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Sunday 24 September 2017

High-low hair, clothes to greet autumn, and big thanks

Excellent - time for another blog post, the best procrastination around! Especially when I fiddle faddle with my photos. Like this:

Autumn is officially here in this hemisphere. And I know that elsewhere, you're breathing a huge sigh of relief now that you've hit summer weather. 

I'm particularly happy to see this autumn, having not been blown up by men with big toys. Aren't you? (Oops, did I just write that?)

If you've been wanting to wear something outrageous and been too afraid, now is the time to put it on and fill yourself and the world with positive energy.

Below, a close-up. Except for this fabulous hand-made scarf by Sevya, which Sherry of Petite Over 40 gave me, these are all things you've seen before, worn in a different combination.

The coat laces up the back corset-style and dips low. Plum, purple, eggplant, aubergine. What's not to love? And that's an old striped dress/tunic and my Rip Curl pants from My Sister's Closet, where I find so many of my treasures. Finally, my magic loupe by O.

Really, the whole thing is so over-the-top that your eye starts to see it as neutral, don't you think? I definitely walk with mega-'tude when I wear this. And I swung around my toolbox hand bag from O, not shown here, like I was somewhere far more glamourous than on my way to the supermarket in search of frozen corn.

For example, in this outfit I imagine hunching over a huge glass desk in the loft of my converted monastery, writing psychedelic poetry or a pop opera called, say, Menopausoff, with a quill pen, with a purring black cat on my lap, my manuscript illuminated by a battery- or solar-powered candle. Modern concessions. Lots of treats are on hand as well, for me and kitty.


The photo below was taken by the very talented Vancouver Barbara when we went to the Rennie Collection in Chinatown for a tour of Bob Rennie's works by Ian Wallace, a renowned local photo/conceptual artist, a genre Vancouver is famous for. It's exactly the kind of intellectual art that constipated me for several decades after I studied it.

There was a faded candid Polaroid of the artist sleeping called Artist at Work. "Genius," everyone enthuses. "$$$!" the artist enthuses. Hahaha. Of course, it's the historical context of its invention that makes his work endure, as is the case with much art. [Edit: And the artist's continuing development of and passion for the work.]

And, yeah, good on him for making a self-admitted throwaway a collectors' item. How can I do that? Anyone interested in my old sweatsocks? If I call it art, will it be so? 

Uh-oh, I need my journal for some Kitty/Turnip Head sketching to cleanse myself of such thoughts. But I enjoyed revisiting my past and debriefing at The Sylvia with Barbara after the tour.

[Edit: I attended a talk by Ian Wallace at the gallery on Oct 4 and I'm so glad I did. It was wonderful seeing the passion he has for his work. Beauty in all its forms was a phrase that kept coming to mind.]

Note the short hair? Haircut by O. He's so good at it! 

Barbara's direction to me at the gallery was, go sit on the those stairs and look sad. I did, and a couple more looked really, really sad, yes, tragic even. And we of course burst out laughing between shots, oh so unladylike!

And what's that on my legs? Beige?!! I was readying my black tux pants when suddenly I thought, gaaa, too much black, and grabbed these: Missoni, perfect fit, knit, with cuffs, also from My Sister's Closet. They were perfect with this brown Pierre Cardin tie, Windsor-knotted, and my velvet blazer.
My first run-in with these pants was HERE, a post called "Clothes the Colour of Porridge."
My hair looks really short up there, right? But below is that same short cut styled into peaks. Who would have guessed? O cut it so I could wear it both pixie and foppish. I love being able to play with these divergent looks.

In other news - 

Sherry interviewed O by email and wrote an amazing post on his art and magic loupe, HERE. Her writing is truly professional and expresses his views so well. Her generous support of his art is amazing. And she's got fantastic style. I LOVE that red lipstick!

And another huge hug is in order for Sylvia of 40+ Style, who put up an Instagram post on the stainless steel/synthetic ruby ring she bought from O.  Thank you so much for including it in a movie clip on your Instagram, below.

If you want a loupe or ring like these, head over to O's Etsy shop, OSK Micro-art Studio.

I'll link up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style (with her cast off!), and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. I'll bring the drinks. Patti will sing.

And that's it for another week. Stay clean. Stay fed and watered. Stay happily clothed whenever possible. And most of all, stay positive. I'm doing my best here.

Sunday 17 September 2017

How to be in Vogue and not know it

Sequins for lunch? Of course. Although to be accurate, these are really paillettes, which sit at the apex of Sparkledom. And then I like to add a little toolbox hand bag chaser. Quite satisfactory.

This week, having linked up all my interviews with Margaret of Sixty & Me and Elaine of MaturePreneurial, I decided I should update my Press page HERE, so I went rummaging online, which I haven't done in a long time, to see if I've missed anything I should add. 

Gaaa! - big surprise!
asdlkjao iapo iapri ar aoiaitp UT 9ITU ALKJLKJ LJ lj lkj okesjaogija[oijaroiuaeiaoai oaij aori[ ru ari reijrijroij aj ia[[a9u09utm09um[09eum[09eum[q09umq09

And a stark reminder of how the web never sleeps. 

Unbeknownst to me, I have been leaking all over the place, mostly into posts about "old" Instagrammers and bloggers or "women ten years over half a century," aunts, grandmas, seniors, and the aged - in a good way I guess, right? Right? (often Google translations)

Overall, I was 1) shocked, 2) flattered, and 3) delighted to find myself in the fantasy titles of my youth: Vogue (Korea), Elle (Serbia), Cosmo (China), Marie Claire (Hong Kong), as well as other big-timey sites in Hungary, Mexico, Vietnam, Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Czech Republic, Thailand, Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, US, Romania, Estonia, Japan, UK - I think that's all. 

Starrett toolbox hand bag from O's height gauge with my big, side-button, high-waisted palazzo pants

Try and picture it, me slouched over my laptop, slurping my room-temp decaf, dressed in my slobblish oversized pants and a men's button-down, scrolling, then suddenly spewing decaf, my eyes like pie plates. 
"O, guess what? I'm in Vogue?! Gaaa!" He raised an eyebrow (sign of being impressed).
Many of the posts were a couple of months old so it felt a bit like winning gold after the original medalist is busted for doping. No podium moment for me! Heh. Unless you count my red carpet walk in the concrete box wearing this fabulous paillette jacket from eco thrift boutique My Sister's Closet.

What I liked was I got into those sites not as a model but as who I am, me, Mel, and the photos I took in the concrete box were up there alongside big name bloggers with pro photographers. That made all my bungling that much more satisfying.
Definitely, time for a real drink, coffee with caffeine, and raisin toast.
But the big revelation is that none of this has had a direct impact on my life, except I was jittery for hours and will have to buy more raisin bread. Sure, my Instagram followers have been going up, but I haven't known why. And all along I've had sponsorship offers, almost all of which I ignore or decline because they don't fit with my style/vibe.

Demonstrating the latest trend of having your tag sticking out. Awesome corset t-shirt from Shelley, Forest City Fashionista, with my uni-suspender. I love the lighting I get with this black velvet backdrop.

So my conclusion is: what matters to me is the real-life stuff, enjoying the company of friends, many met via blogging, and being receptive to new experiences. For example, last night I went to a Fluevog cocktail party for Silver Foxes and Vixens  - how cool is that?! The store was debuting its new season of shoes and I got to chat with John Fluevog himself. And next week I'll attend a Vancouver Fashion Week gala, invited by a friend. Sometimes I get asked because I have a street style blog, but I could probably wangle an invite without it.

These online discoveries have also underscored the reason I'm on social media at all:
To grab the most I can out of what my closet and imagination have to offer and to share that good feeling with people who share back. I love that loop of positivity. 
That's what the Freakish Yellow Skirt was about. Remember her? (see paragraph at end of post for brief update)

My blog is where I get to do a big show-and-tell of all my little projects and Turnip Head and musings about the absurdities of life and of course my outfits, like that sweet tiger zip jumpsuit with matching quilted skirt, for example. A gracious gift from Pao of Project Minima, whose Mum used to rock it.

Of course, if Madam Big-Time Producer called me on my Bat Phone and said breathlessly -
Mel, my Lear Jet is in the no-parking zone of your building waiting for you. I need you here PDQ (NY or London, Berlin, Paris) to host our new show Farknation!
- I would oblige. It's the polite thing to do. Heh. Wearing these stripes and honkin' huge earrings, I'm ready to go!

It's all part of the fantasy: blogging, dressing up, going to galas. I'll take them where I can get them.
Fantasy and styling are not escapes from reality; they are the armour and strength that help me deal with it and shape it to my liking. (mel said)
Sometimes I wish I were born with more business genes, so I could squeeze more from the things thrown my way, but I y'am what I y'am. Or maybe an assistant would help.

But that only happens in Farknation. 

In Farknation, there's a parking space for jets on the street and my umbrella, below, is a riding helmet.

I was feeling very Horse & Hound in this outfit. Tally-ho. Or this is what I would wear to walk the corgis. I'd just need a kerchief and an HRH or HM in front of my name to bring this fantasy to life.

I hope all of you have had a lovely week and are enjoying your own fantasies, played-out or not. I'm going to link with Patti at Visible Monday on her blog Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike on her blog Not Dressed as Lamb. I'll see you there?

FYS is back in Vancouver after almost getting stranded. I have to recover from that before/if she goes out again. It's nerve-wracking being the caretaker of FYS because so many women have a stake in her well-being. She has put on weight since I saw her last with all the awesome embellishments that have been added. I'll do a post about it sometime soon.

Monday 11 September 2017

Classic velvet blazer for total drama

My hair may soon need scaffolding; it's starting to collapse under its own weight. But I like the big curl off the forehead, which reminds me of Brit actors as brooding uniformed school boys or gentlemen in period dramas, or poets, framed always by huge windows or great gnarled trees in emerald forests of romance and intrigue.

I'm wearing my fave velvet blazer by Triple Five Soul, featuring raw edges, satin tuxedo striping down the arms, and surgeon's cuffs, which means the cuffs have functioning buttons so you can turn them up for, uh, surgery, so you don't gore up your sleeves. Excellent!

This means I can fearlessly deep-dive into barbeque chips and bar snackies, and not worry about reckless dragging through ketchup and coffee.

I tied my vintage tie in a Full Windsor knot (instructions here if needed), which is fatter than a regular knot, and made the front stubby and the tail long enough to hang below my buttoned blazer. And that's a men's wrinkled white shirt.

The men's belt is thrifted, the kind of soft leather hard to find in retail stores these days. The brand is Josef, made in Canada, mint condition. The silver medallion buckle is what caught my eye (closer view here). 
TIP: Always check out the men's belt section in thrift shops. Not usually as elaborate as women's belts, men's belts can easily be resized with a leather punch.
And my button-fly, low-rider jeans by Bardot of Australia, purchased a few years ago at a sample sale. The legs are super skinny. 

Below, detail of the subtle asymmetrical embroidery on the back of the jacket. 

I know I said that my hair reminded me of a Brit actor/poet, but I also got a strong rockstar vibe with this outfit. The heeled ankle boots added a sense of being in control, literally "on top of it." And I layered my Poe almost-black lipstick over my standard red.

On my Instagram I also said that this outfit makes me feel like a low-rider car with flames painted on it. At each red traffic light I would start hopping, loudly and awkwardly, startling all the pedestrians.

So there you have it: school boy/gentleman/poet, rock star, low rider. Which vibe do you see here? Or something completely different perhaps? I like that there is no one feeling but a whole playhouse of characters.

And just so you know I haven't gone all dark in my clothing, I wore this outfit below, with slicked back hair, which I have previously referred to as "tidy Kim Novak hair" but not for this outfit. And I piled on the jewels.

I like wearing many necklaces at a time, but dislike: 1) the bother of fiddly clasps, and 2) the jangling sound they make. 

To fix the first problem I got two pieces of blue ribbon and tied on the smaller necklaces, threading one ribbon through the jump rings and the other ribbon through the clasps, transforming the whole mess into a single longer necklace easily thrown over my head. I tie it at the back so I can adjust the overall length.

To address the second jangling problem, clearly I have to become a Russian folk dancer, like HERE

Finally, all five my interview episodes with Margaret Manning of Sixty and Me are open. I wrote about it in the previous post but when I published only one was up. Today, because my main outfit features black and white, I thought I'd highlight this one. 

Fashion Over 50: Exploring the Power of Simple Black, White and Grey
Mel Kobayashi 

Plus, I want to get the most mileage from the clothing explosion that happened while setting up my demo pieces. O was very stoic about the whole thing. In the end, I only had time to use about 20% of what I had out. And I forgot to say my most important points - I got carried away. What a surprise! Hahaha.

The links to the other episodes are here:
  1. I Love Floral Tights! Why Fashion After 60 is About Wearing What Makes You Happy
  2. Forget What Other People Think and Express Your Eccentricities
  3. The Art of Walking Like a Movie Star
  4. Vintage Clothing is Back for Women Over 50: Embrace the Past and Create Amazing Style
And I can't end this post without saying I'm linking up with Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style - I have been worrying about her family in Florida all week. And I'm linking up with Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb.

That's it for now. I hope you are all safe!! - my thought for the week. The autumn chill is coming here and I like it.

Saturday 2 September 2017

I wore fake Audrey Hepburn for my big Skype interview

Me:  "You want me to what? With my WHAT?! I don't think so! This movie is supposed to be family entertainment. And isn't Fred (Astaire) a bit old for that kind of thing - even with the miracles of modern medicine? 

Them: garble garble garble.

Me: I don't care if Miz Bagg Productions has him locked into a three-lifetimes' contract! If you expect me to perform this dreck, you have another thing coming!

Just another day at the studio. Heh.

You want me to do what? With my WHAT?!

That's when I stormed off to the stairwell to cool down and do some serious editing on my lines.

"Where's my PA!? Get me Patti, she'll fix it! Must I rewrite the whole script myself?!" You wouldn't believe my PA - I told her I needed a trailer on set and what did she do? She brought me a trailer lunch-bag hand bag instead. Can you believe it? Only in a Miz Bagg production!

Editing my script. Who writes this trash?

Out, out, out, no, no, no. Another red marker bites the dust. Luckily, I know that a script can always be saved with the addition of a good yachting scene.

I am rehearsing during every spare moment - hiking off door knobs in the cafe, and railings in the library and stairwell. And practising my lines.

(screaming sexily over high winds)
Oh, Roddy! Nobody does a tacky jibe better than you!! Toss me another bologna sandwich, then meet me in the saloon for a Russian mule and cake!!
Mel scoops fish out of water with her free hand, turns to camera, winks, then falls into water.  Roddy's arms!!!

At least I got Astaire replaced. His tap shoes were not only giving me a huge headache, but they were wrecking the deck.

Practising my hiking with the stairwell railing, for my yacht scene

It's funny how one single photo can set a whole production into motion, like the shot below. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in the 1957 movie Funny Face. She was 28 in that picture and her love interest, Fred Astaire, was 58. It happens. But reeeeally - Mr. Astaire? Out of all Hollywood?

What's even more shocking is that I am approaching Mr. Astaire's age but I still identify more with Ms. Hepburn. Would I do a film with a male love interest who's only 28? Hm, let me think about it.

Adding to the vibe was the winged eyeliner, which got there from a mascara incident on one eye, which I tried to replicate on the other rather than starting over. Just going with the flow.

Feeling impish like Amélie or Audrey Hepburn

I had a Skype interview that morning with Margaret Manning of Sixty & Me. I am not 60. I am still in my very mid-50s, and when I told Margaret, she still wanted to interview me, plus I liked the topics she had lined up. The first episode (of five in total) went up today, HERE. It's called:

The simple late-'50s-style jazz club outfit of black capris, top, and flat ankle-wrap sandals was perfect for throwing demo clothing on top during our talk - although at the time I was barefoot.

for having me on your show. 
Stay tuned for more episodes. 
Margaret has posted some of the other episodes now too. I'll keep updating the list here.
  1. I Love Floral Tights! Why Fashion After 60 is About Wearing What Makes You Happy
  2. Forget What Other People Think and Express Your Eccentricities
  3. The Art of Walking Like a Movie Star
  4. The Power of Black, White, and Grey
  5. Vintage Clothing is Back for Women Over 50: Embrace the Past and Create Amazing Style
If you're wondering why I am looking up during the talk, it's because I use a big monitor above my webcam. Next time I'll fix that.

I have to say, after my previous podcast interview with Elaine of MaturePreneurial, HERE, which I posted on HERE, I thought I had learned from my mistakes. [insert cosmic guffaw here] Geez, with all these risks I'm taking with pods and Skypes, according to life gurus I should be on the superhighway to enlightenment by now. Pfffft. My GPS is busted for sure.

Bird understands me well

I'm linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for her ever-fabulous Visible Monday, and Catherine at her inimitable #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb when the time comes.

That's all for this week. Got any scripts lately you want to rewrite?! CUT!! Did you ever think Fred Astaire was sexy?

Hugs to all.

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