Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Interwebs, sit down. No, really. SIT DOWN.

The unthinkable, yea, verily, the Dream Scenario has happened.
I was approached by……(are you sitting down?) a STREET STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER!
Yes! It’s true! Some people dream of being movie stars or basketball stars or winning Olympic medals, but I am a simpler sort, Gentle Reader. I dream of being recognized for my sartorial sensibilities. By Total Strangers. While Out and About.

Is it possible that Daniel Goodbaum chose me to photograph/film because he wants to put me in his website’s equivalent of Glamour’s “don’t” column? Yes. Yes, that is possible. But for now, I am going to just enjoy the fact that my 15 seconds of potential fame (Andy Warhol only said 15 minutes because he hadn’t met the the Internet…) might be imminent.

Here is a link to the site, in case you are interested in stalking it to see whether I make the cut or not.

Oh, also, he gave me his card and it was a Moo mini! Yay!

Also, I was wearing vintage.
I met more people today because of my vintage outfit than I normally meet in a month.
More on that later.

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Every year at school, a colleague and I and the Book Club organize an event based on Canada Reads. A panel of students present novels, one per student, which they love and think the whole school would like to read. Then, over the course of a week, kids campaign for their books or in support of a book from the panel and they vote online for their favourite. This year, our first-ever middle schoolers presented as our first-ever duo and their novel won.

Today, about a month after the vote (to give people time to read the winning novel), we had our lunchtime discussion of the novel. Complete with theme lunch– yum!

Can you guess what the winning novel was?
I dressed in tribute (hint, hint) to one of the characters:

“Hat” (it’s really a giant corsage) & Belt: Le Chateau
Top: Zara
Skirt: Comrags
Tights: Gift from LHR
Shoes: Dollhouse
Ring: I can’t remember!

 I did my make-up in my best Effie-ish style.

My beautiful tights from LHR did not fare at all well when I washed them a year or so ago– the gorgeous feather design all but disappeared. Effie would never wear something as understated as faded tights, so before work today, I whipped out the glitter glue and tarted up the design a bit by emphasizing the spine of each feather. I like it!

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Well, not exactly. In fact, my vintage Edwardian boots were clearly owned by a lady who did very little walking– perhaps she had a driver? They are the softest, most supple leather I have ever felt. They are in near-perfect condition and, as you can see from the soles, have barely been worn.

P LOVES the new laces! I had to pry the lace out of her teeth...

What I did not realize when I bought them is that these boots make a statement. I did not realize it because they came sans functioning laces. But now I know.
The statement is:
“I am a lady of leisure. I have an enormous amount of time to spend merely lacing up my boots.”
Seriously, it takes 20 minutes to get into these puppies. Which is probably good, as I might be tempted to wear them too often otherwise. They will last longer this way; given that I do not have Anna or even the odious O’Brien to help me, I will have to really have a chunk of time to spend lacing them up– there are no hooks, only grommets, all the way up to mid-calf. I solved my lace problem by buying fine silk cord– it’s more durable than ribbon and is the perfect fit with the teensy-tiny grommets. It is, however, a bit tricky to thread through said teensy-tiny grommets, slowing down the whole lacing-up process considerably.

Inspired by the lovely Bri (& her dreamy, perfect hair) over at Design Lovefest, I thought I would try a new ‘do today. She is all about the messy, blonde ‘do with a bit of Brigitte-inspired volume, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I like it! I like the way my dark roots work with the messy style.

Metallic Jacket: Zara
Denim Tunic: H&M
Leggings: Nicole Miller
Edwardian Boots: Gadabout Vintage
Necklace: Accessorize

Obligatory blurry shot...

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I have been meaning to do this post for weeks, but keep forgetting to do it!
Now, when my daily outfit consists of grubby shorts and grubby tank top (did I mention we are reno-ing?), is the time; you do not want to see what I am wearing these days!

On my way home from Blighty (sob!) recently, I watched the most wonderful documentary about this incredible guy.
LHR and J, you MUST watch it– you would both love it! So would anyone, really. You don’t have to be into fashion or film (like LHR & J) to find this documentary interesting, I promise. But it is, sort of, related to fashion.

Bill Cunningham is the street fashion photographer for The New York Times. I listen to/watch his videos on Cathy Horyn’s influential fashion blog, so when I saw the film about him, I was delighted! (I hate it when there are no good movies on the flight, don’t you?)

Bill has lived in Carnegie Hall for decades– did you know people LIVED there???  {Probably– it’s the kind of thing everyone knows except me… 🙂 }He is facing (has faced?) eviction from his postage-stamp-sized home, but seems pretty philosophical about the trauma. He is, if this documentary gets it right, about the nicest, sweetest person you can imagine. He is humble and not at all impressed by fame or celebrity.  He is cheerful, though there is an underlying sadness in him.  He was a milliner (!) before taking up photography. In the 80s he was one of the people instrumental in the fantastic, ground-breakingDetailsmagazine. He goes everywhere on his bicycle and in foul weather wears a plastic rain cape, repaired with duct tape. He wears his signature “uniform” blue, many-pocketed work jacket in all weather. He goes to all the NYC society events. He knows and knew EVERYONE who was ever anyone in any New York scene for the past 60 years. (Brooke Astor invited him to her 100th birthday party– he was the only member of the media to be so honoured!) He is courted and flattered and loved by the rich, the famous, the fashionable–  and he is immune to it all. He refuses even to sip water at an event he is photographing. He is not young. He is, frankly, a truly amazing guy. I would love to meet him and have dinner with him one day (though he is not at all interested in food or dinner parties).

 In addition to documenting Bill’s life and work, the movie also evokes a lost New York– a time when the truly eccentric flocked there and found safe harbour when they would not have been accepted elsewhere in American society; it was a time when that was the only place where they would not be marginalized or isolated.  These people, and Bill himself, help to make this not just a film about fashion photography and society insiders; rather, it is a beautiful, wistful and poignant ode to New York and her role as haven for society’s outsiders. And it reminds us how valuable and crucial those people are to the richness of cultural life beyond the mainstream.

See this movie. You won’t be sorry.

(All images from the film’s website.)

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Is it too late for me to want to be this girl when (if) I grow up?

I love her style, am wildly jealous of her vintage clothes and, as if that weren’t enough, her name is Esme.
How fantastically vintage-y is that?

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Last weekend we had the fun and the pleasure of hanging out with our friends G, K and X, who have moved away. One of the things we did together while they were here was to meet up with a former co-worker of G’s. He had just come from meetings with a certain interweb empire and had some swag which he shared with us. After G, K and X had returned home, I found some of said swag, left behind in the chaos of packing up when you are travelling with a 13 month-old. 🙂

While my brother and his fiancée were here last week, I picked up my first ever Japanese masking tape (believe me, I have been longing for some for quite awhile now, but had been putting off actually acquiring any as I — accurately!– foresaw a big ol’ addiction on the horizon….!).

The perfect storm? I think it just might be.

Ghastly logo, prominently displayed on arm of sunnies.

No offense, Google, but I don’t really get into branded swag.
On the other hand,  I am fan of freebies and I am big into green these days. I also liked the silly, retro-80s shape of the frames.
So….Here is how I spent 10 minutes of my day today:



Fold & stick….


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YYZ: The Rain In Spain

Hat #3 (or, Hats #3-10, as I not-so-fondly like to call it— I took it apart and remade it so many times that I lost count…), was to be a buckram hat. Buckram is blocked and the resulting shape is then covered in fabric. To be honest, I just never really got my mojo working about this hat, right from the get-go.  Maybe because I had only seen sort of theatrical versions of this type of hat, the whole idea just struck me as being too costume-y.
(I know! Believe me, no  one was more shocked than I to learn that there IS such thing as “too costume-y”– even for me!)

But, there is a place in this world for wildly theatrical hats– The Royal Ascot!
(LHR and I want to go, just so we can wear hats…)

Here is the brilliant Cecil Beaton‘s cheeky idea of what a lady ought to wear to Ascot:

Here is my inspiration photo for Hat #3– a Philip Treacy, used in the ad for Ascot:

Nice, right?

The only hitch: neither is a buckram hat, so I was going to have to do some adapting of the design.

Oh, wait, there is another hitch:
I forbade myself to buy ANYTHING new for the construction of Hat #3.
I had to create the entire thing using existing supplies from my not-inconsiderable stash.
Apparently, I am a total masochist…

Here is what I came up with, a little something I like to call “RuPaul Goes To Ascot.”


Total exhaustion, lack of make-up, wearing my Cornish fisherman's smock. Try to focus on the hat. Er,sorry-- I guess "focus" is never a word that should accompany my photos...

Fabric: a duvet cover-- used to make the bedskirt in our room; this is some of the leftover fabric.

Crown and underside of brim covered in contrasting version of the same print used on the top of the brim.

The face of a woman who is GLAD to be finished this project!

M asked whether it was SUPPOSED to look like a dinner plate...

The feathers are sections of boas-- remember the year I decorated the Christmas tree with black feather boas? Yeah. So, basically, this hat is made of bedsheets and Christmas decorations.

Nothing disguises an old bed sheet like some hand-beading!

Version #1 of lining and headband; the grosgrain ribbon was not the right kind, so I had to take it out and do the lining over again, using proper grosgrain.

Final version; vintage grosgrain and a new lining, as the pink one wouldn't work with the red ribbon. Not as cute as the first version, alas.

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