Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Even more Starry Night!

Whoa! It seems that I've stumbled on a trendy trend with my obsession with galaxy prints! This pretty dope star print shirt is by Mara Hoffman, on stylist Masha Orlov, found on Refinery29. I couldn't find this star print shirt, exactly, on Mara Hoffman's website but BUT there's a bunch of other really cool prints, drapey dresses, very boho. And the intro to her website is a galaxy scene and then an explosion of inspiration pictures which could easily be MY inspiration pictures. Mara Hoffman = my style spirit animal?
Yeah, sexy space swimsuits!
More dope prints. The dirty hippie in me wants these so bad. Especially, um, the space print.
This triangle stuff is cool too, and I like the crazy billowy shape. On Project Runway, all the judges hated on Jay's short dress with the ruffles on the butt because "no woman on earth wants her butt to look bigger." FALSE, Heidi & Michael Kors, FALSE. Plenty of women (and men!) like a big butt, including this Jezebel blogger's mom. You should read that article because it's hilar, and also it lets you see the pictures I'm talking about. It's also totally culturally blind to assume that because skinny white women in 2010 don't like their butts, that no one ever does. Please.
Skeleton back, I dig.
Very cool, looks like nerves or electrical wiring.
Compared to what we've seen so far, this is tame, but I would totally wear it every day. EVERY DAY.
Soooo hippie. So mother earth. LOVE her hair, will recreate.
Almost too hippie, but I love the prints. On Project Runway, they got to design their own fabrics, "something every designer dreams of." But man, did they let that opportunity go to WASTE! Even Emilio's much-lauded graffiti logo print was kinda lame, and they all really disappointed me. If you get to design your own fabric, grow a pair and make a Rorschach ink-blot/neon fractal print, like this!

That's right. Only, isn't it freakishly off-center? I can't look at it for too long, it hurts.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grandpa Bob

Here's my grandpa Bob looking dapper in Westby in the 50s. Doesn't he look great? I'm sad that I never met him. He was nicknamed Red for the usual reasons that people are called Red and he was the postman. I think I'll dye my hair red and dress classy to be more like him.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Space Prints! Great Clothes Online! Great Blog! Tomorrow's Saturday!

I saw this awesome nebula-print tank top on Academichic. It's from All Saints, and they also have a bikini and one-piece swimsuit in the same print. I just looked around that site, which I had never seen before, and holy moley, I want everything there. Studded biker jacket, plaids, draping, crazy cuts, a gold dress, a fireworks print... I just watched like 5 episodes of Project Runway and everything on this site is super creative and interesting. And I was only looking at their "vintage" section-- the new stuff looks good too. Tomorrow I'm going to blow off reading and work on my sewing projects. Got to finish sewing the roses on my blue top that I started way back in December, at the very least, and tackle a pile of mending/alterations: a vintage dress I bought in Mississippi and love, only it's see-through and kinda frumpy on me, a huge men's striped button-down that's totally threadbare with a rip in the elbow, some old jeans that probably should just become cutoffs, polypropelene leggings that I was obsessed with until I melted them on the space heater (noooo!!!!) and now have big plans to cut up in some exciting way, a huge heavy turquoise circle skirt that I made with grandma but then got caught in a bike gear so it's permanently stained and also has some bizarre bleach spots that I'm going to ruche up in some way inspired by this skirt I posted earlier, something out of these too-small nehru collar kaftan-like things that I bought at Unique, and something out of a Japanese-garden watercolor silk shirt that I bought at Unique even though it is huge and ruffly and hideous, just for the fabric. Whew!

I meant for this post actually to be an endorsement of Academichic. It's three women PhD students somewhere in the Midwest, and I really relate to their concerns with looking professional, staying warm, dealing with bizarre temperature changes, and so on. Also, they're quite creative without being hipsters, showing ideas I hadn't thought of like unbuttoning a shirt and wrapping it with a belt and high-waist skirt (also picture above, wearing a cardigan as a wrap, and love that skirt!), wearing full skirts with blazers, and layering with dresses, something I find very difficult to pull off. They're also smart and quite thoughtful, discussing things like the cultural appropriation of Japanese floral motifs by Anthropologie, or how professional women project those two parts of themselves (professionalism and/or femininity) publicly through clothing. And, they can sew! Some altered clothing and some embellishment projects. This is one of the few realistic-fashion blogs that I find continually interesting. 5 stars!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Been in the Lowlands too Long

These pictures are some crappy ones we took with a disposable camera in Lucedale, MS. I'll just look at them and listen to Gillian Welsh. I miss the south so much!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Daily Outfit

Here's a rather boring thing that I wore on a weekend.
Sperry Topsiders that the dog chewed the tassels off of. I just wear them without the leather laces, and I kinda like them that way.
Gap jeans that I bought at a yard sale because they were the exact size and cut that I bought two pairs of the last time I bought jeans, only they were too short and flares, so I cut and sewed them in to be straight leg jeans, which look ok if they're a bit too short.
A free t-shirt from high school "CHS Unity Day" that I cut very fitted with a scoop neck and wear with the kinda ugly logo on the back.
The same green and white space-dye knit blazer that I posted yesterday. I love it.
A sweet necklace I bought in Dahab in Egypt. I've never seen anything like it ever. Someone told me it looks like a dreamcatcher and it sortof does, if dreamcatchers were satin and covered in sequins and beads and hanging from a pastel wrapped thread chunky bead choker. Unfortunately in this lame photo you can't see the sparkly green and red beaded tassels that hang down from the big disk, there are a few escaping out, but the rest snuck in the neckline of my shirt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daily Outfit

Today (actually a couple days ago) I was rather stylish, I thought.
Grey suede scrunched ankle boots I bought at a department store in Pilsen while I was waiting for the bus, after eyeing them in the window all winter. You can't see them too well in this terrible photo that I took, but work with me.
Jeggings-- you can judge me all you want! I got mine at Sears or something after Christmas, and they're practically black. JCrew has jeggings now too so look who jumped on a trendy trend after me?
A long kaftan-like cream tunic from the clothes being thrown out by roommates, probably from her dad. We used it as a Halloween costume for a hippie, and it was so comfortable the day I wore it that I wear it to sleep in and lounge around. The tag is in Hindi or some other script I can't read, and someone wrote CB in pen on the neckline.
A green-and-white knit blazer that I bought the day before at the yard sale/ garden shop/ art space the Op Shop, recently and temporarily re-opened in the old movie rental place on 53rd. I had been looking for a knit blazer since I saw this one in Anthropologie's catalog from December 2007 (!) (I can't believe I'm still carrying it around with me)
And, finally, a crazy beaded necklace similar to those I ogled in Chinatown that my friend brought back from London as a present for letting her crash with us. You can't see in the picture, but it's woven up by the neck and becomes a multi-strand, multi-color swoosh on the chest.

Oh, and that's my room. It's pretty tiny, and you can see the ducts in the ceiling, but I like the warm lavender color, and that it's full of all my stuff-- you can see hanging necklaces, a couple scarves, my comfy bed, a stack of books and a bottle that was fancy German mineral water. Haha, and my space heater, the most important possession for a basement dweller!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Southern Belle?

Is it weird that when I see these images, I don't even look at the model, striking though she is? I look at the light coming in the windows, the spanish moss hanging from magnolias, tired old boards, green filtered through humid air. I really miss the South! I went to Mississippi for spring break, and if I can get together some photos that aren't lame, I'll post them.

This is Tao Okamoto by Camilla Akrans for Vogue China April 2010, found here, via Aubrey Road, which I found in turn by Ill Seen, Ill Said. I guess I want to know: is this model Japanese, judging by her name? Yes, says Wikipedia. Is her height, pale skin and hair, and rather European features the beauty standard in China? I really hope not, as gorgeous as she is. Turns out they made her blonde for this editorial only, she's been in Japanese, Russian, American, and French Vogue too. And she's not even as tall as me (but giant in Japan)! I guess I was just weirded out at this very American cultural reference (the belle in the Deep South) in a Chinese fashion magazine.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Galaxy Fashion Quest

I really like pictures of space. (I found this sweet blog full of mostly galaxy photos via d.sharp, which is a blog frequently featuring artsy stuff that I enjoy.) My dad was into astronomy, and we did a lot of telescope-squinting, planet-identifying, and constellation-naming. I remember going to some field in a state park one summer night for an astronomy lesson from a park ranger. I don't remember any of the lesson, but I remember the fireflies in the woods on the edges of the field, the tall grass, and the glow-in-the-dark night sky print on the sweatshirt of another little kid. It was like being in a dome of little jumping dots of light.
Maybe that's why I liked this dress from Mociun so much. It's like a grown-up version of the glow-in-the-dark night sky sweatshirt. I found it from Moseyblog. (whew it took me so long to dig up that link! I kept misspelling Mociun.) Vain and Vapid were also all over it last fall or whatever (it's fine, I know I'm behind). Mociun, based in Brooklyn, has got some cool stuff and is sold all over the internets (Beklina, bird, others) but really I only care about that space print. There's still a shirt left in it, but it's size large and $72, so that's a big TM for me (tough mustard).
This photo is from a remarkable 15-year-old photographer on Flickr, Olivia Bee. I don't know what she was doing to make this cool light effect but I love it, and it reminds me of that starry field.
Finally, everything Shabd is similar in the tie-dye galaxy print way. The website is dope and minimalist and features a picture of a galaxy next to each category of clothing, so it's obvious that the inspiration was the awesomeness of galaxies. I have no memory of where I found out about Shabd, lace & tea, which is a favorite blog for gorgeous pictures and fashion, posted about them in April, but I emailed myself the link back in December. Who cares?

Moral of the story? I want tickets to the Hubble 3D Imax movie, where I will completely die of dorky happiness. It's $21 at the Museum of Science and Industry. That is as much as I spent on a tube of lipstick today. Admittedly, it was very high-quality lipstick from Korres at Sephora, my new favorite place-- they let you try everything on! I got it in Red, I can't resist a simple color name, and it has a minimum of evil stuff to ingest. I tried on like six different red lipsticks, and while Clinique had a nice color that didn't make my teeth look yellow, it was full of evil stuff.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Word of the Day: Bromide

While reading this NYT article about cancer, I came across the word bromide, but not in the chemistry way that I dimly remember it. "Better to say nothing, and offer the gift of your presence, than to utter bankrupt bromides." It means:
1. (Chemistry.)
a. a salt of hydrobromic acid consisting of two elements, one of which is bromine, as sodium bromide, NaBr.
b. a compound containing bromine, as methyl bromide.
2. Pharmacology. potassium bromide, known to produce central nervous system depression, formerly used as a sedative.
3. a platitude or trite saying.
4. a person who is platitudinous and boring.

The etymology is from 1836, from bromine, the pungent, poisonous element (1827), from Fr. brome, from Gk. bromos "stench." Used as a sedative; figurative sense of "dull, conventional person or trite saying" popularized by U.S. humorist Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) in his book "Are You a Bromide?" (1906).

This morning, I used the word cliché to refer to someone who was in grad school but realized their true love was making croissants while doing their fieldwork in Paris and dropped out to become a fulfilled baker. While I am truly happy for this person, if they are real, there is still quite a genre, I hear, of memoirs of people who drop out of grad school to follow their bliss.

Somehow looking up the word cliché led me to Stuff White People Like. I'd forgotten about how funny that is.

Addendum: I really want to see the Imax Hubble movie!!!
Also: using personal email at work has been prohibited, so that's why this is so random. I can't email to myself all the links that I ordinarily would, like this:
My friend told me that the two coal-burning plants in Chicago are right around this neighborhood, and it turns out it's even worse than that. Too bad not many people really care, or maybe other problems are just more immediate. No wonder I was biking through so much trash the other day!
Another blog post about Pilsen.
I'm eating fruit with lime & salt & chili pepper that we bought on the side of the road: mango, papaya, pineapple, coconut, cucumber and watermelon. It is WAY TOO hot for me, but I can't stop wolfing it down! I'm too white for this, but it's so good.

bromides. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 06, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bromides
bromides. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved April 06, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bromides
Jennings, D. (2010, March 15). "With cancer, let's face it: Words are inadequate." New York Times. Retrieved from New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I love these soft shades of pink, saris made into curtains and bedspreads. As you can see they are from This is Glamorous. Speaking of saris, yesterday was the South Asian Students Association show, which I didn't go to, but I kept seeing girls in incredible sparkling turquoise saris walking between the building of the show and the cafeteria. Then we went out for Ethiopian food (unrelated). Today, for Easter, I wore my pink, orange and green ombre long hippie skirt with little mirrors sewn on all over. I also put an old sheer white curtain over a lawn chair in the backyard in the sun for a windy blowy place to do my psychodynamic theory reading. I sat there drinking my coffee out of the Udupi Palace mug and trying to ignore the cat who desperately wanted to get out into the backyard. How romantic.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Summer! Biking! Pilsen! Rooftops! Elation!

On Thursday I biked to my internship in Pilsen. It was 80* and sunny and on the way back, incredibly windy. I went up the lakeshore path from 47th to 18th, and then got really confused trying to cross over Lakeshore Drive and the Metra tracks. Some nice runner ladies pointed me in the right direction. After you cross the Metra tracks, you're in this surreal place with castles, which turn out to be townhomes and the US Soccer Federation. Then, after some industry and a terrifying bridge made of metal grating, the river glinting below your lurching tires far below, you're in Pilsen. The tamales vendors smile and wave, mothers take their kids to school, stores are opening. By Damen, the street smells like tacos. Later in the day, I went for a walk to the park, bought some pastries at Central Bakery, developed my photos, bought ice cream, ate a salad outside in the sun. In the afternoon, I biked into a strong wind full of dust and blowing trash and "hola, guapa!" to Little Village, where I bought some incredible coconut water with pulp (from Thailand via Mexico) which was summer in a can, along with some chilis and granola, and sat on a front stoop talking and people-watching.

On the way home, I biked down Cermak to Halsted, and then took Halsted south to 31st St, where I passed what I think is the hill from photographer Paul Octavious's daily photo essay (he took a picture of some hill in Chicago every day for a year, photo above, found via Cup of Jo). Then through more blowing grit and a strange conversation at stoplights from a guy on a motorbike (my word for "not as loud as a motorcycle should be but didn't look like a moped") who just seemed to want to share his general elation. I went through Bridgeport and across the Drive onto a grueling ride into the wind down the path, where I got smoked by some guys in matching spandex uniforms and even, hilariously, by the pudgy one who brought up the rear. I blame this on having small tires. Even 53rd street was hopping; what used to be a generic movie rental place and was closed for a long time is now open as a garden shop with a hand-drawn sign. Adorable!

My roommates and I spent the night drinking on the roof, where we stayed for varying portions of the wee am hours. Yesterday afternoon I spent on the roof in the sun with more drinks (gin & tonics, strawberry daiquiris made with fresh strawberries!) and a rotating cast of passer-by friends. The buds on our front yard tree that had been closed shut the night before had little lime green filaments escaping out. We stayed up until sunset, watching the birds reeling out of the west and the streetlights turning everywhere below us a cozy summer orange, the sky turning purple, the clouds dividing the sky. Today it's raining, so it's back to the glowing rectangles and reams of papers for me.

I was reading blogs, specifically Bliss, and came across this cute skirt, which is part of Frei designs, sold super-sustainably in Chicago by designer Annie Novotny at her storefront Workshop, which is on 18th Street and I must have biked right past. This is from the Frei website, can you believe it?:

"Supporting healthy labor practices and environmental sustainability.

Made with carefully-chosen materials:
• 80% organic
• no agrochemicals
• fast-renewing resources
• low-impact or no-impact dying

Sewn in Chicago by workers who receive a fair and living wage.
Shipped using recycled materials"

And to keep it fashion-blog-esque, what I wore:

To work on Thursday, a green-ish gray corduroy knee-length A-line skirt that I made with my grandma probably when I was in early high school and have mended and patched countless times (perhaps the most worn and most versatile thing I own besides jeans), and a blue & yellow striped v-neck t-shirt that my grandma made me recently from a pattern I adapted from a dress (bodice & neckline lowered). I also brought a thin, long, (holey) mauve cardigan I got from Unique not long ago but only had to wear it for half the morning ride.

Thursday night on the roof: the shirt and some tight jeans that I bought at Unique and cut off at the knee, maroon suede bedazzled flats that I found in a free bin in my boyfriend's apartment building.

Friday, before I realized what a perfect day it was outside: jeans & piggly-wiggly tshirt. I have been offered $50 for this t-shirt after a show in Wrigleyville from a guy at a Taco Bell, and regret to this day having not sold it. I could always get another one for $5 at the grocery store back home. The Piggly-Wiggly also featured prominently in the conversation of the Dirty Hippies of Memphis, more information on that later.

Friday, after I realized it was a perfect day to make strawberry daiquiris and lounge on the roof: ragged old hand-me-down Abercrombie shorts, which are perfectly too big and threadbare, and a white eyelet camisole that I got from a roommate who was purging possessions. Blankets: my mom's floral comforter from high school, an unfinished piece of blue & black buffalo plaid wool that I liberated from grandma's fabric stash.

Today in the rain: pink Minnetonka moccasins I got at a thrift store, jeans, lacy pink cami from Unique, boyfriend's old threadbare blue and white striped buttondown.

Oh, and on Tuesday, I went to Village Discount in Pilsen, and got huraches from Brazil (which I'd been wanting since last summer) and are going to take some breaking-in, some Capezio dance shoes (practically new! magically comfortable stay-on-your-foot black heels, my work shoes for all the non-summer and non-snowing days), a textured off-white old Ralph Lauren scoopneck t-shirt, 3 children's books (only one of which I could bring myself to donate to the book drive I bought them for, the others are too gorgeously illustrated and strange to get rid off) and a 2008 planner featuring Japanese woodcut prints that I plan to cut out and use as postcards.