Tuesday, March 31, 2009


On the weekend I went with a couple of friends to the BLIM Craft Fair at the Cambrian Hall just off Main Street.  It was a beautifully crisp sunny day, one of the first of the year, and we decided this would be a good reason to meet up for some inspirational browsing.

Yes, in fact I do find cupcakes inspiring.  Especially beautiful creations like these from Coco Cakes.  I resisted temptation, but it's only ever temporary.  I should bake some next weekend.  Can't make them this pretty though!

There were lots of vendors selling awesome jewelry.  Basement Sweet, above, had some amazing necklaces that really had me lusting.  Cool combinations of found-looking objects with feather, shells and other organic elements.

The best part about craft fairs in getting ideas for one's own crafts, right?  I always see little sewn things, art cards, jewelry, etc. and think "I could make that."  Or more accurately, "I should try to make that."  So I rarely buy things, though I know lots of people do.  It's wonderful that people support their local crafters, and I would if I had the money to.  What I will buy are things that I know I could never make: pottery, beauty products, music...

See the BLIM website at www.blim.ca for more information on these and other vendors, as well as upcoming events.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Katy Keene, style icon

I was never crazy into Archie comics; I had a bunch of old ones, sometimes bought new ones, but didn't really "collect" them.  Way cooler, to me, and much more rare, because they were printed in the 50's and 60's, were Katy Keene comics.  I don't remember any plots, but I'm sure it was all love triangle and dumb puns, but every issue was full of paper dolls.  And the designs were sent in by readers!  You could read who sent in the ideas for each garments, and if you were me, fantasize about sending in designs and achieving world wide fame.  I was like, seven, OK?  
Of course, she had a nemesis, Gloria, a little sister, a boyfriend, a chubby pal, and a friend named Lucki, whose short red bob I admired.  They weren't really functional as paper dolls - so fragile on their old newsprint and such teeny tiny tabs, but they were a wonderful alternative to Betty and Veronica with their endless letter sweaters and dungarees.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adorn Recomends...

you check out M c S W E E N E Y ' S
Yes, the good folks at McSweeney's are sharing their
clever insights with the eager public.  
For example:

Not whistling
Whistling rarely works, and often does more harm 
than good.

Holding a Soft Baby Chick
Form a ball with your hands and leave a hole in the top for the chick's head to pop through. That makes them feel secure and makes you feel wonderful. Try to arrange this if you can. If you have a connection with a farm or a preschool, see if they can set you up. The hen won't mind, but don't let the rooster see you.

Soooo, I'm not that clever.  I do like recommending things though.  I may do it from time to time.  I'm just saying.

Tap dancing: seriously, tap dancing is so much fun.  Take a lesson.  I have no dance experience, no skills, and I spend pretty much the whole time laughing at myself.  But I can't wait to do more.  The shoes are a freaking riot!  I know some of you know what I'm talking about, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fall 2009 RTW (oh no, I'm not done yet)

These are from Anne Valerie Hash's Fall collection.  I think they are so pretty in an unexpected way.  So light and soft and feminine without being fussy.  The round shoulders in the organza blouse in the top picture are perfect.  
Yeah, I know the dress above is a little bonkers, but just imagine it with a lining.  So sweet.  I love the effect of the ruffled tulle.  Hmm... it would have to be really soft tulle.  Hmm...
And this.  I would be thrilled to see this on the red carpet.  Maggie Gyllenhaal, ya listening?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Seeing Red?

Vogue declares that red hair is "in" this season, which is convenient for me I guess.  But I don't like to think that it's been "out" since, hmmm, when Karen Elson first appeared on the scene.  You see, follicular-fashion-following ladies with other hair colours can dye according to the trends, but for us natural red heads, nothing else really looks suitable.  If I went darker, would I have to also dye my eyebrows, eyelashes, body hair?  Ick.  And didn't Anne of Green Gables try to dye her hair blonde only to end up with green hair?  No thanks.  I'll just revel in being in style this spring, then sit back and wait another decade for the "it" model to go red.  Thanks Coco.

Coco Rocha Red

Actually, I totally love my hair colour.  It's distinctive enough that people (hairdressers, total strangers) comment on it and ask if it's natural.  Plus I feel like it allows me to slack off hair-style wise.  I hope that if the colour is good, observers won't notice that I haven't had it cut in six months.  Really, six months.  That's shameful.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A couple of recent outfits... and forsythia.

I'm trying to focus on SPRING.  So I "borrowed" these blossoms from a neighbor.  Karl gave me the vase for Christmas.  It's old, and from Czechoslovakia, when it was still called that.
I wore this on Sunday when we went for breakfast.  I ate eggs benny.  The jogger behind me probably didn't.

Wore this to work today, except with more sensible shoes.  The purples are much deeper in real life.

My favorite bracelet.  That's a Peruvian opal apparently.  I got the cuff from Jeweliette.

The story of these shoes:  I got them at Value Village for five dollars, but the black leather was white.  Karl said they looked like "prostitute shoes", and made a face when I said I was getting them.  But I dyed the leather black and now I love them.  They're Nine West, and even kind of comfortable.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fall 2009 RTW (yes, more)

I love Dries Van Noten.  I think that every season there is at least one thing that he does better than anyone else, and for fall it's color.  Aren't these combinations amazing?  He's usually know for his prints and textures, but I think that this collection show that he has an incredible eye for colour, not to mention the elegant, artsy subtlety of the shapes.  There are no gimmicks.  I would be so excited if I saw a woman wearing these pieces on the street in Vancouver.  It would honestly give me hope.  Not holding my breath though...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Click is the new Clack

I used to write a zine on a typewrites (clack).  Now I write a blog on a computer (click). 
Obviously there are parallels between the two formats.  
I wrote a zine in high school with a friend and in one year we produced four issues.  Each issue was maybe thirty pages long, and included articles, art, poetry.  It kind of focused on music and teen-angst - those were the themes of most zines we were into.  It was very low tech and labour intensive.  Each issue took tedious hours.  Cutting and pasting the old fashioned way, with glue and scissors.  Doing little drawings, laying it all out on big sheets of paper.  Photocopying, mailing.  Stamps.  Sheesh.  But it was so fun.  I loved doing it.  And I made lots of friends in the process, from all over the world, writing letters back and forth, putting glue over the stamps so they could be re-used.  I look back at those four issues now and of course a lot of it makes me cringe, but some of it's pretty cool, and mostly I'm proud that we did it. 
Blogging is so instant, so immediate.  It's nice to see results right away, and you've got the whole world (wide web) at your fingertips to supplement, enhance and support.  And if I'm able to look back at these blogs in ten plus years I'm sure I'll cringe, maybe chuckle, but I don't know if I'll be quite as proud.  It's not really as much of an accomplishment.  Though some people's blogs are works of art, novels - I guess that's a reflection of how much work they put it.  It's not the medium, it's the effort.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Last month my friends and I did a photoshoot using my most recent collection of dresses from work.  It was so much fun and I feel so honored to have such talented and beautiful friends!  We're planning to do another one soon, hopefully when it's a little warmer out, and we'll try to choose a location that doesn't have human feces smeared on the brick wall!

If you'd like to see more of my designs, visit manuelmendoza.com.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear

I felt like a like a lot of collections for fall looked alike.  There were the predominant trends that just got done over and over again, and maybe it was the abundance of black, but it struck me as too much of a couple of trendy items and silhouettes.

One stand-out for me was Haider Ackermann.  I thought that his interpretation of the key looks was really beautiful.  He made the black on black on black look that was on so many runways appear fresh and feminine.  His take on the strong shoulder was tasteful and something I can imagine wearing without feeling like I was wearing a costume.  I loved the draping, the intense reds, and the effortless, unaffected layering.  And he makes the high leather boots/leggings look cool and bohemian rather than trashy and vulgar. 

Now if only I could afford it.  Sigh.  Something tells me these would be hard looks to cobble together from thrift store finds! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Make Fashion, Not War

This is kind of a pretty picture, isn't it?  I got it from a series of photos posted on Foto Decadent that Steven Meisel shot for Vogue Italia.  Check out the rest of the pictures though.  My first reaction was that they were kind of unsettling.  The whole sex and violence thing, sex being used as a tool of war.  Though in a way some of the pictures are certainly effective, even beautiful.  It's pretty interesting to read the comments and discussions the photos spark, because of course it's art and art can provoke and be vulgar and still be meaningful and worthwhile.  On one hand, I don't mind the idea of fashion, usually quite shallow and "pretty", being the vehicle for controversy.  On the other hand, do I really want to see this in the pages of a glossy fashion mag?  Maybe I do.  Or maybe I'd be more comfortable with it if there was some anti-war feeling to it, if it didn't kind of glamourize and fetishize the brutality.  I wonder how soldiers serving in Afghanistan would react to this?  Four more Canadians were killed recently; how sexy is that?

What do you think?

Welcome Spring!

I wish this was me...
Spring is springing and it was actually sunny today after months of dark and damp.  Maybe it's fitting that my first attempt at a blog is springing today too.  I've been thinking about doing a blog for a while now; you know, everyone else is doing it, seems kinda cool.  I imagine I'll write about fashion and whatever comes to mind.  Witty observations and the like.  I read lots of fantastic style blogs and can't imagine that mine will compare, but I plan to borrow liberally from other peoples good ideas.  Outfit post tend to be a staple, and maybe doing that will help me get over my photo-phobia.  I guess I could cover up my face like some bloggers do, but that would require knowing how to do that, and I think my techno-age is around four years old.  Unlike my Wii Fit age, which is MUCH older.  Does any one else think Wii is a little harsh?  Anyway...

First outfit post:

Celebrating spring with shorts (over leggings) and my current favorite vest.