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Monday 9 November 2015

Happy upholstery coat and alley opera coat

Why am I smiling? Because I finally mastered how to fake it - even in public with a tripod and people watching. But, really, why

I suppose because I like the effect. I look happy. Smiling lifts the face and is a welcoming expression. "Oh, she looks fun!" I certainly recoil violently at the idea that one should smile for any reason. Clearly, in high-style/fashion photos one shouldn't smile - fashion is serious - which would make this smile a little toothy finger to the sucked-in-cheeks crowd. Heh.

An outfit, bag and a beret, fake smile as accessory

You must have noticed that you usually only see women smiling/laughing or dancing in media when they're advertising cleaning products and diet yogurt? Would it surprise you to know that my hands are in my pockets to hide the callouses I get from gripping the Swiffer handle (dusting product) and the meat cleaver while preparing gourmet meals for O?

mel kobayashi, smiling in clothes

My sleeves are extra long to conceal the effects of gently sponging our dishes to sparkling newness each day and painstakingly Q-tipping the Silver and venetian blinds because that's just what one does in a phantom smile life. 

The outfit: 
  • jacquard upholstery "Mad Hatter" jacket 
  • mega-over-sized silk blouse 
  • drop-crotch high-waisted ankle-zip pants 
  • dangly earrling
  • granny shoes from Sheila of Ephemera hee hee thanks 
  • black knee socks

Usually a happy expression has wider appeal, like a pink pony (bleh), but you can't beat a gritty bitch look in my books. It's another finger to trendy cheek-sucking, although I confess that I enjoy cheek-sucking on occasion as well. Why limit myself? 

mel kobayashi with picasso of course

I wore both of these looks last week. On the day I took these alley shots I was feeling raw and introspective. I tried the big smile, I tried real hard, but even faking failed.

The outfit:
  • long black velvet opera coat
  • Converse laceless runners
  • patched jeans
  • tie-dye shirt with studs on the shoulders
  • wrap belt from Kunming in China
  • maxi cardigan
  • big scarf
  • magic loup, omnipresent

mel kobayashi bat woman

I'm a vampire again. I don't care if Halloween is over. I took a selfie and there was no one there.

I'm linking this post up to:

FINALLY, although the photo below is too grainy (I was farking with my camera), this is one of my favourite shots of the day, mostly because of the guy in the doorway behind me. Hahaha! Are you smiling? Have a good week everyone!

bagandaberet in piss alley


  1. Love love LOVE the coat. It's all kinds of fabulous.

    You may find this amusing:

    (and my "I'm not a robot" verification was pictures of salad)

  2. Oh yeah, nothing creates genuine joy like polishing the silver or dusting the cats. I love both these looks, and I too have seen "women laughing alone with salad." If I am eating or drinking alone, and laughing, it's not salad, guaranteed. Great granny shoes, btw!


  3. HAHAHA, the salad link cracked me up!! Too funny. I thought it was only diet yogurt. And Patti, thanks for that laugh too.

    It seems to be a day for laughing. Did you see Suzanne's post at Serious/funny.

  4. Is he PEEING!?!?!?!?!??!?! That's some strong urine action if so!
    I like smiling Melanie but then I like Melanie whatever she's doing! Cool scarf, very funky and warm too! How's life, are you well?!x

  5. Your doorway lurker with his power hose really made me smile! That splashback is a force to be reckoned with.
    I love your smiling shots....we all look better with a smile, and the world is a cheerier (and obviously, cleaner) place as a result! XXX
    Fake Fabulous
    p.s. The 'Granny' shoes look beautiful! I want/need them.

  6. My phone screen isn't big enough to see the guy peeing. What a shame. It would have gone so well with my old fashioned donut.

    I must look up the link of women eating salad and smiling.

    I'm so glad you hid your calloused hands! Haven't you been soaking them in Palmolive like I told you silly?

    I had to take some high fashion photos of myself yesterday and there were 2 kids on bikes and a woman throwing a ball for her dog while I tried desperately to cringe out a smile. It didn't work. After reading about your peeing guy I feel like a whimp.


  7. I'm so envious that you can take photos in public. I'm still working on it. I get so self conscious with my tripod in public that I end up taking photos of whatever is in the area. I have LOTS of photos of flowers and trees. I masquerade as a botanist when in fact I am a narcissist. Your smile is beautiful. When I smile in photos I look constipated. It must be all that diet yogurt. Your long legs are legendary and your big scarf is a dream. I love the way you are meticulously cleaning street art Picasso's nostrils with your shiny hair. As Pablo famously said, "It takes a long time to become young."

  8. I love your smile, especially the second photos of you! I enjoy the fun you are having with fashion. It is something I've never delved into because my head is always in another passion. But you do make me think and smile! Have a good one!

  9. Love all of the outfits but especially that vampire coat. So perfect for skulking in dodgy alleys. I really have trouble smiling in photos, always end up with Derp Face. So usually I'm looking at the Very Interesting Thing going on somewhere behind the camera. But nothing as interesting as Hose Guy.

  10. I WANT an opera coat. . . but I'd settle for that gorgeous jacquard!! Oh My! No wonder you're smiling. . .
    I have a similar pair of "granny shoes" except that mine are brogues (tooled) and T-strap. I bought them in Quebec City about 15 years ago and everytime I think of letting them go (the heels are a bit much these days), I just can't. Maybe I'll wear them when you and I eventually meet up for our -- what is it? doughnuts? danishes? croissants? cake? Something delish somewhere soon, right?

  11. Ooh, the shoes! They look awesome on you! You always look like a high-fashion model - when you smile it's like, "oh, look, the model is smiling! She's so real! Just like us!"

    I should take more candid shots outside...but then I couldn't do all my outfits. Must. Do. All. The. Outfits.

    Thought of you today with my "bought it in Van" purple velvet jacket!

  12. I just had to say that Connie's comments are almost always my favourite. That woman needs to be writing for a comedy show.

  13. Well, you always have me smiling. And so do the comments - you bring out the best in everyone's wacky sense of humor. Say, isn't that upholstered jacket the one you were going to send down to me? It's gorgeous, and I love the way you've dressed it down this time, with your Little Lady Fauntleroy shirt and MC Hammer pants. I came across the smiling-while-eating-salad thing the other day. Smiling hides my jowls, so I'm eating a lot of salad these days!

  14. wow - what a man (the guy in the doorway) !!!!
    you made my day! again!!
    marvelous upholstery coat! love such stuff! and "drop crotch high waisted ankle zip pants" - the look and the word!
    i can´t fake a smile - to few teeth and if i try i just look like i´m totally stupid....not flattering at all. i´m on the way to make peace with my "resting bitch face"......
    love! xxxxxx

  15. Great outfit and beautiful images. You have this special talent to make any kind of garment or fabric WORK! And I so love your smiling photos. They make me happy too....

  16. That FIRST OUTFIT!! Oh my it's fantastic, you look so much more wonderful than those ultra sarcastic models. The jacket is utterly fab. XXXX

  17. I can't take my eyes off the bloke in the alley. It's a new take on photo bombing, isn't it?
    Love the tapestry coat and those governess shoes. What a great pressie.
    You look rock star cool in the Converse and long coat. xxx

  18. How to top these fantastic comments? After reading your fantastic posts, I read all the comments. You are the only one where I read all the comments. As all your friends are so witty. You attrackt witty women. It took me three comments and going back to the last photo to realise that wasn't a steel rod in the background but a very powerful pee of the man (I could hardly see the man). I mean... well!! Some of your friends (and sometimes you) talk about having to find the courage to take outdoor photos... How contrary to this man who clearly doesn't suffer from any shame, now does he? Did you see him after he did this? Or did you pick up your tripod and fled?
    I think your first outfit is sooo good. Right up my alley. First of all, I would never have thought of this colour for the shirt, but you tie it nicely together with the earrings. Neither do I posses something as ig as this, but when you put it on, it looks DESIGNER. It is what Sylvia says, you have a special talent. And I am not flattering you, I mean it. Sheila's shoes are heaven. Would live them myself.
    As for the second outfit: boyish naughty.
    PS be careful where you put your tripod. And as for smiling: been doing it constantly for three years now. Starts getting weird.

  19. Someone should tell Greetje the guy is holding a power washer, not his hose (so to speak). That would be terrifying if he was actually urinating...

    Yes, I read the comments on your posts too, as they are almost as entertaining as your photos. I like the skulking vampire outfit the best, but you know I have a deep and abiding love for that upholstery jacket. I don't know what to do with my face in photos anymore. It seems to settle into a "mildly amused" expression on its own. If I had your teeth I'd be showing them off all the time.

    I need to get some more interesting outfit photos for my blog.

  20. Your upholstery jacket is beyond beautiful! And you look amazing whether you smile or not. I always love your commentary AND the entertaining comments written by your followers. I can assure you that I am smiling right now!!!

  21. Fab jacket and fab granny shoes and even more fab big earrings, yes!, and lovely pose too, hands- in- pockets make great poses!. And love your big scarf and sneakers outfit, comfy and cool!
    And your pics look awesome, those graffity! and you got even a casual passerby! great!
    I can't do that cheek-sucking pose, always laugh about my own ridiculousness!

  22. Coats! I love coats, and I love jackets. I've been meaning to check in and tell you I admire your style and your blog. Are you and Lyn (Accidental) related? Sisters from another mother?

  23. A Converse-wearing vampyre ... I LIKE IT, Melanie! And really, the best possible use of a velvet opera cape. Coat. :)

  24. Am I the hundredth in line (and will I win a prize?) if I say that you are a living work of art?

  25. I smile because I am HIGH on LIFE!! People like you add to my daily high so THANKS you are a tonic that should be shared.

  26. You look extraordinary, super! I like your brown shoes. :)

  27. Upholstery jackets and velvet coats - I'm quite happy we're heading into winter so that I get to see these fabulous pieces. Not to mention your radiant cleaning-induced grin, of course. Me, I can't fake smile. Really, I find it a physical impossibility. In real life, as opposed to blog photos, I laugh ALL the time, and very loudly. But you'd never know it from my blog, I look like a right miserable cow. I would have laughed my arse off at that bloke with the jet wash pee! xxx

  28. I feel all my Christmases have come at once - A Mad Hatter Jacket AND a velvet opera coat - yipeeeee, just like the guy in the doorway I nearly peed in ma pants at such textural lusciousness. Both outfits so very touchy feely in a non pervy way you understand.
    Great photos as always.

    And why why why is smiling harder to do than frowning? So darn annoying - it should be round the other way!

  29. great look! the first is definitely a very happy one - I don't know may be it is you smile or smile and clothes helping but I couldn't but to give the biggest smile I have to my monitor and you i there.
    the second shots are soon stylish! love it!

  30. Hi Melanie, Just found your blog and am in heaven. Great to find another blogger in her 50's, and one who has such a strong sense of self. Love what I've seen so far - both looks from this week are cool - and am off to immerse myself in your archive.
    Good to meet you.

  31. I'm going for the introspective look, because drop-crotch pants disturb me for some reason. Plus I have a soft spot in my heart for Converse laceless runners, which I own in a truly exquisite shade of green and I don't wear often enough.

  32. Yea, I relate to the smile, I mean I spend a high amount of time dancing around my house with Q-tips in one hand and that meat cleaver in another, and singing and smiling all the while. Wonder what the neighbors think, haha. But really smiling is good on ones soul and facial expressions, right?
    But to be honest if I had that jacquard upholster jacket on I would be smiling from ear to ear. If you want to fly on out, I'll plan one heck of a "Mad Hatter's tea party . . . Oh seriously, now that would be too much fun. I say let's plan it for next spring ???

  33. Very interesting observation....Fashion shootings are usually smile wasn't always this way but it seems to be trendy for at least a decade now, possibly even longer. All the fashion models always look dead serious when posing. Only the diet yogurt seems to make the ladies laugh nowadays....I wonder will this trend change? everything does sooner or later.

    I guess I don't like my dead serious face, so I smile quite often. I smile because I feel like it and sometimes because I like how I look when I smile...I do love your smile, even if it is fake. It is inviting, it is bold and positive....and your outfit is fabulously stylish and so well put together.

    The second outfit is outstanding as well...I absolutely love that oversize scarf..and with this urban look, the no smile agenda works quite well.

    It took me a while to analyze that last photo...first I couldn't see the man...finally after reading the comments, I located him and came to the conclusion that he is cleaning the street with a hoose (the other explanation of all that water doesn't seem probable....or does it? maybe logic is only the beggining of wisdom as Spock said?)

  34. I'm all for smiles, big or small, with or without (showing) teeth. I guess I'm old-school like that. Yes, you made me smile and laugh and enjoy myself, while reading this post. As usual;-).


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