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Monday 30 January 2017

Mega orange culottes at the beach and burbs

An unspeakably idyllic afternoon, a vision straight from Barbie's Glam Camper. Here we have an immaculate lawn under a twirling eyeball sky, plus hot dogs, beer, and kiddie toys, all of which suggest a high-end, above-ground pool and split level home just beyond the frame. That's some jumbo dog! Pile on the onions and relish!!

What brought on this suburban wonderland, you may ask. It's my holy Hanna, rock 'em sock 'em citrus, swirlorama palazzo-panted playsuit. Yeeah. I don't even like beer, let alone yard maintenance, roof repairs, and sump pumps. But I'm no wuss either - give me a plunger and I'll show you who's boss. Shudder! 

The orange of this garment is much more neon than I could possibly replicate in these photos. If it were summer and I had in fact been chug-a-lugging all day, it's possible I would have worn this without a shirt or modesty flap in the ring. Or not. 
I picked up this little number from My Sister's Closet eco thrift boutique a few months ago. The manager pointed it out to me after I passed it by on the $5 rack. Close call!

The garment had a jigsaw of little rips and stains but nothing that a determined fashionista couldn't put to rights. Traces of a booted footprint along the rear hem stubbornly remain, but who's to know with all the other distractions of this piece?

The below photo is called The Game, as suggested to me by my partner O when he saw it. Yes. We're all having a FUN TIME TONIGHT, boys and girls! YAY!

In other news, a telemarketer for newspaper subscriptions called and I accidentally picked up. She asked if Mr or Ms (my name) was home. I said, "Sorry, you have the wrong number" - I'm tired of telemarketers, okay? Then she said, "Is your mum or dad home, or some other decision-maker?" Heh.

Later that day, I ran into an acquaintance who had seen a story in a Canadian newspaper about style for women over 65. At first she thought I was the featured style consultant. Later I searched online papers for the article. The closest thing I could find was a piece on: Nancy Reagan's style! I must admit, there are a few David Lynchian similarities. Here.

Zero to 60 in a day: Child. Nancy Reagan. Just when I think I have it all figured out... Hahaha!!


I'll link this up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. I have a more sober photo of this on my Instagram if you're interested. Here.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Morning after mascara

I wore mascara a few days ago. It's still wearing me. Now that I am more, ahem, mature, there are more cracks for the mascara bits to hide in, making removal much like an archaeological dig - slowly, layer by layer, day by day, shards of black artifacts are unearthed and examined. Same with eye shadow. By chance I like peanut butter on my toast and it often removes the last corporeal remains of lipstick. Perhaps I should try this on my eyes.

Drop crotch leggings worn on top of my jeans. DIY t-shirt.

Given a little more time, I suspect governments and corporations will set up tiny oil rigs on our eyelids to harvest cosmetic sludge aged to perfection with time, pressure, and hot flashes, a bit like how diamonds are made but without the big payoff - don't expect sales of this brand of crude at Tiffany.
Hey, who's been fracking on my face?!!

On the plus side, with those dark morning-after smudges comes an undeniable nasty-woman allure - "I was out all night partying after the concert and slept with, um, I forget their his? her? name" that may get tongues wagging in a delightful, "Oh, I feel so young again!" way. But that only works if your hair also looks like a rat's nest. The loose slob effect requires finesse. One without the other is a sure giveaway that you are a sorry pretender who probably spends hundreds of dollars to look artfully bad.

Nest hair? Yup, I'm the real deal, see above. In this outfit, I am wearing leggings with the crotch hanging down on top of my jeans, like I dressed in a hurry after I woke up in the wrong bed. Heh. After 50, we, if anyone, deserve to look like we've been partying all night without actually partying. Henceforth, "resting bitch face" will be known as "party face". Youngsters will look on with envy and horrified disgust.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a morning-after pill, not for family planning because who needs that now? It's not like you can stuff your grown children back up your hoo-haw and pretend the whole thing didn't happen. But a morning-after pill for cosmetics, right? One pill and, poof!, the makeup is gone. No more sandpaper, grinders, unguents, and emollients. With such a pill, each day would be a smorgasbord of false eyelashes, eyeliner, glitter, mascara, and shadows in a range of fruity colours.


And now we welcome the newest trend - going makeup free. Puh. How can we possibly afford that!? It's not like we all have a team of pro photographers and stylists and lighting experts, plastic surgeons and genetic therapists, poolside homes, personal chefs and photo editing experts on standby (I am my own gaffer). No thank you. I'm not rich enough to go makeup free, plus I could use some oil reserve royalties.

Wearing my winter coat the modern way - falling right off.

It's too bad the morning-after effect isn't limited to the face. My whole body tells me it's party party party all the time. Why haven't I been invited?!! Or maybe I was and I just forgot - I filed the memo in my cloud memory and it simply drifted away or my memory stick crashed. Maybe it's time for my actions to catch up to my hangover. Can you believe I didn't have my first New Year's booze until January 3? And I had to be prompted for it?! If ever there was a year to take up drinking, this is it.

But no, I shall simply be content on the path of occasional eye makeup debauchery and archaeological discovery. Pass me the bottle, will ya? It's my own special blend of crude.

PS. It's no use advising me on what makeup removers to use. They are USELESS. All of them. Every single one. I want MAGIC. Until then, I'll work the party face.

I'll link this up to Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine, #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb.

Hope you are having happy days despite everything.

Saturday 14 January 2017

How to wear a pink vintage gown as daywear in the winter

I read a blog article recently on how to wear a dress in the winter. You take a dress, you put it on, and then you put on a coat. OMG!! Why hadn't I thought of that?! I was freezing cold wearing this sparkling dream gown the other day. Had I seen that article, I would have known to put on a coat. Heh.

I bought this exquisite vintage gown in late 2015 to wear to the gala of a fashion show I styled. Stupidly, I didn't apply due care when I washed it and the delicate chiffon bodice partially shredded and patches of hand-sewn rhinestones, beading, and sequins came unstitched. I truly thought the dress was a goner...

Until this past week - Project Resuscitation! I had two options: 1) scrawl MALFUNCTION somehow across the front and shred the skirt; 2) attempt a mend. I chose mend. I'm glad I did. It was delicate work with missing beads and fouled threads, but the results exceeded my expectations. The rhinestone star now looks like it's exploding, which I like - a supernova on my chest.

When I bought the gown, several areas near the hem were also yellowed and ripped, but I'm leaving these imperfections as is, partly because I have no choice, but mostly as living traces of the past, like wrinkles on a face. (The dark area in the photo is my shadow.)

When I move in this dress, the chiffon swirls languidly behind me in its own time zone of dimly-lit nightclubs and champagne bubbles. What a shock it must have been for it to wake up after decades of slumber to freezing temperatures in a bamboo garden at a Keg restaurant on the back of a middle-aged tween with Troll hair and pointy black boots. Under a big blue beast!

Where the wild things are

Yes, of course I wore a coat. Not just any coat - it was Sandra's Big Blue. We swapped for a while, my glowing orange traffic-cone coat for her animal. You can see that the beast has already made friends with a few of the other jackets and coats in my closet. I hope they procreate. See Sandra's IG here.

For a while now I have noticed that wearing bright red makes me feel fantastic, and wearing this gown and doing this shoot, I realized that bubblegum pink has the same effect. PINK?!! Gaaa!! Never, EVER would I say I am partial to either of these colours, especially pink.

Look, LOOK! Evidence of creeping sublimal pink mind-takeover -

Shelley, Forest City Fashionista, took this photo of me last spring

Dress with fake pesticide from my post Most Joyful Nature Woman in a Hot Pink Gown
There is a video based on this in the right sidebar as well.

Why not just buy me a PINK PONY and get it over with?!! Sedate me with candy floss, heart-shaped candies, unicorns, and My Little Princess tiaras? Put me in a frigging tutu, why not? (Oops, I already do that.) At least red is a colour with bite - fire, passion, tempests, romance, sirens. But pink?! O woe, I surrender to its power.

I wore tights, socks, a slip, a camisole, weird lycra shorts, and a white long-sleeved top under this dress because I suspected I'd be leaping about with Sandra outside during our afternoon shoot. She took these grove photos.

So yes, you can wear a dress in the winter without a coat, but you have to jump around a lot to stay warm, be super-focused on something to take your mind off the fact you're freezing your ass off, wear layers UNDER the dress, and not stray too far from a cozy coffee shop you can flee to when your sweat starts to freeze over. That's sound advice.

I've worn a few other outfits I've loooved this week, including a manly suit. But I think there are enough photos on this post already. Well done if you've made it this far. If you want a peek at the suit, it's on my IG, here. It's mostly black and grey, the opposite end of bubblegum pink - 'cause that's how I roll. I look like a politican, a real one.

I shall link this outfit up to Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb, when the time comes.

Has pink seduced you too? How did you recover? Thank you so much for stopping by. I mean it!

PS: In case you don't know, Sherry of Petite Over 40 is hosting a blogger meetup in Phoenix, Arizona, called Winter in the Desert, February 10-12. She is planning all kinds of fun things to do and I so wish I could be there. You must go and give me all the details.

Sunday 8 January 2017

Life beyond the screen

Oh look - I'm a real person! With real friends! Bwahaha. Thank goodness for friends. It's one of the big reasons I keep blogging.

I met up with Sue of A Colourful Canvas before Christmas and we had lunch at Vancouver Art Gallery before hitting the streets. We both happened to be dressed in screamingly bright colours. Not really a surprise. I mean, she's not called Sue of A Bland Canvas, is she? I'm wearing my Norwegian onesie. That's the gallery behind us.

After a lot of blah, blah, blahing, laughs, and startled guffaws, we marched down to the fabric store, Dressew, where we drooled all over their fabrics, so much goodness, especially in the faux fur section. Then, we stopped at swanky fashion retailer Holt Renfrew to ogle their merchandise. Sue tried on this adorable beret/hat with a pom pom thingy on top.

I really love Sue's hot pink puffer coat - so refreshing to the eye when most people are wearing dark outerwear.

And I tried on the humongoid hat below. Of course we didn't buy either of these hats but shopping is most of the fun. Holt Renfrew has recently completed a big renovation project so it's much more spacious and deluxe. It's a good thing - Nordstrom a block away is on the offensive. I'll let them duke it out while I do my real shopping in vintage, thrift, and consignment shops, although Sue and I got lots of inspiration here for our own projects.

Our meetup was the perfect way to brace ourselves for the holidays. If it's true that laughter is the best medicine, we were both satisfyingly doped up by the end of the day. Mwah, Sue!

And then I had my first booze of the new year last week when I met up with Sandra of standard.deviations for, uh, booze - a glass of wine during happy hour - accompanied by a pile of fries smothered in too much raw garlic and salt. Slightly pitui, but I forced myself, heh. I tried ordering a shot glass of wine, but they don't sell it in that size.

It was frickin' freezing outside afterwards. This is a picture of me looped and Sandra keeping her cool. The instructions for this photo were: DON'T MOVE YOUR HEAD! [maniacal laughter] My camera was perched on the post box on self-timer for this shot in the dark. But we wildly swung our arms around - just because, hey, wonder what that will look like. Now we know.

We are in Yaletown, Vancouver's warehouse district turned trendy. I remember club-hopping at gay bars here in the early '80s because that's where all the best dancing was. When I returned here after living abroad, everything had changed. Me too, I suppose.

And Sandra again below. Check out her BEAST!! She told me about this coat earlier that week and that's what inspired me to check out the menswear section where I found the traffic cone coat I wore in the previous post. Sandra's coat is probably made of the elusive blue faux mountain mink.

These are just two of the meetups I've had recently. While I was chatting with Sandra on a street corner one morning a while ago, Vancouver Barbara tore by in her sexy little car, beeping wildly, and I flapped a big wave back. I love these chance encounters.

I look forward to more meetups this year. The friendships I've made through blogging are the best thing about it.

I'll end this post with this photo from Yaletown.

In my wine-addled state, at first I thought an alien ship had photo-bombed our shot. But no - using my magic loupe, I realized that this looked creepily like flesh! Ghost hand?! Or had my own hand become so obviously rhino-hided this season I hadn't even noticed? It couldn't be a bicycle seat, right?

Then, using my superior powers of deduction, I realized that my camera on the post box had tipped downward on self-timer for an excellent shot of my leather glove tucked under the lens to prop it up. Brilliant.

Why don't they sell shot-glass sizes of wine? Why?

There are some outfit photos on my Instagram if you're interested. HERE. That's all.
Have a great week all youse guys.

Monday 2 January 2017

Celebrity style blogger becomes target of fake news!

You've probably heard how fake news is warping people's perceptions of the world with alarming frequency and consequences. As the line between reality and la-la-fantasyland becomes more and more blurred I decided to sacrifice this post to public service by presenting you with several news stories featuring me, international celebrity style blogger, to test your skills at spotting FAKE NEWS.

1. New Book by Mel Breaks the Presses 
The Ritz cracker and Spam canapes at my last party were such a hit that I wrote a cookbook! Here I am meeting one of my adoring fans at a gala book-signing event in New York. Serious business. A relentless workout regimen on the chin-up bar ensured that I had the stamina to keep up with the millions of autograph seekers who lined up for days waiting for a personal audience with me. 

Just between us, my agent has inked a record-breaking Hollywood deal for the cinematic version of my book starring Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins as PB and J, and Helen Mirren as Bun. Shhhh - you heard it here first!

2. Mel Creates Cosmo Chaos
Another day, another magazine cover. It gets so tedious, cover after cover after cover. This photo is hot, hot, hot off the presses. I barely made the shoot after a night of frolicking with Brad Pitt and George Clooney in Trevi fountain in Italy. Happily exhausted, we took a 3AM time-out for bologna roll sandwiches I had jammed into my purse for emergency refreshment. Look for the recipe in my new book.

Brad kept doing imitations of Rocky and Bullwinkle (old cartoon series) and when the paparazzi showed up I knew it was time to scram. How lucky was it then that Javier Bardem and Robert Downey Jr. happened by on their vintage Vespas. Laughing and laughing at the pickle I was in, they towed me off to the studio on a skateboard just in time. Whew!!

3. Mel Goes Lunie!
This next story is top, top, tippy-top secret!! Prime Minister Trudeau, the supreme leader of Canada, secretly launched a Canadian moon mission earlier this year now that everyone is grabbity-grab-grab for real estate up there. And who headed it? Well, I did! I smuggled this photo out of the science labs after splash-down in the Arctic Ocean.

The discovery of a bathtub and a rubber duckie on the lunar surface is still hush hush and may have deep political implications globally. You may have read my tweet: "A duck on the moon is quackers! It's a disaster, I mean really." Religious leaders are at a summit as I write, discussing the significance of clean aliens. In between my Giant Twirls for Womankind, I staked a claim for my future hotel, Mel Fawlty Tower.

4. Another Story
And in this last photo I am dressed as a traffic cone. I dressed this way after a New Year's Eve spent rolling around my living room floor eating chips and drinking coffee and cutting up old magazines to make collages. I made a big mess.

So, how did you do? Could you spot the fake news? If you guessed that STORY 4 was fake, you were right. Who would wear such an outfit out in public?!

There is an international swat team assembling a task force of expert fake news spotters to protect the world. If you passed this test, you should contact them at 1-800-Everything-Is-Fake-Or-It-Sure-Seems-Like-It!! *To be clear, it is not the intention of this post to impugn the integrity of style bloggers who are exemplars of honesty, sensibleness, niceness, and realness with no photo editing whatsoever.

So it's Year of the Chicken, what did you expect?

I'll link something up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. There will be a better photo of this fake outfit on my instagram, @bagandaberet.

Edit: I'm also linking up to Catherine's Saturday Share Linkup of January 13, 2017, which seems a natural fit considering her post is called "Why you should never believe what you read in the paper."

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