white tulle.

This lovely vintage dress surely has stories to tell judging by the irregular trail of snags and rips in her balletic cloud of skirt. The bodice is ivory silk with a built-in foundation garment and boning along each side seam, and the straps are fragile soft pink elastic. I shall do minor mending on her to halt further deterioration and wear her only on special occasions, like today, just because. I only ventured as far as a local mini park with my tripod and tea, but my outing was very satisfying indeed.

  • thrifted vintage gown with full tulle skirt and silk bodice, saved from Halloween abominations
  • black tights
  • black stretch pointed shoes
  • Shar Pei sweater over black boat-neck top, necessary for warmth
  • Spode teacup with tea
I'm sorry I didn't get a full standing shot; you'll only have to imagine a cloud of white tulle billowing across the horizon... Bwa-ha-ha!

I'm hooking up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. She always starts the week off right. I shall see you there...? I must.

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