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Thursday 15 October 2015

Urban camouflage, hold the Meldo

This technicolour post is your official coffee substitute. 

I love strolling through this punchy little alley - the graffiti swallows you whole - but I have avoided shooting here, partly because it's a place of business. Then this morning, struck by a bolt of optimism - and dread of the leaden concrete studio - I packed up my gear and headed out, come what may. And, ah-ha!, there was a construction crew blocking off one end, which meant the regulars were detouring and I had the space pretty much to myself. 

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, fuchsia coat in graffiti alley

I'm wearing my fuchsia-burst linen jacket with a mitten-clip closure, aqua Anthro flocked pants, patterned vintage jersey top with pearl buttons, black shag booties, knit tabi socks from Japan, magic loupe and rings, big blue round sunglasses.

The light was playful; its hard fall edge reflected brilliantly onto the walls in the shadows. Isn't the artwork stunning? I'm sure there is a story behind it. 

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, fuchsia coat in graffiti alley

A few locals did drop by to say hi and see what I'm doing. One woman asked me to take her photo with her camera phone - I wish I had asked for a shot of her as well. 

Mel Kobayashi, urban camouflage in graffiti alley

This is not ordinary camo-wear; this is not an ordinary street. "Where's Meldo?" Okay, Meldo sounds like the name of a moldy cheese spread. Moving right along...

Of course the shaggy boots always add extra sproing to my step. And I love the mitten clip which works famously at keeping my jacket closed while adding visual interest. 

Mel Kobayashi, shaggy Fluevog booties in graffiti alley

Don't judge - you would look confused too: oatmeal cookie or peanut butter cookie? Hold the Meldo. I had the peanut butter with a cup of steaming hot coffee after these photos. One of my Top 5 cafes is just two minutes away. See the mitten clip?

thinking in graffiti alley, bag and a beret

On my way home after coffee, I popped into Dressew fabric store - source of the mitten clips - and was poking around their massive wig section wouldn't you know, when I heard my name called. I turned and there was Vancouver Barbara! I met her at the blogger meetup in July. She looked fantastic wearing a gorgeous grey Marcy Tilton jacket she had made, and her arms were loaded down with fabric. It was great to chat.

That's all. Oh, I'm on IG. Yeah, I'm IG-ging. I don't know how that will go. I'm just shocked that it worked at all. I put a link in the sidebar. I can't think about it now though - it will have to wait until tomorrow. O is glad that at least now I will shut up about whether or not to IG. Heh - he has no idea...

Edit: Catherine's prompt this week at #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb is pink, so I linked up with her. Thanks for the meetup!


  1.'ve been IG account and a brilliant post! I'm impressed that you and Barbara both braved Dressew in October. I gather the week days or less busy than the weekends?

    Your wall is the perfect accessory. Seriously, you could not find a better wall.

    I'm loving your coat, and your nostalgic mitten clips.

    I trust you enjoyed the peanut butter cookie. My grocery store clerk today told me about the Chai fig and pistachio hermit cookies she recently made. I think I might have started drooling.

  2. Wow! An explosion of colour! I LOVE that jacket!

    We're twinsies with the pants : )

    I want a wall like that. Mississauga doesn't have anything like that. We have Outlet Malls.

    There must be a million and one uses for mitten clips. I'm leaving it up to you to start the list.

    You really have the perfect backdrop for this post. I'm glad you got out and braved it.


  3. Oh, WOW! you are on a roll!!! Every bit is gorgeous...I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  4. Ohhhh. Vancouver is beautiful. And I love that there are mitten clips for sale there. Ah Canada. Home of all things wintery and wonderful. That is a gorgeous outfit. Tres Meldo. I think the artwork on the wall is most certainly a love letter to YOU.

  5. Woot! I'm your lucky 13 follower on IG!

  6. now i need some calming herb tea....
    a big thank you goes to the building department who just ordered the blocking work that day! marrrrvelooouuus shoots! i came here in the hope that YOU would not complain about gray autumn while wearing gray clothes and i was not disappointed!!!! can you please drop by a fabric shop in dresden while i´m looking there for some textile and notions???

  7. How thoughtful of the crew to give you unfettered access - the wall art is marvelous! As are you, wearing those magical boots and a mitten-clip. At first I thought it said "kitten clip" and I was rather horrified. But all is well! Stay awesome,


  8. Ye Gods, I frigging love that coat! How considerate of the street artists to knock up a cleverly contrasting backdrop, you is a star!
    Mitten clip? New one on me. Should have seen the young woman's face when i asked for fur hooks in the haberdashery shop last week. I think she thought i was some sick animal killer. xxx

  9. What a fab ensemble and in combination with that wall - it's the stuff of dreams. You look wonderfully Ziggie Stardust in these pictures, both in attitude and get-up. As Vix said above you are a star. I'm super excited you're on IG, I'm headed there now to find you.XXX p.s that cookie sounds amazing, I'm salivating at the thought.

  10. Wow! I love the graffiti background, and your coat is gorgeous ♥

  11. that technicolor coat is the bee's knees!

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  13. When you pass an autumnal maple, it must shed a leaf.

  14. a new use for mitten holders, brilliant. I have been know to use swizzle sticks to hold knitwear closed.

  15. That third picture is really great. What a colours , and i think your boots are gorgious.

  16. Pure fantasy and creativity every time, dear Melanie

  17. Thoughts - I had a coat like that, I made it from curtain chintz circa 1988 and it was the SHIZ. Same oversaturated colour. I miss it.
    Mitten clips - do you recall in the 80s when we could buy or made them in multifarious colours with ruched ribbon and roses and all kinds of get up? When we used them to hold up our rolled up shirt sleeves, or the points of our drapey pants?
    Lastly, I love it when a crazy gorgeous coat can be camo. I love a city that respects its graffiti artists. Mine does too :)

  18. Oh, I do love me some good graffiti! But I can't even see you in any of the pictures, Meldo. I'll have to go to Instgram to see your technicolor brilliantness. Next you'll be tweeting and snapchatting and vining and tumblring - I can't keep up with you young folks!

  19. Never heard of mitten clips before. I have a bit of an idea as I can see it on your coat. I think it could be great for holding a scarf on your dress too. Could it? Do they come in colours?
    Now as for your outfit. That is a bit too much art for my conservative brain, but I like the colours and the happy colourful feeling you spread. And I do like the coat and the shirt and the trousers. Just wouldn't wear them all together. And that is where you and I differ. Thank God for differences. Love you dearly for it. You made it to 40+Style with this outfit, so it cannot be wrong. The art on the walls is there to support you in your attempt to brighten up the world.
    I never have any hesitations about taking pictures in public, so I am always a bit grinning when I read about such hesitation, such diffidence. Why? What is the worst thing that can happen to you? Nothing. Right.

  20. I love your attitude, Greetje. Thank you! I love laughing, as you know. I should decorate my tripod. Yes, that would definitely help!

  21. How thoughtful of the local street artists to provide a background as outrageously fabulous as your style!

  22. hurrah for Meldo!, there's nothing like Big Sunnies and fringed fabulous booties to camouflage yourself! and a fuchsia psychedelic coat also helps!
    You Rock even more than coffee in a winter morning!

  23. I am stoked that you are on IG now, if only because it's yet another way for us to communicate! Yes, it's a time-sucker if you let it.

    You're the only dame I know that could blend in with a graffiti covered wall. So glad your outdoor studio was available. I am tired of my porch and concrete stairwell at work, so looking forward to some new backgrounds in NYC.

    I do so love those bouncy boots. I would have taken the peanut butter cookie too, even though it would have made my tummy hurt after.

  24. A technicolour explosion of delight. That graffiti was made for you!

    I am now going to lie down in a dark room for my eyes to recover. Seriously, next week will be spent behind sunglasses. Wish I had the balls to wear the extent of colour you do! Bravo.

  25. "Mitten clips"!!!!!! I have been searching for the term for those things! I was suggesting them to a friend, as a solution for gathering up excess bulk at the waist of a shirt, like they were used in the 90's. I totally forgot that they are used for mittens! I have obviously lived in SoCal for too long (I lived in NY and MA as a child). Thank you thank you thank you!

    You are a technicolor dream. I'm so glad you're on IG now. It's a fun place to play.

  26. I want a wall like that too! Talk about brillain and alive in the city and its seriously hiding in an alley? The shot of you in dead center is fantastic, definite magazine worthy. I love every single part of this post from your oversize fabulous blue sunnies, to your brilliant use of a mitten clip (I'm definitely using this idea). And, yes, how was the peanut butter cookie? I know the coffee was great.

  27. Radness. That coat is everything. The pop of turquoise with the jeans is perfect, also. Fantastic backdrop!

    - Anna

  28. Being a more is more person who is totally into floral motives, pink and pattern mixing, this look is totally up my alley (pun intended).
    And I love graffiti and murals in alleyways. Always on the lookout for those wherever I go.

    Keep going, dear bird of paradise. You brighten up any street, alleyway and laptop screen.

  29. perfect explosion of patterns!!!


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