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Thursday 28 January 2016

Vintage tails

original design by Simon Chang

It's waay too big, but hey, it has linebacker '80s shoulders so who cares? And there are wonderful accordion pleats in the back. This is the somewhat conservative styling, partly because I had no time to do my face and hair. Just wait...

I in fact passed this jacket and a matching skirt on to Sandra (Lens is More) about a year-and-a-half ago because I knew it might fit her better and it's got that cool rocker vibe that she wears so well, but I had to borrow it a few days ago after having a tux attack. It was $5 at My Sister's Closet. I kept the pants, though, which I wore here - these are different tux-style pants.

I'm behind on everything - browsing, digging, commenting. I'm barely squeaking into Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. But this is how my life is at the moment. 

And thanks, Catherine for including me in your monthly roundup of blog posts for my highly instructional and professional advice on how to use a camera remote control here. Bwahaha.

See you all soon. Must dash!

Saturday 23 January 2016

Yes and Yes, and dressing like a star

Sarah of Yes and Yes: Because Yes is More Fun than No blog interviewed me as part of her series REAL LIFE STYLE ICONs. Yes, that would be me. Heh! Aren't you itching to read all my secrets of the schtars?! Sarah describes her blog as a "lifestyle blog for smart, funny people," then winks and says, "So you're allowed to read it."

But why do my photos look so much better on her blog than mine!? Is it like in a restaurant where a friend's food always looks waaay better than your own order? Is her tomato sauce better than my alfredo because she has a bajillion site visitors every day? I would never let something like that influence me. Oh no, not one. little. bit. Nooo. But I've decided to move my blog over to Sarah's blog. I hope she doesn't mind.

To celebrate my new-found stardom, I decided at last to dress like a star. Like this.

All that other colourful stuff? FRAUDULENT stardom!! This is how a star really dresses. 

I am referring to some wildly successful mainstream +50 style bloggers, the kind with serious numbers for serious moolah potential, although the prices of their outfits probably have a few more zeros than mine. And O doesn't cut their hair. And they don't wear men's narrow shoes. Or run around with a toolbox handbag. Or go out without makeup. Or carry cash (that's what assistants are for, think the Queen). Minor details. Maybe no one will notice I'm in a concrete stairwell either. The point is, I'm dressed like a STAR!! You can call me Clarisse and shop in my boutique.

This pose of benediction is perfect for showing off what I'm wearing. I would never be a blasphemer and suggest that holy figures pose this way to show off their clothes. No, no, no. But look how easy it is to see those great bell sleeves on this turtleneck with my arms this way.

Despite the look on my face, I happily wore this when I went out for coffee with O, enjoying its comfort and simplicity. No joke. I really like it!! I dress like this a couple of times a week, usually in the evening, and cloak up with my black velvet opera coat and maybe sunglasses. But if I were a real star fashion blogger, I'd have to dress like this all the time, or variations of it, ditch the loud humour, and shore up on pithy quips that won't embarrass anyone at dinner parties. Puh. Who goes to dinner parties?

Earlier on the same day I wore this wildly, happily:

It's my vintage robe/dress/coat, I'm not really sure what. It's heavy fabric with a thick waffle texture, fully lined and so structured it sticks out like a tent. There is a front zipper from the neck to the waist partially concealed behind the button closure. It came with a detached button pinned to the collar but another one came off. I distinctly remember putting it in the pocket; trouble is, these are faux pockets.

The cool boots are from Sheila of Ephemera, part of a footwear care package she sent me a while ago. I made a video about it here. I got this white coatish thing and the earrings at My Sister's Closet.

I took these shots at the library, a tricky feat because there is lots of foot traffic. And my remote battery died this time so I was back to click and run. And then yesterday I wore this:

This outfit features a towering Dr. Seuss hat and a scrumptious, vintage plush velvet coat from my fairy thrift mother Su. Can you believe it?!! It's designed to bag out fit-wise but I wanted it tighter so I overlapped the front and mitten-clipped it shut.

The other day when I was out for coffee with Sandra of Lens is More (now also on Instagram HERE), a coffee shop barista gave me the best compliment but prefaced it with, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way but..." - I braced myself - "you look like Cruella de Vil." Hahaha!! I was wearing my red faux fur, red earrings, rrrred lipstick, green pants, purple ear muffs. You get the idea.

That's it. For now. I'm swamped with work in a good way so I'll be skulking for a while. Happy holidays! (Now you're wondering, what holiday? There is no holiday.)

And thanks for interviewing me for your series, Sarah!! It's an honour.

Sunday 17 January 2016

My silent movie

Melanie Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, lots of necklaces

Where's my classic Rolls Royce? I feel like a '20s film star in this get-up. Well, it's not actually a get-up; it's a get-it-on, get-down, get-with-it, get-goin', gettin'-real kind of outfit, not a costume, even though everything we put on lends us character. 

Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret, large magnifying glass pendant
Fashion rule: It is perilous to wear a large magnifying glass pendant on a sunny day because
it may burn a hole in one's torso, which is never an attractive fashion statement. With winter sun I stayed intact.
If I were a Hollywood star, in this outfit I'd definitely have been photographed in, say, New York, as I'm dressed far too warmly for Beverly Hills. I'm wearing my thrifted midi length made-in-France wool knit turtleneck dress, which features a hood and gold lurex thread decorative seaming, and my impossibly amazing faux fur maxi coat, which I bought on consignment. If I was really a star, those yellow diamonds wouldn't be from a thrift pile in East Vancouver either.

My imaginary agent, director, manager, and publicist would probably all be screaming at me that I'm getting a bit long in tooth for my imaginary profession, in which case I'd have to tell them to feck off and then build my own studio empire and distribution network where all female actors, whose falling "fuckability" quotients (from ruling misogynist eyes) have kicked them out of the system, will find a new lucrative home. Woe betide those who underestimate women's power of the grey - that's something real.

Mel Kobayashi, thwarted silent screen schtar, Bag and a Beret

I have no script; I'm better when I improvise. Or maybe I just haven't stumbled across the right script yet. Clearly, not having a script at all doesn't give me much chance of finding a good or a bad one. Nunh. But one outfit certainly brings up lots of ideas and dreams which I scrawl down here maybe a day or hours before I post.


I have made a little Silent Movie that shows me reading the blogs I follow, which I had been thinking about for a while. Sooo much ended up on the cutting room floor. Heheheh. I just wish it wasn't such a pain to remove the makeup. I hope you enjoy this.

No ears or fingers were harmed in the making of my video. And don't worry - I used an old computer. I use a big trough, designed for animals long in tooth, while I'm browsing on my regular machine. Below is a still taken from the video with shadow added around the edges. It fits my mood. 

Melanie Kobayashi, still from YouTube video I made, Bag and a Beret

With this windswept-style hair I often feel like I'm in a commercial selling high-end stereo equipment. Very empowering, but who buys stereos any more? Which consumer products do you feel like you're selling with your hair style?

That's all from here. I'll link something up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and with Catherine at Not Dressed at Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike when they go live. These linkups are great motivators for me to organize myself at least once a week. Thank you, Patti and Catherine!

Sunday 10 January 2016

How to use your camera remote control

How many times has this happened to you: you set up your tripod for your photo shoot and your remote ends up front and centre, hogging the limelight! No only that, but you end up looking like you're in a murderous rage or auditioning for the next Mr. Bean movie.

In today's blog post I give you several easy techniques, which I have developed in collaboration with Miz Bagg Laboratories, on how to point and shoot your way to fetching and professional photos that don't hurt your remote, your camera or your reputation usually in the process.


Such a fun technique! Optimal positioning of the remote in your pocket is critical. For beginners, the horizontal sweet spot is easiest to find and stretchy fabric works best, but with experience you will realize that the horizontal position is just one way to trigger the shudder shutter.

a) Demonstration of successsful Hot Pocket technique

How secretly exciting it is to conceal a magic wand in your pocket, knowing that when you press the button and hear that happy chirrup, your rapture will be photographically captured forever. You'll laugh and laugh.

When outdoors, passersby will hastily retreat out of respect for your extraordinary expressions of concentration, but your wandly bulge alone will act as a clear signal of your dedication to photography.


a) Example of hideous remote control takeover. "Hello, hello! Is there a person there? Knock, knock, knock. Where? Where? I don't see her. I only see a selfish camera remote control!!"

The solution in this case - sunglasses. Suddenly you're no longer a dork with a remote - you're a super sleuth with a camera remote control masking-taped to the arm of your sunglasses. You instantly become a player in a game of farcical global intrigue. Oh, such a simple solution. "Why hadn't I thought of it before," you'll ask yourself over and over.

b) Demonstration of successful Accessory Remote technique

When outdoors, people who see you will hilariously think your tripod belongs to someone else and you're having serious trouble with your eyewear. Fun, isn't it?

3. REMOTE ON RAILS (Caution: only for seriously remote users)

Like Robert DeNiro in the movie Taxi Driver (here at 1:34), in this case your remote control is hidden up your sleeve at all times. When it's time to use it, you simply slide it down the rail strapped to your arm, then reach over and trigger it with your other hand. This particular technique may not actually conceal your remote, but whatever.

a) Demonstration of remote on rails with a coat

b) Demonstration of remote on rails without the coat

Sometimes the remote may derail. Pffft. If anyone gives you the side eye while using this technique, simply say: "Are you lookin' at me?" and start sliding your remote quickly up and down your arm. They will leave.


Sometimes you may be wearing so much shite that nobody will even know you have a remote control cleverly concealed in your clothing. This is an advanced version of the Hot Pocket Remote technique and should be used with caution.

a) Failure to conceal remote in clothing. Hideous photo shoot hijacked by electronic device. "Look at my remote! Look at my remote! Don't look at me!!"

b) Successful remote concealment which allows for total poser relaxation

In this case, a rare soft and feminine facial expression of sophistication and really kind of chic-ness with hairiness has been achieved. And where is the remote? Hahaha! If you guessed it's nested in the pom pom under the purple ear muff and polka-dot scarf, left, you'd be correct. Ding ding ding ding!!

c) Another distraction technique: glittery legs, coupled with the question, "WTF is she wearing?"

I hope you've learned something special here today, my friends. It has taken me and Miz Bagg Laboratories more time than it should ever be necessary to address this very serious issue, but we are happy and proud to share these results with you. We hope that you become more and more remote aware. 

If you need a refresher on posing, be sure to reread Miz Bagg's How-to Guide to Posing here

Please take a moment to share your own experiences applying these winning techniques in the comments section below. 

Even after this intensive study, it will take a while before I perfect my remote handling. Until then, I shall employ "Learning through Teaching," which is a popular technique that involves teaching others how to do something until you figure it out yourself. 
I took an extra light into the concrete box this time, which helped brighten things up, and got a few photos I really like. That Taxi Driver-rail tape was a challenge to rip off. I should have used elastic bands. There will be no next time to try it.
New thrift finds: The champagne pink sequin dress I adore - it's from My Sister's Closet. The vintage striped maxi dress has a hood and front zip and I suspect is a '70s beach coverup. I bought it super discounted on Boxing Day at Used House of Vintage. 
I'm linking this up to Patti at Visible Monday, Not  Dead Yet Style, and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb.
Have a great week, everyone.
Below is something I wore earlier this week. I decided to be a tourist in my own town to distract myself from the cold. It didn't work.

I am employing Distraction Remote (Lite) technique here with my new thrifted purple ear muffs. Sorry, Greetje, I didn't get a good photo of the blouse, but it's silky and ties at the front.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Interplanetary pom poms!

Linking up to Judith at Style Crone for Hat Attack 30.
Linking up to Anne at SpyGirl for 52 Pick-me-up: Grass/Growth/Courage.
Linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday.
Linking up to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike.

Coat from the mmmarvelous Su Bennett, co-stylist at My Sister's Closet fashion show; Italian soft pants with huge front snaps $5 at My Sister's Closet; leather booties My Sister's Closet; blouse/tunic My Sister's Closet; hat from Talize; earrings My Sister's Closet. I had coffee with Su today and she was wearing a smashing Balenciaga tunic from My Sister's Closet, smashing! I took my camera but forgot to pull it out - typical.

I'm tired. My tempest in a thimble (re. previous post) has tuckered me out. But I'm feeling all-round joyful in this outfit.

Happy closet hunting!!

Sunday 3 January 2016

My hat malfunctioned

OOPs. I had a post here with a grey faux fur hat I bought in a vintage store. I loooved it! Its construction was exquisite. But there were starting to be references to it as an afro on Instagram, and while they were all supportive - thanks for your comments, by the way - I was startled because I saw it in the vein of the huge fur hats you used to see around.

I would never wear an afro wig so I can't wear a hat that is seen as afro hair either. It was bad judgment on my part not to have a wider vision about how it would come across - I get caught up in my little vibe. That's why I removed the post.

But onwards and upwards. I have a lot more cool stuff to wear and post about that will hopefully bring joy to all!! I'll be back soon!! Hee hee.

I have also removed my Instagram account. I couldn't delete the hat photo so I just took down my whole account. Bwhaha! No big deal.

I'm not sure when/if I'll be back, but it was a ride! THANK YOU for your support!!


I got my Instagram back! Sylvia (40+ Style) saved me. She removed that photo for me and reset everything. It's a miracle. I'm deeply thankful. 

I shouldn't start pressing buttons if I don't know what will happen. In fact, I set Instagram to take a temporary break, not delete everything, but when everything disappeared I figured, okay, whatever.

AND, try to think about other people's perceptions about what I'm wearing before I trot it out into the wide open world. It's better to be more sensitive in advance than have regrets later.

THE RIDE CONTINUES!!! Thank you for your patience. Hahaha! Pass me another drink, would ya? And keep 'em coming.

For the record, nobody was critical of my hat in their comments. The comments were awesome!! You are all awesome!! As suggested, yes, I think I can repurpose the hat into something else.

Henceforth, this shall be known as the Great Hat Fiasco.

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