Monday, July 21, 2014

Blonde Ambition

As you saw earlier today, I'm a blonde now. Between my pixie cut a few years ago and my blue hair last summer I've definitely become less attached to having "perfect hair" and more comfortable with trying things out just for fun. I'll have to put together a hair retrospective at some point to showcase the long, short, and oddly colored turns it has taken. This color and style is actually very similar to what I looked like when I was little, but of course my hair got darker as I got older. I still consider red the color that is most "me" but right now I don't really care if I don't look quite like "me." This summer I can be an icy blonde and invent a Hitchcockian-backstory to suit the look.
The process & upkeep: I had a professional bleach my hair, then a day later at home I toned it with Wella T18 to minimize the brassiness. I'm now trying to maintain my color with John Freida Sheer Blonde shampoo & conditioner.

Eire Engagement

Well it's only been a few days since my last outfit post but there are a lot of changes to announce. For one thing I'm now (temporarily) a blonde. Also, I'm back in Northern Ireland. And I'm engaged! Woohoo! I had barely landed in Dublin before Thomas whisked me off to his favorite beach and went down on one knee. Between the lovely location, beautiful vintage ring, and his sweet proposal I couldn't help but say yes. We had a relaxed evening on the beach enjoying the sunshine and sound of the waves before our hike back to civilization, snapping a few informal pictures along the way to help commemorate the day.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Remix

Previous outfit post: one, two, and three.

One of the reasons I wear a lot of dresses is I often feel awkward in separates--it's so hard to find tops that fit properly! Even the smallest sizes can be loose and nearly all of them can double as tunic tops for someone of my height (5'1"). So, I'm quite excited for this 90s revival of fitted tees and crop tops because I'm finally finding shirts I can wear comfortably. Like this basic black crop top. On me you can barely even tell it is a crop top, most of the time it's completely tucked into my high waist skirts and nary an inch of belly skin is visible.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Karen Walker Resort 2015

At first I wasn't sold on Karen Walker's Resort collection--aside from the adorable cat purse and her always striking sunglasses, the clothes seemed a little plain, almost boring. Then I read the designer's inspiration, "[resort is] anti-going out clothes...As non-fancy as possible." Now the cat tee shirts, chambray smocks, and relaxed silhouettes make sense, they're clothes for Internet cat-ladies and suddenly I'm liking the clothes more. Sometimes the story behind the collection is necessary to appreciating the designs; with couch-surfing and Netflix-bingeing in mind I couldn't think of anything more suitable than Walker's collection which would let me feel like a slob, without looking like one. See the full collection here.

Moth Friends

I'm not really frightened of moths, but I don't really appreciate it when they bewilderedly fly in my face at night or flutter around my room. However, the not real, delicately embroidered kind by Yumi Okita--these are definitely welcome in my home. I love the idea of giant moth (and butterfly!) friends filling the nooks and crannies around my house. Yumi Okita's textile creations are true works of art and when posed in someone's hands they almost seem as if they could fly away.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Style Crush: Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong might not be immediately recognizable today unlike some of her contemporaries (she acted alongside Buster Keaton and Marlene Dietrich to name a couple), but she was the first Chinese American movie star and a fashion icon in her own right. Her long and varied career spanned both silent and sound film, television, stage, and radio. In 1922 the New York Times commented,“She should be seen again and often on the screen.” Of course being an Asian-American in the 1920s and 30s severely limited the roles offered to her; anti-miscegenation laws meant she couldn't be cast as a romantic lead opposite of a white actor. American directors even passed up her as a lead for Chinese roles casting white women to play Chinese characters instead (see German actress Luise Rainer as O-Lan in The Good Earth). Still in the late 1930s, she starred in several B movies for Paramount Pictures, portraying Chinese Americans in a positive light. These smaller-budgeted films could be bolder than the higher-profile releases, and she used this to her advantage to portray successful, professional, Chinese-American characters.
While she was first and foremost an actress, once quoted as saying "I am wedded to my art," Anna May Wong was also a fashion icon in her day. She cultivated a stylish flapper image and in the 1930s was on various "Best Dressed" lists. When I admire Anna May Wong I appreciate her beauty and her fashion sense, but also admire her talent and ability to thrive in a time when the odds were stacked against her. 
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