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Sunday 25 June 2017

Room for change, change room, presto chango

The change room - not so unlike Superman's phone booth. You go in, make a quick change, then emerge with superpowers, at least in the ideal scenario, including the uncanny ability to see bulges as muscle. Heh. 
Faster than a woman swiping the last chocolate croissant, more powerful than matte lipstick, able to leap scummy puddles in a single bound in skyhigh platforms. Look! Up ahead (photo below) -  It's a mutant orange! It's a giant cheese! No, it's Melanie! 
Below is my latest superpower dress, Le Traffic Cone (sister to my traffic cone coat), which I picked up during a blogger shopping spree at Talize Thrift in Delta, BC, with Suzanne (, Sue (A Colourful Canvas), and Sherry (Petite Over 40), post on it here.

Photo by Sue, A Colourful Canvas. l to r: Sherry, my back, Suzanne

I spotted this piece in the size 20 dresses. It ticked all the right boxes.
  • Audaciously big? Check. 
  • Pockets? Check. 
  • Nuclear orange? Check. 

I wore it for the first time yesterday, which happened to coincide with the downtown kickoff of Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Imagine my delight at being able to bring traffic cone safety to all the lovely people attending this musical street party. 

Sadly, weakling pixels can't possibly capture the neon-ness of this piece, nor the heavenly swish, but it's all I got. An exciting bit of news is that the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, closed for renovations for ages, had finally opened for the festivities. Hurray!

Those red sandals are from Talize too and are now a wardrobe staple. They are by Liz Claiborne, not to be confused with the movie Dolores Claiborne, which has one of my favourite lines, "Sometimes being a b*tch is all a woman has to hold onto." Scene here. Brilliant. The blue sunnies came from a vintage shop downtown a year or two ago.

The next photo was also taken at Talize. I challenged myself to wear kyrptonite, I mean beige. I made friends with beige in a previous post, "Clothes the colour of porridge," but decided to test the endurance of our detente, and, yes, our peace treaty endures. Except I didn't like this outfit enough to buy it. Maybe if I had to jet suddenly to England to solve a murder at a village fete, I would wear this.

Photo by Sue, A Colourful Canvas

Below is another change room, this one at Nordstrom. This is like Superman visiting his idyllic home planet, Krypton, before it exploded.

I know, I know, I only go to Nordstrom SPACE for eye candy but during a mega-sale it doesn't hurt to have a taste test, right? Or does it? This top didn't exactly hurt, but it was super prickly and clingy and cloying, and the skirt's lace and tulle were prickly with an expensive falling-apart quality. 

For modesty, I photo-edited-out my underwear under the lace skirt, which also features huge gaps in the front and sides by design (the skirt, not my underwear).

Although this ensemble is sweet, it's too much treacle for me, even with its propensity for scandalous wardrobe malfunctions. This outfit makes me proud of my farked boob cooler t-shirt here - scandal without the prickles, price, and tangle. But I know this piece will look fabulous on somebody else, which was why I was drawn to it in the first place.

Below, now we're talkin'! Comme des Garçons or a variation thereof [Junya Watanabe], the top of course. It was an ordeal to put this on too: a leather harness contraption with origami-ed filmy fabric bits forming an ethereal cage. Did I love it? Yes, I did. It was $3,100 Cdn marked down to $1,100 Cdn., but I balked, like a chicken, balk balk-balk-baaaalk. Nunh.

And I tried on a Simone Rocha dress, just a sliver of it showing on the left; again, too prickly for my comfort level but a very sweet dress. 

I don't fully comprehend why I was drawn to these sweet prickly pieces that day, and a feminine blouse on the left above as well. Maybe it's because they are as out of form for my style as the whole trying-on-new-things experience.

What did I find out by visiting Krypton?: 1) designer pieces can be dreadfully complicated and prickly; 2) I still don't have a strong desire to possess these things. I like farking my own looks; plus, I have a penchant for electricity and food and shelter at the moment. But the deals were certainly there if I change my mind with a brain transplant.

And finally, to round out this post, a photo of me and Sue called Running With the Bulls from when Suzanne and Sherry came to town. Heh. Why isn't Sue more afraid? I had a brief meetup with Sue this week too. I got to see her latest dress (here) in person. Awesome!

Photo by SuzanneCarillo

That's all for now. You know what's next, don't you...?

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

Stay cool or bundled as the case may be. I'm heading out for a little jazz fest enlightenment in a fruital jumpsuit and then it's time for work work work. See you next time. Thanks for stopping by!!


PS - I must pass along a big thank you to Lisa of Amid Privilege for her reference to me and our brief meeting in Vancouver in her thoughtful post, "The Salubrious Effect Of Someone Else’s Friendly Eyes And Someone Else’s Stories," hereMuch appreciated.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Maxi skirts, meetups, movies, and dressing like a bouquet

Vintage bias-cut maxi skirt from the $5 rack. Ack!!! What luck. From My Sister's Closet (MSC), don't you know. I got a whack-ton of '70s treasures in a two-day spree there. Again, eagle eyes and persistence, my friends. 

"But I'd rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself," persisted Anne mournfully," speaking about her love of puffed sleeves on dresses, from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. 

I have that puffed-sleeve love for this top, silk, hand-painted, by a Nordic company, I don't remember which one because I cut out the label when I decided to wear it backwards (I like to see the faces on the front) and then hid it in a safe place. 

The big earrings are from MSC too.

Below is a skirt that Suzanne of gave me when she came to town recently. I wore it for the first time to an afternoon's 2017 Resort Wear Trunk Show by designer Rabia Dastgir. The event sounds rather lah-ti-dah but I met a great bunch of people there. I did a brief post about it on my culture/style blog HERE.

The skirt says, "THIS KIND OF MEMORABILIA, IT IS THE PERFECT SOLUTION." Haha, yes! I tell you, Suzanne is the wicked wizard of bod. Although I would have admired this skirt for its design and colour, I would not have picked it out for myself - far too fitted. Thankfully, Suzanne is not so short-sighted. She always picks out winning pieces for everyone when we shop together. 

Bare legs? Body con? Suzanne said, yes, please.

I love the simplicity of this piece with its elastic waist (more food for me!). And I love vintage typewriters with their satisfying Ding WHAM refrain at the end of each line, not to mention the hard clacking of keys, sigh. It makes me think of snappy dialogue between Rosalind Russel and Cary Grant in that screwball comedy His Girl Friday. Another sigh.

There's also a 2012 French film called Populaire set in 1959 about a woman who reluctantly enters speed typing contests. I thought it was charming, with just enough style gluttony to fuel my popcorn hypno-feast. Beware. It was on Netflix.

I bought those beautiful red sandals at Talize thrift store in Delta during our meetup too. I walked all the way across town in them for the trunk show - so glad I took my runners to wear home. 

I have to say, if you're in the Toronto area and need a wardrobe pick-me-up, you MUST contact Suzanne. No kidding. I'm just throwing this out there without consulting her, heh. She sees things you wouldn't even consider but look great. Or check some of her amazing vintage finds in her Etsy shop, HERE.

And next, for your entertainment -
A real movie! Sherry of Petite Over 40 made it from footage we shot during the meetup with me, Suzanne, and Sue of A Colourful Canvas. (I posted on it HERE.) It cracks me up every time I watch. Sincerely, Sherry has a talent for this stuff. She used to work in media so this marks a return to video after a long hiatus. So glad she's baaaack!! 

And that's not all. There's a video clip of Suzanne riding Vancouver's SkyTrain public transit in novel and exciting ways HERE. Hahaha! This is what happens when you give Suzanne a dare. Nobody even batted an eye! 

Another Blogger Meetup
No, it didn't take place in a pool but I just thought I'd put myself there using a stairwell photo I took in the outfit I wore to the meetup.

With the cold and rain, a frigging cornucopia of flowers was required. Thank goodness I had this vintage rear-zip jumpsuit for such an emergency. Also, when meeting one's fellow bloggers it's always a nice gesture to dress as a bouquet. I'm wearing my vintage angel-wing top underneath. O had just cut my hair so it's extra-special sticky-uppy too.

So whom did I meet? Lisa (Amid Privilege) and Susan (une femme d'un certain âge), who had flown into town to spend time with their friend of many years, Frances (materfamilias writes). I was happy that this trio set aside time to include one more. Left to right in the photo below: Lisa, Susan, and me. Frances had left by the time we took this shot.

We convened at Thierry café, which often wins Best Dessert and Best Pastry in popular Vancouver eatery surveys. And it is also a fancy chocolatier. What better place for a blogger meetup? 

I'd met Frances before for a sketching outing but this was my first time meeting Susan and Lisa. What a bunch of strong, smart, stylish, and supportive women. We had an intense and satisfying discussion on the issue of invisibility and aging, as well as techniques I can use to take over the world. Hahaha! I was moved by their generosity of heart, thought, and laughter. 

After "coffee," I showed Susan and Lisa around a few stores, including Holt Renfrew, which they had asked about. As a staple in my eye-candy diet, I know that place inside-out. And then I took them to Italian Kitchen restaurant before we parted ways. It was a brief meetup but worth it. I hope we can meet again! Susan's writeup is here and Frances' is here. [Edit: Lisa also put up a related post here.]

And now, what I wore just for nuthin'
This next outfit I call Fake French De Niro Style or How to Look Tough in Ballet Flats. "You lookin' at me!?" 

Skulls, chic high-waisted fit and flare skirt, sparkly clutch from MSC, ballet flats, Lagerfeld sunnies, fun fabric flower clip/pin hand-made by Suzanne as a goodie bag gift at the blogger meetup two summers ago, and my magic loupe. (Thanks to all of you who bought a loupe! O has had to restock.)

The skirt was originally a dress for a woman with a Barbie doll figure. I would have had to remove a couple of ribs and had massive implants to make it fit. So I hacked off the top part and farked it into a bolero jacket; the rest became this high-waisted skirt. Below you can see the subtle patterning on the fabric. I bought the dress at a movie lot sale of costumes.

Poking my bag to make sure it's not moving. Always a good idea.

This next red outfit is called Failed Highland Dancer or Weak Scottish Gladiator. The dress was oh-so-flat-falling on the front so I added some thrifted suspenders from MSC to create interesting draping and a wonky hemline. The back is also clipped up in one place. Those are my white Reebok sweat socks with my sandals. They save me putting four band-aids on my ankles - these sandals bite.

That's the tartan jacket I farked from dumpy to punky, HERE. It's one of my favourite farked pieces. I can't believe it's mid-June and I still wear wool jackets!

If you've made it this far you deserve cake! And ice cream!! I missed posting last week and the backup just came tumbling out this time. 

I'll find something here to link up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. 

Now I'm tired. Heh. What's up with you? Share it in your comments. Thanks so much for visiting!!

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Blogger meetup with zombies and opium

Suzanne Carillo and Sherry Dryja (Petite Over 40) of Toronto and Seattle came to town and met up with me and Sue (A Colourful Canvas) this past weekend. The times we had! 

We are proof that you don't need tons of money to have a blast, only a meeting time, a few great outfits, an imagination, a camera/cellphone (we had 3), a thrift shop or two, and a generous dash of bravado. We didn't need the photos but they sure added gasps and hilarity. 

Photo by Sherry, Petite Over 40

Day 1. We hopped the SeaBus to North Vancouver to explore a few thrift shops. Of course we worked up an appetite and stopped at Lonsdale Quay, an indoor market, for nibblers.

Photo by Pizza Shop Woman

On the way back to Vancouver Sue knew exactly how to secure an unobstructed view of the advancing city skyline: the man-spread, such an exemplary example - she really nailed it - but the photo self-destructed. Hahaha!!

That night Suzanne, Sherry, and I went to the Comedy Mix to see some stand-up. The most laughs came when it was over and we discovered that all three of us wanted to walk out; we didn't because we were afraid the comedian would beat us up and laugh at our injuries. In fact, we found ourselves in the next days frequently riffing on his vicious rants, then wondered with alarm, does that count as success!?

Day 2, off to Talize thrift store in Delta by elevated train and bus. So many modes of transportation! Happily, Sue was able to join us.

Photo by Sue, A Colourful Canvas

Of the outfits above, I think only Suzanne bought her dress. Note the squared wings sticking out at my hips - always a flattering look. They were designed to be tucked in and tied inside at the front but I liked them out better. Now I regret not getting this dress, but we had two shopping carts piled mile high with options.

Our intrepid photographer takes a break on the bench conveniently located outside the change rooms. Man-spreading was not required. Sue made that fantastic duster.

On Day 3, in the morning Suzanne, Sherry, and I went on a 90-minute Sins of the City Walking Tour, "Vice, Dice, and Opium Dens," hosted by the Vancouver Police Museum. I highly recommend it. The two others on offer are Red Light Rendezvous and Walking the Beat.

Then in the evening we met up at their hotel dressed roaring '20s style (brilliant idea by Suzanne) to go to the club "Speakeasy." But first, since Suzanne and Sherry had scouted cool locations for photos at the hotel the night before, we needed to explore our inner divas fully. So many great shots...these are only a few.

Photo by Suzanne I think

Of course luxe locations in a fine hotel make it easier to set up interesting scenes, but that wasn't a prerequisite for getting good footage. Sherry farked and posted one of my favourite clips on YouTube. Warning: DON'T WATCH THIS AT WORK!! She calls it Copy of Dancing for Real. I call it Roaring '20s Zombies on Brain Detox.

We filmed this right downtown, a prime example of what I meant by "a generous dash of bravado." Heh. They are awesome!

We also swanned over to another hotel lobby for photos. This place has always been a favourite.

And then we went for a late bite. We tried flirting with our handsome server, aged 24(?) but that was simply wasted energy. He did, however, crank up the charm just before handing us the bill. Do we look that gullible? Heh. 

Later, after we had gone our separate ways and called it day, we realized that we had totally forgotten to go to the Speakeasy. Hahaha!!

On Day 4, we went to My Sister's Closet thrift boutique, of the famous $5 rack, followed by brunch. Then Suzanne and Sherry both returned to family. In this photo Suzanne is wearing the gold booties that she, Sue, and I all tried on during her last visit, HERE.

Whew! Blogger meetups are the best! It was the first time meeting Sherry and I can't wait for us to get together again. It was also a special meetup because Suzanne was celebrating her birthday. By chance my schedule was fairly free too - it's something I can never be sure of in advance - so I could take full advantage of their visit.

That's all I've got for you this week. It was a good week. There are many more hilarious photos from Talize. I dressed in BEIGE, on purpose. And Suzanne, Sherry, and I all tried on gowns - Suzanne was Molly Ringwald from Pretty in Pink, Sherry wore an '80s Dynasty series dress, and I was Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. If nobody else posts them, I'll post them later - already this is photo-heavy.

I'll link something up to Catherine, Not Dressed as Lamb, #iwillwearwhatilike. Patti is on a break.

What would you do? Big tip or little tip for the last-minute-suck-up server?

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