Posts Tagged ‘photobooth’
standard day-at-home uniform of grey AA t-shirt, calvin klein jeans, random metal belt and boots becomes ..
lunchtastic! faux fur jacket purchased last weekend at the terrific fast and loose vintage in karangahape rd, auckland .. with tom binns flying skull necklace and obligatory shades (from karen walker) ..
.. to the out-and-out ridic, avec crown lynn swan bought off trademe. which i did not take to lunch, just in case you are wondering.
the rockstar wondered aloud if i might be addicted to shopping.i told him i don’t think it’s that exactly. actual shopping? that endless trawl spending endless money for things you won’t wear, just for the sake of acquiring something new? a “leisure activity” as i think it’s considered now in britain? no. okay, i am not disciplined like the rockstar is, identifying something he needs, searching out a piece that is exactly what he wants, getting things tailored to fit perfectly, etc. i already have more clothes and shoes than i could possibly wear out in a lifetime, so one could argue i do not have a need to buy anything and that any item i purchase is a pure want, a compulsion even. so from that point of view, i suppose, i can see how he might say that.
but. here was my process on this particular day in auckland. i had been looking for the perfect faux fur jacket for a while, because i think it’ll be a useful alternative to heavy coats and parkas during this wellington winter that’s creeping up awful fast. as always, i prefer to buy second-hand if it’s possible. vintage clothes that have made it this far are likely to have been made in new zealand, rather than being sweatshopped somewhere; they will be well-made, having survived at least one owner; and they will not be instantly identifiable as something you purchased on lambton quay (which a waspish shop assistant described to me the other day as looking “more and more like an australian strip mall”, lol). one big disadvantage of shopping the high street in NZ: it has relatively few outlets, so everyone goes to the same places and everyone knows where you got a particular piece and how much you paid for it.
anyway, the vintage stores here in welli-lala had yielded pretty much nothing so far. so when i saw this beauty smiling at me from the racks at fast and loose (and let’s face it; something is always smiling from the racks of fast and loose) i thought, hello lover! it wasn’t so much a random grab as the end of a search for the exactly perfect thing. and as we know, vintage shopping is like that. send out your wish to the vintage fairies and, with enough patience and searching, your wish will come to you.
(as for the crown lynn swan, well. it’s an icon of new zealand design. i know they’re a little played by now, but i still love this kind of kitsch ceramic stuff. i have a big collection of those cabbage leaf plates in storage, in case you doubt me. what?)
i don’t think i am addicted to shopping, then, but i might be addicted to fashion. my eye is constantly searching out the new, the inspiring. it tires quickly and its desire for inspiration needs to be fed. this is why i love thrift/op/charity shopping .. you never know what you’ll find. go with an idea in your head, as i did, or a totally open mind, and have fun. because, after all, fashion is deadly serious but it should also be fun.
so let’s term it that way. i might be addicted to fashion. but in the end, all that is is an addiction to inspiration, to beauty, to fun. and in any case, addiction implies something that is damaging. i think in my case it’s entirely healthy. it makes me curious, creative and appreciative of the fabulousness of simple things, like the perfect colour of faux fur or the elegant sweep of a swan’s neck. and that, dear reader, is a good thing. well, i think it is, anyway.
so i got dressed this morning but haven’t quite had the courage to commit fully to this outfit. i am wearing my wayfauxrers (couldn’t face putting my contacts in), a lazy oaf t-shirt which has “j’aime paris” written on it, a black miniskirt from glassons, grey tights and red russell and bromley brogues. i tucked in my shirt and felt like i was channelling alexa chung, a little bit.
but then i stopped and thought: is this outfit mutton?
mutton is a difficult concept for those of us in the latter half of our thirties and beyond. it basically means that you’re dressed age-inappropriately. i have a dear friend in london whose sister refers to him and his husband affectionately as “les moutons” because they wear north face jackets, worn jeans, trainers. i think my friend looks terrific .. he’s consistently one of the most stylish people i know. but in an era where hipster girlies at mighty mighty wear clothes that my grandmother might have considered too frumpy, where smart teenage boys wear clothes which hark back to music videos made before they were born, where the most stylish women i can instantly name — carine roitfeld, daphne guinness, amanda harlech — are all older than me and still rocking it really hard .. what does age-appropriate even mean?
more fashionable minds than me have considered this question; indeed, it’s a staple of the glossy mag to run “age issues” where they look at style through the lens of those in their 20s, 30s, 40s et cetera et cetera, pass the ambien. the 20s are always represented these days by alice dellal, whose fearless style i admire; the older women, well, it’s the usual array of your helen mirrens, your mary quants, your duchesses of devonshire. all, in their way, fabulous. none, with all respect, that helpful when it comes to interpreting rules for ordinary women.
i used to have quite strict rules about this stuff, purely for myself. no midriff. no short skirts. no upper arms on show. no bikinis outside latin america. oh you know, i was quite the self-editor. but then i realised something. none of this made me feel more confident about the inevitable process of getting older, the unavoidable slide into what is (for women) the uncomfortable invisibility of middle age.
like any person who’s nearly forty, my body is showing the signs of a life well lived. my pale skin shows the tracery of veins beneath. i have scars, laughter lines, freckles (or, as a dermatologist would probably term them, permanent sun damage from living half my life in the southern hemisphere). i fail the pencil test. but you know, i feel better about myself now than i did when i was a skinny, tanned, neurotic little thing of 17. on the whole, my body’s holding up pretty well. what’s disintegrating as we speak is my ability to give a toss what people think. i don’t think i’ll miss it.
as i have grown older, my confidence in my taste has grown. i am not afraid to wear clothes that are a little challenging. that call attention. that the 17 year old me would have rejected as too weird, not attractive to boys. glasses? in public? are you crazy? i squinted for years because i was too shy to wear my corrective lenses outside of darkened lecture theatres. now, i don’t care. maybe boys would think i was a nerd these days. but i’m not interested in those boys now.
so a pox on my rules, such as they were. just as the term “middle aged” loses its meaning as one approaches its ambit, the words “age-appropriate” might need to be banished to the charity shop pile of language.
i’m not saying that there should be a free-for-all. at least, not for me. there are certain things that a woman of my age should avoid, i think. barbie pink. any outfit that would look adorable on my super-gorgeous four-year-old niece evie. any t-shirt with a slogan that says “princess” or some such. egregious embroidery of hearts. cartoon characters, no matter how ironic.
there are some overall styles that don’t work, either. the gothic lolita style, much as i think it’s cute, isn’t for me. if i went for the feral tank-girl look, i would not look sexy; i would look like i need to be put on some kind of watch list. the preppy-princess look so loved by blair waldorf just looks matronly on me; i will never be the kind of girl who can wear a chanel suit, but my credit card will be the better for it. and i think too much skin, in a setting other than the beach, is just a little tacky. if i get my legs out, i cover up the rest.
but you know what, ladies? those are my rules. they’re not necessarily anyone else’s. if barbie pink makes you happy, wear it. if you feel good in cutoff jeans and a midriff top, who cares if you’ll never see 40 again? pair them with a flannel, cowboy boots and a stetson and i think you’d look pretty rocking, to be honest. if you’re wearing dreads and combat boots and it makes you feel cool and powerful, then i bet people turn their heads in the street to check you out. be confident. work it. pick things that suit your body, pick colours that make your skin glow, the rest is up to you.
so, then. i am not sure that i’ve added much to the debate here. but i will walk out into this beautiful summer day in my mini-skirt and brogues, head held high. no mutton today, not here. not ever.
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
i won’t pretend i feel as gleeful as i look in this picture. but lost in the weirdly international space of an airport business class lounge — where only the brands of the mixers would let you know you were in britain — i feel like maybe i’ve already left london. here, i know what i have to do. here, i am at home. sad to think that the nearest i seem to come to home these days is an airport, but there you are. maybe it’s time for that not to be the case. to stop wandering. even for a bit.
it’s going to be okay, you know. it’s just a shame that before you arrive, you have to leave. i hope you know what i mean by that. if you don’t, i am not sure i can explain.
anyway. some very brief long haul travel tips:
1. wear a good coat. a trench coat is ideal. draped over the chair next to me is my beautiful purple jil-sander-for-uniqlo trench and it makes the scruffiest outfit seem magically pulled-together.
2. take a big bottle of water on the plane with you. lip balm, a really good moisturiser (i heart bio-oil) and, if you wear contacts, your glasses.
3. noise-cancelling headphones and some dreamy music are your sleepy friends. john coltrane, dead can dance and henryk gorecki work for me.
4. if you’re expecting your sweetie to meet you at the airport after a long-haul flight, see if you can find out where the showers are in your transit airport. auckland international airport has showers that you can rent — they’re basic, but they’re the best eight bucks you can spend. (unless your sweetie likes that plane-dishevelled look. i guess that’s possible.)
5. and research pays off in other areas, too. seatguru, when combined with online checkin, can be a lifesaver. try waiting out an eleven hour beijing-london flight in a seat that doesn’t recline — with a killer hangover — as i did last year. you’ll never leave seat selection up to the ground staff again.
right. time to ring my boy, brush my teeth, get ready to board. laters, gators.
taking outfit photos with photobooth is *not* that easy. but i gave it a go anyway. feel free to start the round of applause any time you like
jacket, junky styling (men’s jacket cut up and restyled – i believe this is known as “upcycling”, deus me livre); t-shirt, uniqlo art project thingy; million-year-old jeans from diesel, shoes aldo.
one good thing about working part time (much as i would prefer not to): lots of time off. i now have four days stretching in front of me .. highlights will include brazilian national day party, brazilian film fest opening at the barbican, trip to the cancer ward .. but what’s the best thing to do on a beautiful autumn saturday? drink coffee, take photos and go charity shop crawling. and that’s what i’m going to do after i press the “publish” button.
in other news, i miss the rockstar very badly. six weeks. seis semanas.
(vintage faux leather jacket, american apparel t-shirt, karen walker runaway girl necklace, ancient diesel jeans. facial expression courtesy of five hours’ sleep ..)
it’s strange to be all alone on my birthday, but late night phonecalls from the rock star and many many texts and phonecalls from pals have made it a lot nicer. today i went thrifting (in shepherds’ bush — surprisingly fruitful), had a really good chili chicken salad for lunch and now there is a grand designs marathon, hooray. in a short while i’m going to make myself a special dinner: roast chicken, salad and home-made bread to mop up the juice. i also have a tiny bottle of champagne that i’m going to open to toast my fortieth year on this planet.
the year ahead is going to be magical. i can feel it.
(attracting stares in the emirates lounge in dubai. t-shirt and circle scarf american apparel, uniqlo skinny jeans, karim rashid for melissa shoes which you can’t quite see but are awesome, karen walker necklace, prada glasses)
i might look incredibly boho when i travel .. this is my usual outfit, minus the topshop pleat trench coat thrown over the top .. but i have done so much flying back and forth from NZ this year that i am apparently a “high value” customer for emirates and so i am allowed into their lounge. the assembled businessmen gape at me, the ladies look at me like i’m a high-class hooker. for me, it’s just a slightly mellower place to drink coffee and read weblogs while i wait to board ek001.
while this journey has been less hideous than it could have been, it’s still been vile as every single minute spent in the air takes me further and further away from the rockstar diplomat. i had a dreamlike ten days with him in new zealand. for a couple that’s spent very little time in each other’s company thus far, we glide alongside each other very smoothly. there is nothing better than lying in his big comfortable bed (*our* bed, as he always corrects me) watching films, kissing and dozing in each other’s arms. well, almost nothing ;->
but now i am heading back to london again .. one last long separation before we are together for good. i can’t wait.
i don’t have very many pretty things to write today .. be kind, i’ve just come off a 14 hour flight. more, inevitably, when i get home.