Archive for November 2009
by the time you read this (isn’t scheduled publishing grand?) i will be on a plane on the way to brazil. i don’t think i will be taking these shoes, as they are not quite brazil-style, really. brazil does not encourage dressing like a parisian schoolgirl, in thick black tights and short black skirts; it is more colourful, more fluid, more relaxed.
things i am looking forward to, in no particular order:
- watermelon smoothies, made with ice and a dash of sweetener
- shopping for melissa shoes, possibly several pairs
- sun-warmed skin, hair going lighter at the ends
- seeing the rockstar in his natural habitat (heh)
- showing my parents around my adopted home (well, one of them) and watching them fall in love with it just like i did
- learning how to cook more brazilian dishes, with a view to a possible project (!!! very exciting)
- seeing my friends! gorgeous television presenter friend, dashing superstar lecturer friend, hopefully even the bbcbrasil posse at our favourite rio-style bar in são paulo (yeah, i know, contradiction much?)
- seeing my brazilian family! gosh, i’ve missed them so much
- just being in brazil, the one place on this beautiful blue planet where i feel properly at ease ..
- .. with the rockstar, the one person who could make it even more special.
oh me, oh my. it’s like the two halves of my life .. the dislocation between which has caused me so much disquiet .. are finally coming together and becoming one. it’s the strangest and yet the most natural thing.
anyway. posts will be forthcoming, just as soon as i figure out a good place to post *from*. there is a lot i want to say about brazilian fashion, about globalisation of style and how brazil seems to firmly resist it .. and, of course, about my beloved melissa shoes. i’m already dead keen to buy a pair of the vivienne westwood lady dragons .. because, well, come *on*, i resisted when i was in rio in april and i’ve regretted it many times since .. but would i be brave enough to buy the scent? we shall see .. xoxo
a charming and beautiful animation of a passage from one of my favourite books ever, going west by maurice gee:
sigh. so gorgeous. if you haven’t read this book, do take the time to seek it out — intricate, beautiful and sad, it’s sort of distilled essence of new zealand, for me.
(thanks for the heads-up, cal xoxo)
because my dear darling chuck taylors are pretty old and full of holes, and they let in water. where i am going (brasília, in a week, in the rainy season) that ain’t good.
okay, so they’re not a brand new pair of loubs (stifles yawn) or a funky pair of vintage somethings. but i tell you what: these bright green kicks make me very happy when i look at my feet. and you can’t ask for more than that from a shoe, really.
(blazer stella mccartney for h&m, old and much loved; t-shirt that says “j’aime paris”, lazy oaf; goat’s skull necklace, comfort station; jeans, uniqlo; shoes, chucks. of course.)
this used to be my uniform, this outfit: jeans, chucks or high heels, t-shirt, blazer. i used to wear it, or a variation of it, a lot. it’s kind of perfect in some ways: easy to throw together, comfortable, funky but a little bit smart (that’d be the stella). work-wise, it was suitable for all but the most formal of situations. it became my signature.
i’ve diversified a bit since then. a desire to push boundaries has come upon me, a desire to break out of the cliches we build for ourselves. a new-found confidence makes me realise i don’t give a toss if people stare .. in fact, that harry winston quote about how people will stare and we should make it worth their while .. i’ve taken that a bit more to heart. i no longer want to dress safe. right now, i’m the happiest i’ve ever been in my life and that’s showing in how i put myself together. every day is a new adventure and every time i open my wardrobe i feel inspired to create something new.
regardless. some days, jeans-blazer-good-shoes is all i want to wear. and today in wellington, it felt right. the rockstar said i looked “very cosmopolitan”. pois é.
anyway. happy weekend, y’all. i shall be spending mine going to a friend’s gig, the farmers’ market, possibly the new dowse gallery .. and prowling around wellington in my new green shoes
so this weekend was very social. buzzcocks gig on friday night (where a mass of forty somethings relived their punk youth, moshing one minute, texting babysitters on their blackberrys the next) and then the football and an 80s-indie night on saturday .. after all that, sunday was a day for feeling slightly jaded and cuddling up in bed with DVDs.
i’ll do a separate post on the films we watched. but worthy of a special mention was that my all time favourite film wings of desire was on the rialto channel. just perfect, because when i thought about the berlin wall anniversary that’s the first film i thought about.
i find it very difficult to be objective about this film because quite frankly i think every single frame is perfection. i love it so. the beauty of the monochrome sequences, the angels listening benevolently and passively to the thoughts of the humans .. the unexpected charm of the scenes with peter falk .. bonus nick cave at his most tortured and beautiful, singing an ominous version of “from her to eternity” .. and of course, the aching yearning damiel feels for the trapeze artist marion, his conversion into a human and the joy he feels in the simplest physical pleasures.
(this is just after damiel has become human. cassiel is carrying him because they are behind the wall and suddenly he sees that damiel is leaving footprints in the sand. i think this is the most beautiful image in the film.)
ich weiss jetzt, was kein engel weiss. i now know what no angel knows.
oh how i love this film. even a few snatched minutes of it was enough to fill my heart with beauty. if you haven’t seen it, please please try. it truly is wim wenders’ masterpiece.
(all images are screenshots taken from the dvd)
not actual marni; are you kidding me? no, this dress is sort of marni-esque, i think. it was a lucky score from the “vintage” rail at the recycle boutique and i think that, paired with a grey cardigan, grey woolly tights and silver shoes, it has a sort of faded-floral glamour that makes me think of consuelo castiglioni. or is that just wishful thinking ..?
but the true star of this outfit has to be the necklace. it’s absolutely kick-arse gorgeous .. made by the lovely and super-talented leora of leoravon.
it’s a .303 bullet, reclaimed and inset with a tourmaline crystal .. transformative, as leora says .. “it takes something that was once destructive & violent, now dead and spent, a symbol of fear, and gives it a new meaning”. i really like that. and i really love this piece .. i can’t tell you how many compliments i’ve already had, and i’ve only had it a few days. leora even sourced a nickel-free chain so this allergic delicate flower could wear it and that’s the beauty of etsy: lovely vendors selling beautiful hand-made things and who really care about their clients. thanks, leora. you rule
some days are so beautiful, all you can do is rent a car and take off to the beach. yesterday was like that. so that’s what we did.
(sunglasses karen walker, sweatshirt uniqlo, black skirt self-made, tights can’t remember, karen walker runaway girl necklace and charity shop bag covered in studs by your humble reporter. not shown, wicked-cool russell and bromley brogues ..)
(ah, there they are. they’re a luscious cherry red.)
the rockstar rockin’ in the free world. he’d never touched the pacific ocean before. how adorable is that? so we went down to the water’s edge, and ..
.. the tide came in, very quickly.
it was a lovely day. how did you make the most of it?
(photo taken by the rockstar)
ah bless, sometimes men just don’t get the whole fashion thing. the rockstar is extremely stylish and works a suit better than practically anyone i’ve ever met. but he doesn’t quite (yet) get that it’s not so easy for us chicas to pick appropriate outfits. in packing my suitcases for this one-way trip, i had to pick clothes that would be suitable for two weeks in nearly-winter london, a month in nearly-spring new zealand and a month in definitely-summer brazil. not easy, but i think i did a pretty bang-up job. what i did not do, however, was anticipate that three days after arriving in wellington i would be attending a wedding. the rockstar’s best friend’s daughter was getting married and both she, and her husband-to-be, are evangelical christians. a little heads-up might have been helpful.
looking through my wardrobe, i realised i had very little that wasn’t (a) black, and therefore possibly unacceptable; (b) over-challenging fashion-wise, and therefore possibly unacceptable; (c) a bit too boho, and therefore possibly unacceptable; (d) skin-tight and short, and therefore definitely unacceptable. this beautiful jaeger dress came to the rescue.
i love jaeger. my mum used to save her pennies to buy pieces of it when she was a student. i seek it out in vintage stores because a lot of people have not yet come to appreciate the utter awesomeness of their 60s and 70s ranges. in fact one of my most treasured and most-commented-on vintage coats is a gorgeous apple-green jaeger number picked up for a tenner at a carboot sale. okay, so later on the big j became very boxy and very unflattering, the kind of stuff that ladies-of-a-certain-age bought because that’s the brand they’ve always bought. for a while there was a collaboration with bella freud which did okay but was screamingly expensive and didn’t quite hit its target market, i felt. but with the breakout a/w 2007 jaeger london collection — of which this dress was a part — the venerable old lady stepped once again into the spotlight, making everyone remark how god-damn sexy she is, still, after all these years. witty and modern shapes, beautiful fabrics and finishing and the ultimate accolade of a kate moss photograph .. and this perfect dress. pretty, styley and just that bit unusual, it was perfect for an early-spring wedding. no thunderbolts were forthcoming, so i musta did good.
(not that you can see in this photo, but i wore the dress with seamed stockings, my comfort station goats-head necklace and my karim rashid for melissa wedges. hey, i figured i’d already made some concessions to the occasion ..)
you’re not supposed to take photos in the newly-reopened wellington art gallery, but i didn’t read the gallery advice thing properly so snapped a couple of quick pics at the yayoi kusama show. a nice lady came over and said i shouldn’t take photos. i said to her “oh i’m sorry i didn’t know .. would you mind if i kept that one, though? you can’t really see the work, it’s just the reflection i like”. she smiled and said it was okay. so here is myself and the rockstar, reflected in one part of an installation which is all about — ta daa! — narcissism. kind of apt, really?
(oh, and what i’m wearing, just so i can pretend this is an outfit post: battered chuck taylors, battered diesel jeans, customised uniqlo cardigan which you can see better in this post. oh, and my wayfauxrers. i have been a bit slack on the style thoughts and outfit documenting, but i’ll get back on that, promise promise.)
in order: last view of london, real cutlery in business class, a (brief) upgrade to first which was somewhat scuppered by the plane developing a fault and having to switch to another flight, a night in a hotel near the airport because the delay meant i missed my connecting flight. interesting coincidence: the hotel i stayed in was the same hotel my family stayed in the first-ever night we spent in new zealand, back in january 1978. by the looks of those avocado-green bathroom units, it hasn’t been decorated since.
more to come xxx