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Wednesday 31 October 2018

Cosmetic surgery over 50 and inhuman perfection

Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret after cosmetic surgery

Face lift, chin and lip implants, fillers, chemical peel, botox, hair colour, and hair extensions, followed by professional makeup and a photographer with good lighting. And to think, you only saw me less than two weeks ago. That was fast, right? The miracle of modern science.

BEFORE (photo I posted here less than a year ago)
Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret before cosmetic surgery

I'm glad I know photo editing so I don't have to do the makeover for real to see the AFTER because, despite the wrinkles and sags, I'm okay with my aging face, although some days much more okay than others. I still catch glimpses of myself in window reflections and mirrors and wonder, who's that? WTF?! And walk a little faster.

But I keep telling myself over and over, I'll never be as young as I am at this very second. Deal with it. Revel in it! It's not the package that counts - it's what's in the package. I repeat: IT'S WHAT'S IN THE PACKAGE. Sigh. Those frickin' mantras.

Here they are again:

Mel Kobayashi and new younger Mel Kobayashi on Bag and a Beret

So what did I do? Apart from keeping my original nose/eyes/brows and basic facial structure?

enlarged my chin 
enlarged my mouth 
smoothed the wrinkles
erased the shadows
coloured my eyes green
changed the tint
added glam and skin-smoother filters 
blended two wigs 
recoloured my faux-fur jacket 

I used to have contact lenses that exact green - they caused quite a stir whenever I wore them and I stopped. Plus, they were not comfortable. I also think I might have repositioned my entire head or stretched it or tilted it (can't remember, I was lost in the moment).

My partner O and I both agree that the AFTER looks slightly creepy, no doubt due to my editing technique. There are probably apps these days that do all of these things with one tap. I know there is a skin smoother and lip plumper app. I often see the smoothing filter on IG.

It's also doubtful that these effects could be achieved even with extensive surgical/cosmetic interventions, but it was great "trying" them out.

Would I ever get a "procedure"? Never say never. I think it's important to feel good about ourselves.

But the search for perfection is pervasive!
And unwinnable.

Did you know that some popular Instagrammers are simply cgi figures, not real humans at all? Their perfection has won them (their creators) millions of followers in some cases and lucrative sponsorship deals. Is this where our search for perfection ultimately leads?

The following are all examples of hugely successful non-human influencers on Instagram.


An LV ad with a fake human here (below).

Who needs humans anyway?

I do. You do. We all do! Why this rush to do away with ourselves? Heh.

Sigh - again. I haven't booked any procedures yet, but I suspect they will grow in both ease and frequency of application for all genders. This is a topic for another time. I just farked that photo and thought, wow, that's pretty weird. That new me probably speaks fluent French. Heh.

And because this is also a style blog, I'm sharing this next photo, something I wore yesterday, which I can also link up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style and her Visible Monday, and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb and her #iwillwearwhatilike. I'll see you there!

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, wearing black in the stairwell

What do you think about cgi influencers and our obsession with perfection? Another question: once you achieve perfection, what else is there? The search, the process, is where all the good stuff happens.

That's all for this week. I've responded to your comments from the last couple of posts if any of you are interested.

Until next time!

Tuesday 23 October 2018

How to wear a men's oversized jacket

Leaves' last hurrah. These beautiful autumnal colours are also, unfortunately, harbingers of the scourge of urban existence - the dreaded leaf blower. Rakes, rakes! More rakes, please - the kind with prongs, not wastrel womanizers.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret, autumn leaves

This oversized men's jacket is not a Marc Jacob's artful, oversized men's Power Suit $$$ for women, as sported by Lady Gaga recently, with much fanfare, at a Women in Hollywood event. No, this is simply an oversized men's jacket, a gift from a good friend.

Handmade in Italy from a cashmere/wool blend and luxurious silky-smooth lining, this jacket also boasts an impressive nine pockets cleverly concealed in the design. Pockets in pockets in pockets - it could be a Dr. Seuss book.

It's difficult enough trying to find things in a single handbag, so I can't imagine trying to remember where I put things in nine pockets.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret, autumn leaves

Leaves were wafting down all around me. So beautiful.

With the jacket I am wearing a luxury oversized men's tuxedo shirt - from the same kind friend - which I farked by adding a monster truck image on the front and other things you can't see here. And that's a men's vest snatched from O's wardrobe. Heh.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret, autumn leaves

The jeans I farked by adding the embroidered eyes on the knees. Then men's (maybe) cowboy-style booties. Of course there's the loupe O made me and his ring too, which is hidden by the super-long sleeves.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret, jeans

Dick, my tripod, worked diligently this morning. The first shoot was right in the middle of the sidewalk and I had to move my setup aside when people were coming. Thankfully, there was no fear of traffic at this woodsy location.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret

That's a huge honkin' maple leaf below. Canadian, eh? Except it's golden, not red like the one on our flag, which, incidentally, has recently been toppled from the apex of Canadian leaf royalty by another similarly-shaped leaf.

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret, with maple leaf

And preparing for my fan dance using maples leaves instead of fans in true Canadian style. That'll be the day. Hahaha!!

Mel Kobayashi, men's oversized suit jacket, Bag and a Beret

I love this outfit. Any ill-fitting garment suddenly feels fitting for any occasion when it's made from luxurious fabric.

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

Thanks for stopping by!!! We are all in seasons of change right now. I hope you are getting the fortifications needed to combat the storms that seem to be wreaking havoc on our barometric pressures on a daily basis. Hang on!

Sunday 7 October 2018

Style rules, and mending vintage leather pants the easy way

Bad ass. Elegant. Bad ass. Elegant. Elegass. Badegant?  Whatever. 

Wearing my vintage leathers - leather pants, leather jacket, leather booties - with denim jacket and tuxedo shirt. And of course my magic loupe that my partner O made me. You can buy one HERE. And a ring he made me too, which you can also buy there, unless he's sold out. Plus I'm carrying my swell, elegant, swellegant clutch. 

The word swellegant reminds me of the movie High Society with Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong (remake of Philadelphia Story) and this song, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," although the word itself is in "Well, Did You Evah" by Sinatra and Crosby. I love watching this movie on a cold rainy day, with hot chocolate and popcorn or tea and chocolate digestive biscuits.

Back to the outfit. These leather pants are snug, and you know the rule about that, don't you?

Rule 573.2 (REV 22.1a): 
One must never wear one's snug leather trousers without one's jacket covering one's posterior in case one's trousers explode when one is downtown.
I know, I know I said I don't believe in style rules, but this case is a definite exception. Thankfully, my trousers did not explode. But I had reason to believe they might.

They are snug, as I said, but there are also little rips in the inner and outer seams at the knees on the left leg, suggesting there may be more seam weaknesses elsewhere. I am quite pleased with my leather repair work: I slapped two-inch long pieces of clear packing tape onto the outside of the pant legs.

When I was downtown I went shopping in all the high-end designer stores - Prada, Gucci, Dior - and I can only hope everyone in the shops was familiar with this rule:

Rule 93.115 (REV 39-81):
When one has wardrobe malfunctions, one must patch one's clothing with what one has at hand whilst heading out the door and then proceed to wear one's repair like one is a super-stellar trendsetter and rock star.
And that's what I did. Perhaps next time I go downtown I'll see more people with packing tape on their pants. Or tape on the clothing on the racks. [Don't forget, I'm Canadian and we believe that duct tape and WD-40 (oil) can fix anything.]

Wearing my leathers it seemed fitting that I would unexpectedly encounter KISS playing in the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza for the Hallowe'en Parade and Expo - well, they were in fact called Alive 'n' Kissin', I think. For a couple of songs I whooped in homage to my sustained youth, heh. There was a gaggle of kids at the foot of the stage who scrambled for candies when the band threw them into the crowd.

I admired the band's outfits, makeup, and stamina. The man on the left lifted his arms once in a while to reveal amazing bat wings! I regret not staying to catch a photo, but it was raining and umbrellas were jostling for space.

Love those boots!!

But my destination was Canada Place down by the waterfront for this:

Hahaha! The first time I saw this sign I was with Sherry of Petite Over 40. I said to her, "Sherry, there I am. Oh my god, THERE I AM! I NEED A PICTURE. I NEED A PICTURE!!" She fumbled in her bag for her phone. Of course I didn't have anything at hand. The ads were scrolling and I knew I'd come around again, so I became more level-headed:


Sherry scrambled and fumbled frantically in her bag as I waved my arms and jumped around her. I'm pretty sure my hair stood even higher than usual too. No pressure. Hahaha. A tourist walking by said, "Don't worry, it will come back." Sherry and I laughed.

Eventually we both got a picture, but the bright sign was almost whited out in our photos against the dark night sky, and neither of us wanted to stick around to adjust our devices for the next scroll-around.

So today I went down in daylight, rainy-day daylight. Great conditions.

I'm huuuuge, literally. I confess, this was a big rush. I stood there for a while waiting for me to scroll around, my camera pointed up at the building. Of course when you look up at something with a camera, people around you start taking photos of what you're looking at too, along the lines of, if she thinks it's good, I better get a shot too.

And a photo of me on the stairs, jackets off.

Also, Margaret Manning of Sixty and Me has posted articles based on a couple of YouTube interviews I did with her. Thanks, Margaret!


They might be fun to check out. If you found my blog through Margaret, thank you, too, for joining me!

Your age plus your birth year equals 2018. Every time. This only happens once every 1,000 years.
Think about it. Heh.

Finally, I'm going to link with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb.

Whew. Congratulations! You've made it this far. Keep on bein' the stellar creatures you all are. Live! Live! Live! Be strong! I'm so happy you stopped by. Although I'm sorry I ate all the powder sugar doughnuts before you got here, and the chips too. But I still have some Twizzlers left (twisty red licorice ropes).

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends, well, ALL friends for that matter.

Monday 1 October 2018

If it's raining I must be a rock star

Goodness, it's a lot of work being a rock star. It doesn't help that my electric guitar is out of commission. I sent it to a monastery in the Arctic for repair when it lost its spark, but I forgot to put the AIR MAIL sticker on the box. Sigh. Five years ago. Fortunately, I am a virtuoso air-clutch-bag player (air-guitar is so over). It's really fun being so multi-talented! Witness my skill below.

Mel Kobayashi - Bag and a Beret - rock star in vintage neon pink robe, rubber boots, blue sweatpants, photo Frankie Cord
 big thanks to Frankie Cord of for this photo

My outfit for this tour was made by the World's Greatest Fashion Designer "iqi" (pronounced "icky"), whom you may recall from my platinum 8-track cassette on how to pose like a pro. Or refresh your memories HERE, darlings, then assume Pose 4.

Mel Kobayashi - Bag and a Beret - rock star in vintage neon pink robe, rubber boots, blue sweatpants, bckgrnd photo Lane Smith
big thanks to Lane Smith of for this photo

It may look, to the unenlightened, like I'm wearing a vintage fuzzy neon-pink robe. Bwa-ha! Harrumph. So sad. And thrifted rubber rain boots, bell-bottom hip-slung sweat pants, and an old men's t-shirt. If so, then clearly you have not put on your space goggles today.

I had considered wearing a new puffy COMME des GARCONS outfit, but it wouldn't fit through the hatch of my private submarine (yellow) (tour buses are so passé), although I inadvertently discovered that the puffy CDG bits are excellent flotation devices.

Mel Kobayashi - Bag and a Beret - vintage neon pink robe, rubber boots, blue sweatpants, photo Adi Goldstein
big thanks to Adi Goldstein of for this photo

Sadly, getting from the stadium in Calgary, Canada, to Abilene, Texas, was a challenge. Several of my impudent crew quit during our overland portages. I don't understand it - I fed them the tastiest grubs.

Above, wrapping one concert, on my way to the next. Below, more superior air-bag-playing, and my adoring fans.

Mel Kobayashi - Bag and a Beret - vintage neon pink robe, rubber boots, blue sweatpants, photo Frankie Cord
another big thanks to Frankie Cord of for this photo

Oh, the places one can go!

big thanks to Dick (my remote control) and my tripod for this photo

That's all for this week.

Except for this video I made. It includes a new super-cool manicure technique by my partner O. More of his artwork is HERE, Etsy HERE.

I'll link up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday. And Catherine at Not Dressed at Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike.

Big hugs all around. Make sure you buy your tickets now for my rilly, rilly big show coming to a stadium near YOU! Hahaha!!! And special thanks to and photographers Frankie Cord, Lane Smith, and Adi Goldstein for helping this experience come to life.

Have you been a rock star lately? Do tell!!

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