Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Poppin' Tags

Although the vintage fashion movement now seems to have become oh so hipster and far too mainstream, the movement was and still is a good idea if you ask me. Being very new to the concept of thrift shopping, the few times I have been out vintage bargain hunting, I've had an absolute blast trying on ridiculous things, finding some amazing pieces and even just talking to the store owners. Vintage fashion is an extremely sustainable way to dress yourself since the clothing is essentially being recycled. It means that the articles are given a few extra years to live before they end up in a landfill and that you purchase less mass-produced clothing that is utilizing valuable resources; it's guilt-free shopping! Plus, I think that it is so much cooler to wear pieces that are different and that you are positive have a very interesting story associated with it, even if you don't know what it is. Thrift shopping also means that you are supporting local small businesses instead of large corporations. Pretty cool, right? I definitely hope that this fad sticks around for another few minutes before fading away for another decade.

You might all be really tired of this song but I still absolutely love it. I had to listen to it a few times to realize what it was actually about. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


Whilst reading Portia de Rossi's book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, something, in a way, resonated with me. She wrote about her profound fear of being considered an "average" person in any part of her life. Her words exactly were: “Average. It was the worst, most disgusting word in the English language. Nothing meaningful or worthwhile ever came from that word.” Some may argue that her deeply rooted fear of being an unremarkable person was a contributing factor to her very complex and devastating eating disorder. This got me wondering if perhaps we all have a bit of Portia in us and if this sometimes unconscious fear is what drives us to do the things that we do. 

For a lot of us, accomplishment is one of our biggest goals in life. Nobody wants to feel as if they have come and gone without having ever having left a trace. Perhaps this is purely our species' nature but it got me wondering if some if the world's most creative minds are actually people who simply wanted to have an above average life. This does is not at all to say that Portia de Rossi is a phoney; she is a beautiful and brilliant actress as well as a wonderful person (not that I know her personally). However, what if people simply do what they feel will render them successful? What if Warhol painted soup cans because he knew it would make him famous? What if Aretha sang because she knew that she could belt out notes that no one else could? Although this thought comes to me with great chagrin, I cannot help but to wonder if passion plays any part at all in the creative process. 

Like most things in the world, the concept of creativity being linked to success is bound to trickle into fashion. What if great designers like Valentino only design because they know how to make a beautiful woman look her best? Even more importantly, do we wear what we wear simply because we are constantly trying to project a certain image of ourselves? Do the clothing and accessories, make up and hair that we obtain represent what we like or what we wish to look like

After having pondered these questions for what seemed like a very long time, I came to the conclusion that in my eyes, it would have been impossible for the most amazing artists and creative people in the world to do what they did without having incredible passion pushing them forward. Personally, being genuine is one of my most important values and I believe that others probably feel the same way. Although it does not personally represent what I consider to me true in most cases, it is possible that we as humans, pursue the ideas that will leave others more impressed with you then you are with yourself. I feel it is important to consider the motives behind the actions we take and to fearlessly chase after our passions. After all, Portia de Rossi would never be where she is today without that driving force. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go with the Flo

In my eyes, Florence Welch is one of those people you aspire to be your entire life. She is the epitome of "cool". Her band, Florence + The Machine, won the 2009 Critics Choice Award at the Brits as well as an enormous global fan base. Their music has been known to be very different, quirky and overwhelmingly powerful. It's the kind of music that you blast throughout your house and scream along to as you telepathically tell your ex boyfriend that you are so over him and it's the tune you sing to when you're on the road with your friends.  I believe that a few of her songs are on my "Top 25 most played" playlist on my Ipod.

Florence's own personal style as well as her on-stage wardrobe have also been catching the public's eye lately. Her style, much like her music, is refreshingly different in a society where the mainstream seems to swallow everything. I suppose you could call a lot of her looks "vintage inspired" since a lot of the lacy textiles she chooses give off that kind of 20s vibe. She likes to play with classic men's silhouettes like pant suits with bow ties as much as she enjoys dressing up in a feminine gown. I find this kind of contrast very interesting because it gives me the impression that she isn't afraid to experiment and that she wears what she likes. She has also never shied away from edgy modern looks on stage (a little Gaga esque, minus the meat). On the street, she likes to play it up with dare I say it, a little hipster edge, pairing things like high-waisted shorts with a blazer and a flower print dress with a leather jacket.

After watching Florence + The Machine's video for What the Water Gave Me, I was instantly inspired to get the exact same bird cage tattoo that she has on her finger (although I am convinced it would never be as cool as hers). Her music, her style and her attitude are all things that are admired by many and are a source of great inspiration around the globe; I'm sure that many have also tried to recreate her signature fiery red locks.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The next generation?

The other day I was sitting at a desk accomplishing a mindless task while eaves dropping on the coworkers around me at my office job when an interesting conversation sparked my attention. A woman was telling her friend about how she cleverly replaced her wide-leg trousers with yoga pants while getting dressed that morning. Of course, this was intriguing to her friend since this workplace has a fairly strict "business casual" dress code. The woman was still as professional looking as ever since the only difference between a pair of black trousers and yoga pants are the absence of pockets and clearly, the fabric. The woman continued to converse with her friend about the huge difference in comfort. This got me thinking about comfort in our society and about how it has changed through time.

It wouldn't be a huge leap to say that throughout the evolution of humanity, we have come to gradually drift towards more comfortable clothing, considering women used to literally rope themselves into corsets. Is it because tradition is becoming decreasingly important? Perhaps it is a reflection on how functionality is becoming more and more valuable in today's society where nobody really seems to have time for anything anymore. If this is true, then what obscure shape will clothing of the future fall into? Perhaps the creators of Star Trek were not too far off with their sleek, minimalistic and form fitting onesies.

Star Trek: The Next Generation's cast

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Its starting to smell a lot like Christmas

 Well ladies and gentlemen, as of course no store has permitted us to forget, the holidays are very quickly approaching. Snowmen are being built (not where I live but I'm sure they are elsewhere), Christmas trees are being decorated, gingerbread houses are being made and holiday parties are definitely being held. These social gatherings are often very awkward since most people are being held there against their will and there's always that one person that drinks far too much and ends up embarrassing themselves or a few selected other people. Whether you're trying to decide how to have your boss or that cute boy to finally notice you, the forever impending question is: What am I going to wear? If you ask me (which maybe you shouldn't), you should take a risk at these kind of events. However, taking a chance doesn't necessarily mean that you have to expose every ounce of flesh on your body; stay classy, stay confident and most importantly, stay stylish. 

This is an outfit that I wore to a new year's eve party a couple years ago (that I am also considering recycling this year). I like it because its different and its a little Christmassy without being covered in reindeer and candy canes. I wore this shirt dress with lace details from Urban Outfitters with a back bandeau to keep the girls covered and black liquid leggings setting off the contrast between the hardness of the leggings and the softness of the lace. Some may find liquid leggings to be a bit tacky but I think that you should just go for it if you feel as if you can pull them off (literally and figuratively). It is very important to take into consideration the durability of an outfit throughout the evening. For example, this dress zips from top to bottom at the back and somebody at the party somehow accidentally unzipped the entire thing.

 I accessorized very simply with a vintage watch and black patten-leather peep-toe pumps. You could also switch up the shoes for some wedge booties that are very on trend this season. It is always interesting to mix vintage with new and high end with low end.

This is a representation of the zombie I will become if I keep thinking and writing about Christmas. Remember your sense of adventure this holiday season and have fun with your clothes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is old the new young?

Last month, a 72-year-old man in China, Liu Xianping, went viral after agreeing to model for his granddaughter's clothing line for young girls. It all started when he offered advice about putting a certain a look together. This eventually lead to his granddaughter and business partners photographing him in the clothes. In an interview, he mentioned that he has nothing to be ashamed of and is very pleased to be able to lend a hand. Liu's hand has proven to be very helpful as the company's sales have increased to five times the original amount since the images were posted. Fans have proven to be very jealous of Liu's ideal model-esque figure and to be impressed by his great modeling skills.

Personally, I love how open the world's mind has been to this. I love how people can admire someone's creativity and ability to turn one thing into something completely different. Most of all, I love how this demonstrates that some people are not afraid of how people perceive them, that they will do a lot in order to help someone and that they are open to new ideas. However, does this mark the end of the youth-obsessed era? Will we once again be attracted to the wisdom of one's soul, rather the to perfect firmness of young skin? Are we now starting to look beyond what is superficial or are these simply eye catching photos? If this is true, then what will this mean for the fashion industry?

Liu modeling the collection

Friday, December 7, 2012

Street Style: Because in kindergarden they taught us to ask questions

Street style blogging is a phenomenon that has emerged in the fashion industry in the past few years. It started out as something super accessible because anyone could take their camera and their style eye out on the street and capture interesting people wearing interesting clothes. People loved them because it was much easier to look at a blog online than to pay hundreds of dollars to go to a fashion show and you got to see many different perspectives. Does this however mean that true fashion shows are becoming a thing of the past? Will the industry eventually grow tired of street style? Because it is so popular and is so often being mimicked, is it losing it's authenticity and becoming commercialized?

Faith Cummings stated on the blog entitled Clutch that "The sidewalk has officially become the new runway." Does this mean that the catwalk has met it's demise? Will the fashion show of the future rely solely on your internet connection? It seems to be a popular opinion that street style is much more relevant than couture because it represents what real people are wearing, not what someone is trying to sell to you. We all agree that models are good at looking good but it is so much easier to compare yourself to someone who is much more similar to you; where the goal of looking like them is far more attainable. People say that fashion can be a cultural indicator, does this mean that our culture is being lazy or is it simply growing to become more realistic?

Others may, however, argue that street style is a representation of our modern world's thirst for authenticity. In a society where meat, bags and boobs are fake, have we become desperate for anything genuine? In Ted Polhemus' book, Street Style, he says: "If today more and more people use their dress style to assert: ‘I am authentic,’ it is simply evidence of our hunger for a genuine article in and age which seems to so many to be one of simulation and hype."

It is also being said that because street style has become such a huge phenomenon, it is loosing it's appeal. It is no longer interesting to look interesting if everyone is looking interesting. Because there are so many "wanna-bes" in the fashion industry that want their five minutes of fame, it is becoming harder for any kind of authenticity to shine through all the fakes. Michelle Marques once said that "Street style begins as an innovative until it 'bubbles-up into mainstream, becomes sanitized, and loses its subversive edge."

Fashion watchers also argue that street style has lost its indie edge and is turning into something completely commercialized. Blogger, Lauren Tracey, stated that, "...bloggers can be paid upwards of $2000 per appearance at events where they will be photographed, wearing the clothes and accessories that designers supply them with. It is here that a boundary has been surpassed." This, to me, completely defies the entire purpose of street style. It is supposed to be about what real people want to wear, let it be vintage or designer, it should represent a genuine perspective not a sum of money. 

Another popular opinion is that street style is as relevant as ever. Shannon Weissburg posted on the blog, The Quad, that; " In recent years, however, designers have become more and more inspired by street fashion, bringing that inspiration to the runways." If designers are being inspired by people on the street, and people on the street are being inspired by designers, then this creates massive, global network of creativity. I simply cannot begin to fathom anything more amazing. 

At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old man; the world is forever evolving. We must evolve along with it in order to be able to explore brand new ideas. However, we must always remember to remain true to ourselves and remain true to what is genuine.