Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Seersucker

At work last week we made a couple of seeksucker pieces for a customer, and it got me thinking about what a fantastic fabric it can be - the ultimate spring and summer cotton.  A few quick facts via Wikipedia: the name comes from the Persian "shir o shakkir", meaning "milk and sugar" which refers to the alternating smooth and nubby texture of the stripes.  It was used in the hot climates of the British colonies, and then by poor workers in the American South, until college students started wearing it in the 1920's in the tradition of appropriating a look from the working classes - those rebels!  Now the preppy associations continue every summer.  Did you know that the US Senate hold a Seersucker Thursday every June?  See it to believe it!

So I might be expanding my seersucker wardrobe this summer.  I have one blouse, but a skirt, a pair of shorts?  Pedalpushers?  We'll see...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fashion Pioneers

 Aren't these old photographs of pioneer women amazing?  When you think about how hard they worked, physically, and the rough conditions, and the exposure to the elements, isn't it wild to think that they did all that in heavy cotton or wool dresses with full skirts.  We are so used to specialized garments with stretch, wicking, padding, protection; tailor made for each and every activity.  Not to mention the shoes!  No ergonomic insoles or Thinsulate.  And these women worked harder every day from dawn till dusk than I do in a month!  Look like they took pride in their style too, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the Details

 A close up of the embroidery from the cardigan from the last post, cameo ring, fave nail polish.

Two necklaces that share colours and look best worn together, interestingly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vintage Cardigan : Short Form

Everything about this cardigan gave me the tingles when I saw it at the thrift store yesterday.  Soft soft cashmere, lovely teal colour, tiny hooks down the front and at the side slits, white satin piping, detailed embroidery, made in Hong Kong, the cropped silhouette.  Oh, and the $2 price tag.  It's my most special find in a long time, and it's in perfect condition, which makes me want to make up a story about its history.  It's what, late 50's - early 60's?  How did you make it to Vancouver unsullied, to a little charity thrift store on the east side, sweet little sweater?  I'm happy that it will be appreciated now, for many years to come.  I mean, could there be a more perfect spring sweater?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Book Surgeon

Have you seen this?  Artist Brian Dettmer creates amazing works of art using old books, meticulously glued together and carved away to expose hidden world within. Some pieces feature several books joined together, but feature only original pages with nothing added or moved around.  It's a whole different way of looking at a book, isn't it?  I'd never really thought about what you might see if you applied selective X-ray vision to a book.  It's worth a click to see the rest of the series here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Goodness Gowns

Percentage of photos I save that feature gowns: 87
Percentage of days of my life that I wear gowns: 0.0039

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I stopped watching music video channels on TV with any regularity circa 2005; I guess that's when I officially got old.  I'm not very up on the popular music, but I heard an interview with this guy Gotye (pronounced like Gaultier) on the radio today.  Then I read about him in the paper an hour later, and the description of this video sounded kind of intriguing, so I looked it up.  Turns out I have heard the song, don't know where, but it's really catchy, and the video is right up my alley: simple, painted.  Apparently the artwork is based on pieces by his father who is a painter.  I think I'll check out the rest of his album - lately the only new music I get is workout music!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Abstract Beauty - Rossy de Palma

Spanish actress Rossy de Palma might just have the best profile ever.  I remember seeing her years ago in a Gypsy-inspired editorial, you know when they have a couple of models and then a cast of "characters" to add some interest and authenticity?  I thought she looked way cooler than any of the models and totally stole every shot.  I've never seen any of her movies, but now that's on my list. 

What an extraordinary face!  I read somewhere that she's like a Picasso portrait come to life, and there's some truth to that.  In design class we learned about how the human eye naturally find symmetry beautiful which is why most models have amazingly symmetrical faces.  But when you look at Rossy de Palma's decidedly uneven face, it's so interesting and striking.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I got this nail-polish, Terracotta by Sally Hansen, the other day, and it's such a weird colour.  Sometimes I think it's ugly, but when I realized that what it really resembles is foundation that is too dark for me, I liked it better.  I borrowed this photo from another website because I couldn't take a picture of my own nail that showed the colour accurately, and she has much prettier nails!

Below is the nail colour I was inspired by, but I couldn't find anything like it, and I guess I kind of forgot what I was looking for.  Next time I see nail-polish deeply on sale, I'll look for this greyer shade.  I did enjoy the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure product though - perfect viscosity, cool angled brush, and it seems to last well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Natural Deodorant that works?

Since I read There's Lead In Your Lipstick last June, I've done a major overhaul of my health and beauty routine and made an effort to eliminate all the toxic stuff.  Some things have been really easy - moisturizer, hair products, mascara.  I knew that the real challenge would be deodorant.  I've always been fairly sweaty, though less so in the last few years, and I know that everyone's body chemistry is different, so it was hard to guess what would work for me - there are lots to choose from.  I didn't have high hopes, but I figured that part of the process would involve changing my perspective on body odour and wetness.  Like, is it that bad?  Instead of bone dry and smelling like Summer Berry Breeze, how about not too sodden and not too funky?  My job does involve being right up in people's personal space, so I didn't want to be too self conscious about grossing people out.

My first purchase was Lafe's lavender scent, a recommendation from the woman at Whole Foods.  It was pretty good.  I used it all through the summer, with the exception of a few critical days (bridesmaid duty...) and I was satisfied for the most part - a little damp at times, a little more smell than with my old Dove, or maybe I should say a little less artificial smell, a little more natural smell.  It lasted six months; I just finished it and decided to try something new.  

 I had read a glowing review of the Rocky Mountain Soap company deodorant, saying that not only was it really effective, it was totally free of all nasty ingredients.  Although it contains liquid crystal it doesn't have anything hazardous that the solid crystals do.  I chose the geranium scent, and I've only used it for a couple of days, but so far so good.  It's not anything miraculous, but I felt like it was at least as good as the Lafe's and I like that it dried a little quicker when I put it on.

One thing that I have noticed is that because the scents are natural, they are kind of limited.  You know, citrus, pine, geranium, lavender.  The thing is that all of these scents are kind of sharp and almost acidic, kind of like sweat.  I wonder if that's because these are the strongest natural scents.  I'd be interested in trying something spicy, or maybe rose.  I think Weleda has a rose scent, but I don't know if I want to pay double what these other ones cost.

Anybody out there tried any natural deodorants that work, or any to avoid?  Are you disgusted by anything but perfectly perfumed armpits or do you think it's OK to smell a little more human?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nineties fashion magazines!

I started buying Vogue magazine every month in grade six, which was 1991.  I also bought Elle and Bazaar fairly often, and had subscriptions to Sassy and Seventeen.  When they weren't scattered around my horribly messy bedroom, they accumulated in stacks in my closets and then cardboard boxes under my bed.  By the time I moved out after high school, I had some serious recycling to do, and I was OK with it.  I had torn out enough inspiring pages to fill a binder and there was no logical alternative, so it was goodbye to the heaps of magazines.

Now the internet reminds me of all those gorgeous pictures.  Thank goodness for the patient scanners and the meticulous documentarians and the copious bloggers!  I can't revisit every page, but it's nice to be reminded of some old favorites.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fast fading light

Long layers, and no, it was not warm enough to have bare arms!  Thrifted silk Aritzia blouse, thrifted wool Mr. Jax skirt.  Yes, my hair is looking shaggy - haircut tomorrow!