Before the last of the leaves fell off the only tree in our yard that has fall colors, I managed to get a picture with it. I wore my plainest clothes to celebrate this occasion. I see them as my way of fitting into nature. I do not want compete with the beauty of it with imitated prints and catchy colors. Nature does it best. (Alexander McQueen’s creations deserve an honorable mention.) I want to be the noir canvas. My role is to – observe, enjoy, blend, photograph and be in sync. Ofcourse, I don’t stand under a tree all day or prance in nature all the time. ( I wish I did ! ) Plain clothes fit well in all the places I dwell and add the much needed negative space to the visual clutter that surrounds me. The natural fibers offset the plastics, traffic, pollution, florescent lighting and electronics that surround me. My clothes shield me from the dust of the world. An all black outfit is my ‘I am here to see, not to be seen‘ sign.

Cat, trees & pants : c/o (Saint) Fernando, my landlord. 

Outfit : Raw denim : R13. Wool turtleneck : Cuyana (1, 2, 3, 4). Flats : Jil Sander square toe ballerinas. Lip Color : Clinique Black Honey. (Plan to switch to this cleaner alternative once done.)

Mood : Deadline on Monday. Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock. 

Tune on Repeat : Neeye 

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Style Notes :

Taste is what you buy. Style is how you wear it.

For layering t-shirts : Merino Wool > Second hand Cashmere > Wool Cashmere blend.

Colder months is when I enjoy wearing jewellry. Dark navy blues and black turtle necks form the perfect canvas to host them. One absorbs light, other reflects it – compounds the effect.

A pair of rose gold studs would have been that little constellation to this outfit.

I own a long station necklace that loops around the neck with tiny stones that reflect just the right amount light. I see that hint of sparkle when I look in the mirror or when out in the sun.

My rule with jewellry : The stones should sparkle like the stars in the night sky, tiny and subtle. The metal should exist in harmony like the moon in the night sky, luminous but muted. Sparkle, not glare. Subtle, not catchy. I wont let shiny metals and stones be the first thing one notices in my outfit. No statement jewellry for me. I prefer to do my own talking, thank you very much.

A thin neck scarf on top of the turtle neck would make it evening wear ready. ( Alexa Chung showed me how. ) Extra point if its knotted on the back with a bow at the nape of the neck and hair tied up in a bun.

Block heels would have given me better proportions, but my feet come surgically attached to ballet flats.

All black outfit and a small dusty pink bag is my idea of colors paired well. I like this outfit paired with a beige tote bag – makes it humbler. Looking humble and simple deserves to be celebrated too, like the society celebrates looking expensive and glamourous. ( Bay Area understands this sentiment ! )

A brown belt would have grounded the outfit. A black belt with a muted gold buckle would have been the most organic way to include metal into the outfit.

My preferred way of dressing up any outfit is by wearing more interesting shoes – mary janes, colorful shoes, printed shoes, lace up flats, ….

Currently Reading :

THE ABUNDANCE OF LESS

The Book. ( Recommended by Classiq ).

Not a single line in there is about throwing out stuff or looking down upon things. There is no counting of things and a rush to own the least amount possible. Because people in there haven’t bought much to begin with. Its about lives that revolve around finding sustainable happiness instead consuming things to catch happiness. The author interviews 10 individuals who have created a life of a different kind of luxury, that an un-initated person may look down upon as poverty. They all chose to improve their Gross Happiness Index by designing their life around their passions.  This book is intense. Makes most other book on minimalism that I have read  – a simplified map for tourists to latch on to, for a brief period of time while touring. Some lines :

The way of tea is one of humility and poetic sentiments, not of grandiosity and gorgeousness.
I get scared when I am busy. For one thing, I might get in a rush and forget something and have an accident working with my kiln. But even more importantly, if Im too busy, I might overlook something magnifieicent and splendid, like a rare mushroom in the forest ... and who knows when I might see such an amazing thing again ?
We all live with contradictions. You have to decide which contradictions you can abide with and which you cannot. For me what cannot be tolerated are the things that threaten the kiseki of life itself.
Ever since I was a child, I always looked at the hills behind where we live and wanted to know what was on the other side. Many people are satisfied with where they are and with what they have. I don't jude that at all, but for me, as soon as I was able, maybe seven years old, I got on a busy by myself  to see what was in the next town. As I got older I would go farther and father away. Eventually I had seen a lot of Japan, but I still wanted to know what was beyond. By that time I was working and had a steady income, but I had the same yearning. I wanted to know what was on the other side of the ocean.
A craft persons job is half meditation, half creation. It takes creativity to design whatever you are working on, but it takes meditation to do it right. Making things with ones own hands cultivates a certain generosity and openness of the heart. It nourishes that state of mind in the craftsperson themselves, which is intimately connected with an entire way of life.
What is beautiful ? Everyday things; things that are used in daily life by ordinary people. The beauty of usefulness.
I ask Nakamura what he usually does on days like today. "Sometimes I carve woodblocks, or read, but mostly, when I have nothing to do, I just stare into the fire" ... "Do you feel that you are living a life of luxury? " Luxury ? No, not luxury. Its an ordinary life. But I do feel an abundance, a sense of plenty. A hundred years ago, I would not have been able to choose what kind of life to live, I feel very lucky to be living in this age."
With the flurry of stimuli that is this world, sometimes its hard to know whats important. The ten thousand distractions hold out their promises and we forget what we really need. How can we avoid getting lost in the supermarket of diluted ideas that is our modern culture ?

To be updated as I read along … This is not a book to be rushed into.


Question of the week ( from Women in Clothes

Do you consider yourself photogenic ? When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think ?