Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sequin Dresses

In grandma's "larder," I found a big length of all-over sequined black fabric! I can't find a good pattern to make it with, and it's such thick and intimidating fabric, with no stretch, that I don't really want to wing it. I want a simple racer-back tank dress, short and sparkly. French Connection had one, but it appears to be sold out. This is a less-good substitute for the one that I saw in a magazine, which was shorter, lower-cut, with narrower straps, and racier in all ways.

I like the back of this tank from Urban Outfitters.

But this one is even better! Because it's black, I guess. I can't find a pattern for a basic but modern tank-- not too wide of straps, placed just right, and cut narrow in the back.

This is from Anthropologie. I think it fits better with my last post about embellishments but I thought I'd throw it in here with the sequin inspiration.

Another perfectly-cut tank from JCrew, with all-over sequins. You can't see it so well in the black, and they look like softer, smaller sequins, but it deserves to be included for the shape. Just picture this, (slightly) longer, with huger, more gaudy sequins, and that's what I want.

This dress is looser than what I'm going for but gorgeous. It's by Hoss Intropia’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, which I learned from the blog Lace & Tea, and I found it originally on {this is glamorous}.

Draping & Fabric Flowers

I'm visiting my grandma, who is an excellent seamstress with two sewing machines and a basement full of fabric and notions, but I needed a lot of inspiration-gathering. I'd like to make a soft knit jersey top with some kind of embellishment-- gathers, flowers, maybe sequins. These pictures are from Anthropologie except the ones on models, which are from JCrew. This top one I found a year ago while I was doing the same thing. Last year I learned how to make millinery flowers out of fabric, and I made a few. One simple one out of felt is pinned to my hat, but the more elaborate one sits in my drawer because I made it out of an old dingy white t-shirt. Gross.

Love this one below because of the defined waist.

I love the drippy look of these sequins. We saw dozens of shirts similar to this in the stores recently.
Way out of my skill range, but lovely.
I think this red one is my favorite.
I saw this one in the store! It is bits of folded fabric appliqued on, rather than embroidery. Unfortunately the underside of the embellished part is very stiff and bumpy; it should have been lined on the inside.
The smocking is a little too much, but the flowers are pretty.
I tried on a lot of on-sale printed knit tops, which are no longer up on their website. Grandma doesn't have much fabric in soft, printed (florals, bright colors, abstract designs) knits that are so popular in stores. They are probably pretty cheaper-- grandmas prints are often woven in, and the knits are more substantial. In a way, I like the thin drape of the "store-bought" fabric, but I tried on a top in Anthropologie that had a cowl neck and wide bat-wing sleeves, and it doesn't look very good when the wrong, unprinted side of the fabric shows in all those drapes. Nevertheless, I like the drapey front of this blouse and the fact that it has a defined waistline. (My cousin says that because I am young and skinny I can get away with all kinds of loose blousy styles, but for sex appeal I still like a defined feminine figure.)
Speaking of retro sex appeal, I just saw a blouse a lot like this one on a picture of Joan from Mad Men. Did you know the actress is not a natural redhead?
Another secretary-ish blouse, now from JCrew. Very pretty, no?
I've mentioned before that I am sick of JCrew's obsession with ruffles, but this is just over-the-top enough (pink! ruffles! flowers!) to be awesome.
This is the first shirt I downloaded, and is probably closest to what I'm going to come up with: a simple tee adorned with fabric flowers. But none of that scratchy-looking tulle, yuck. And in light blue. I'll post pictures when I'm done!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wintery Goodness

I'm planning a New Year's Eve party, so this post is some accumulated images of sparkly winter goodness, party-related or just pretty. Top photo is from unruly things, which came in turn from style me pretty, which came from wedding photographer Steve DePino. Whew! I hate listing links like that, but it's nice to share blogs and one must give proper credit where credit is due. Can you believe it's from a wedding? My cousin, who I have been visiting, is newly engaged and I wasted some time reading Bride magazine, which is an ABOMINATION, and if I ever get engaged I don't want any bridal magazines anywhere near me because they make me feel terrified and inadequate.

This is from fieldguided, a lovely blog from a girl in Toronto (hooray! for my fellows in the Great White North). The fairy flower paper lamp is the Tord Boontje Midsummer Lamp, and I want one.

Wouldn't it be nice to curl under here for some tea in that cute heart mug? I have a white down comforter and this makes me want to put up my Ikea mosquito netting around my bed even though my room is teeny tiny. The netting curtains were only $6, but I haven't taken them out of the wrapping--impulse buy. This photo and the next to are from {this is glamourous}. They are all by Anna Inghardt , whose flickr stream is just full of all-white snowy Swedish dreamy stuff. While I'm in proper citation mode, I might as well give the secondary source, the blog Quenchant of the Curious. Shall I put in it APA format, or do you prefer Chicago Style? (I know I do!)I hate having a cat, but I like them in principle.
Nothing like day-long winter car (or worse, Greyhound bus) rides to make you want a soft white fluffy bed to lie down in!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Draped Skirts

Happy Christmas! Over break I keep noticing these gorgeous draped skirts and dresses.
Bill Cunningham (whose voice I loathe) from the New York Times style video series On the Street, did a video about "the look," which is (apparently) draped dresses and statement heels.Next, I saw a cute one in Lucky Magazine. They feel the need to tell us "how to" wear them with a fitted sweater, but not where the skirt came from. Or, more importantly, what is the incredible background behind this girl? I bet I could find it if I religiously checked street style blogs-- Copenhagen Street Style blog was cited as the credit for another photo in the same issue. Are magazines too cheap now to take their own photos but must cull them from blogs? No wonder print magazines are going under (I know it's a chicken-and-egg question, but still.)

Next! This is from the lovely Alix from The cherry blossom girl. I kinda hate her because her sole occupation seems to be prancing around Paris in "the aura of her loveliness" (I stole that phrase from the last book I read-- Master of the Delta by Thomas H. Cook-- it wasn't very good-- read my review-- but it got me through a 16 hour car ride with my family in winter in a Camry from beautiful South Carolina to snowy miserable Wisconsin) and taking photos of herself looking cute. She might be a "stylist" for photographers, which seems like an unnecessary, if dreamlike, job (no insult meant to any stylists, I am just jealous). Also, final tangent: I lover her shoes and want some heels with a built-in platform. I tried some on in Target and they were the most comfortable heels I have ever put on.
Next is Alexander Wang, via NYT. The only thing I like here is the skirt, but he's pretty cool. The ripped tights, NO. The scary demon eyeliner, NO. The leather vest.... maybe.... NO. Since I'm in a poorly organized, run-on sentence, aside mood, NYT also has an article that claims that understated is the new sexy. As in: the old sexy was the "shoulder-baring voluptuousness of Scarlett Johansen" but the new sexy is tougher, leather jackets, leggings, "down and dirty," etc. More on this later, I'm feeling pressured to do puzzles with my family and am getting very nervous they'll make fun of me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Looking Dorky

Here is a picture of me looking super dorky last Christmas. I had to wear my glasses all winter last year because of some mysterious dry eye phenomenon, but I took care of that. I still wear my grandpa's old ski sweater and a much-too-small Land's End down vest, and I wear that purple scarf every day, so chances are that I will look equally dorky this year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Years?

Is it trashy that I really want the disco ball bra Lady Gaga is wearing in the Just Dance video? It probably is. I still want it.

At home in Chapin

I'm at my parents house in South Carolina, reading magazines & tiring my dog out on long walks. My computer has been slowly dying over the past month and so I have had trouble making a new post, although I tried to several times while I should have been working on my final papers.

I saw this picture on The Selby, and I really want a whiskey shelf! Esp. on a rough beam, in a barn.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An Education

Jess convinced me to go see An Education with her last night because she claimed the clothes were incredible. They were! This is just a tiny sample! Oh my gosh, the hydrangea dress in the Paris pictures absolutely kills me. There were a lot of great early 60s Parisian high fashion, some late 50s shifts and full skirted dresses, a fabulous gold brocade, and I even liked the rather dowdy English school uniforms and the teachers staid skirt suits and her homework-doing plaid shirts and cardigans. I want those sunglasses and her hairstyle. Must cut shorter bangs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pic Unrelated

1. My friends from home send me lots of pictures from the internet and youtube videos of dumb stuff, but never cute puppies.
2. Today I made cilantro pesto pasta. Its merits are: uses up cilantro about to go bad in the fridge, some protein, alarming green color, somewhat sinus-clearing, good use for Magic Bullet.
3. I also cleaned my bathroom.
4. I also spent 3 hours in class, 1 hour meeting with a professor, and 3 hours annotating gaze.
5. I only had 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night.
6. I'm tormented by the dim memory of a song I heard last night in the coffee shop and had stuck in my head for hours, and now it is totally gone.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

from This is Glamorous
Today I saw and really liked both of these pictures. I think it might be because of the chandeliers and the super-romantic look of them both. I would also be into the white rug in the bottom picture.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cozy + Sewing Projects

I'm listening to Bjork off the hilarious blog, and postponing leaving for work because I'm cold and all stuffed up and sickly. There's nothing I hate more than cold, rainy weather + disgusting allergies, and yet there's nothing I love more than snuggling in with tea and space heaters and funny reading and completing some sewing projects. And yet, that is my reality. This picture is how I wish I dressed in the winter, except the boots look wierdly foreshortened and like little hooves, and they freak me out the more I look at them.

Usually when I wake up sick, I start feeling better once I sit up and all the gunk in my brain drains out of my sinuses so I can breathe but today I had to resort to super-harsh-but-magical nose spray. I'm sorry, this is way too much info about my sickness.

But last night I brought out my mint green sewing machine & the trusty needle & thread and rehemmed a dress and a pair of pants, sewed the ripped back seam on two of my favorite skirts, and sewed in the armholes of a too-big free-bin sleeveless sweater/tunic thing, and most importantly, sewed in a pair of too-short BUT my size flare jeans into straight-leg jeans, which is awesome because now no one can really tell they are too short and it took a great amount of ingenuity to make them look normal (you have to keep the original seams) and now I finally have tight enough pants to shove them into boots without the pirate effect or to wear loose tops with without the all-over-sloppy & unflatteringly-baggy effect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A suit.

I feel like I need a suit. I like this one from Garance Dore, its kind of seventies, although that might be the color of the (giant & amazing) scarf, or the fact that its a chunky knit, or maybe the vest. Anyway, it would be so useful for work and for interviews and for making people take me seriously and for wearing all the pieces separately.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baking vs. Paper-Writing

Now that a warmer breeze is blowing, I have emerged from my cold-weather-induced panicked state (huddling in the library, endlessly whining, chapped lips, etc) and am ready for fall. I want to make apple cider doughnuts & whoopie pies so bad. I saw the recipes on Katy Elliot's blog. She made whoopie pies with her grandma & great-aunt in Maine, and other than how adorable is that, check out the Awesome Moxie Product Placement. I think Moxie (a Maine coke) tastes gross but apparantly that is because I'm from "away." (I also call it "coke" because I really am from the south). But there's nothing like fall to make everyone wish they were from New England. Sadly, instead of baking, I am probably going to just write papers & presentations & read & read & read. Reading blogs really drives me insane, especially when they say stuff like, today I made x creative, cute thing & now I am going back to bed.
Last night I made bulgur & pomegranate salad. The best thing Zeb could say about it was it was "interesting" but I actually really like it. What can I say, I like fiber. Anyway, I found it on 101 Cookbooks, perhaps my favorite cooking blog. The recipes are not terribly hard, most of them are easy to make substitutions in, and they are healthy and almost always vegetarian.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

un-glamorous work clothes

Now that I have an internship where I have to look professional, I have discovered that my usual wardrobe of (jeans + LLbean boots + plaid shirts) or (girly dresses + giant earrings) is not really "business casual." Clothes with holes (the alarming majority) are also out. Which is too bad, because I get lots of compliments on my shabby wardrobe. Therefore I am looking for a nice blazer, some kind of business shoes, and a nice leather bag. Let's begin:
from Les Anti-Modernes. I'm not even going to see where she bought it because I am quite sure I cannot buy it. But it is a "boyfriend blazer" which I don't understand. What does this "boyfriend" label mean? On jeans, it seems to mean: straight, kinda baggy, so ok, I understand that, but on a skinny blazer? I guess it just means "cut straight" not "could be your boyfriend's," unless your boyfriend is really skinny and quite stylish.
Another "boyfriend blazer"! This one is from JCrew, who has lots of nice expensive jackets. Unfortunately, that is the only nice thing about JCrew, who has been disappointing me A LOT lately with their stupid ruffles on everything and ridiculous styling. They used to be pretty, classic clothing but I think they have let the Michelle Obama endorsement get to their heads. I am not even anti-ruffle, I am just anti-Jcrew: ridiculous pricing for clothes made in third world countries, the absurd "we hand-sewed on these sequined flowers onto artisanal tweed from the finest mill in Portugal" prose in the catalog, the unattractive too-many-frilly-accessories styling, half-tucked in shirts, neon ankle socks, and so on and on and on. Rant over.
Ok, next I need some shoes. They have to be warm & look classy, preferably kinda retro. These are from etsy & are about $25 and more or less my size but I won't get them, because that is $25 + shipping for shoes I can't try on. Really I want the shoes that belong to my Policy teacher who I love & who is always super stylish & whose hairdo I try to copy when I go to work (only she has dark curly hair which is the opposite of mine) & who I want to be when I grow up. The other young women at the agency I "work" at also have great brogue-like shoes but they are short and so are used to wearing heels more. That's my problem with shoes-- a two inch heel makes me six feet tall.
Ok, losing steam! This is a boring shopping list anyway, but I need a nice leather bag. Zeb went to Unique (our favorite cheapo thrift store) on Monday while I was in class and I told him to find me a nice leather bag but he returned empty-handed. So since that's about all the effort I'm willing to put into shopping for a bag, I'll just post this one from the first blog I referenced, even though I don't really like it, just to give you an idea of what we're talking about here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pretending it's still summer

I usually get really happy about fall, but this year it seems to have gone straight in for winter! And it was such a cold summer with only a few weeks of heat. So I'm upset about it and still thinking fondly of summer dresses and swimming in the ocean, lying in the sun and buzzing cicadas. I guess it hasn't really helped that I went to Florida last weekend, experiencing all of the above summer pleasures (and also breaking and falling off a porch swing), and returned to a chilly Chicago and lots of work to do. I've always really wanted a swinging bed like the one above that I saw on Design Crisis, preferably on a big screened in porch in a cabin by a lake. I would pile it up with millions of blankets and enjoy it into the fall, as long as it was in the sun because I am possibly a bit cold-blooded and need to be in the sun like a lizard.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bedoin Songs

This video was taken the first time I was in Egypt, when we went camping out in the dunes with a Bedouin family who put us up for the night. The men were singing around the campfire.

The Exotic East

I cut the hair of a fellow Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major last night, and we talked about which "East" is more exotic (which apparently means, has more mist in its weather patterns). He maintained that the Far East is more "mysterious" (or is it "mist-erious"? gag.) than the Near East, and after seeing these pictures of Shanghai on Greenlaundry, I am inclined to agree.