Posts from the “Style” Category

White Noise : June Edition

Posted on June 24, 2017

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↑ Wonder Woman of the month: she is my childhood friend. She is currently serving in Yemen with Doctors Without Borders. She was serving in Syria last year before she was injured. Coma, brain injury, mental illness, broken engagement, … were what 2016 threw at her. She recovered and went right back to work. I am beginning to realize : Activism is not a choice, its a way of life. ( Notes to self : Applies to fast fashion, zero waste, charity, minimalism, environmentalism, ….. Not something to do if and only if it’s convenient and easy. The way I think and what I do doesn’t match up. )

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Wonder Woman & it’s athletes:

The Amazons were played by actresses from all over the world and world-class athletes: Norwegian actress Lisa Loven Kongsli, Uganda’s Florence Kasumba, champion boxer Ann J. Wolfe, Wushu expert Samantha Jo, CrossFit champion Brooke Ence, pentathlete Jenny Pacey, track and field star Moe Sasegbon and eight-year-old champion horse rider and jumper Lilly Aspell,  who played young Diana. “We set out to find all the best most incredible athletes in the world,” Jenkins told Conan O’Brien of assembling her Amazonian army.

Enough with the stereotypical nerd classification.

My fantasy life has me staying in bed to stare at these photos all morning while Harsha brings me coffee and pastry.

Drawdown, 100 ways to reverse climate change, a book summary on NatGeo.

Climate change seems to creep into our dinner conversations all the time. Before I get into a discussion, I ask for their sources. I send them this journal paper and ask for a follow-up chat after they are done reading it.

There is a difference between being cheap, being miserly and being frugal – This excellent article on frugal living.

Costume design in Game of Thrones.

Minimalism as a vector.

New youtube channel discovery: ScIQ

This is it. I am going for it.

Personal Style article of the month : 10 commandments by Bruce Boyer.

Ethical Fashion article of the month :  Style Wise.

Blue garment of the month : this apron

Vintage garment of the month : French Antique Camisole

Best workplace tour : Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson

Satire of the month : A peek into the celebrity wellness business.

Trevor Noah’s heart.

Privilege explained – by Toby Morris or by Kimberly Clark. An eye opener for me.

hombre

Without my noticing, California slipped into a gorgeous summer. The weather gods granted me a wish – I now sleep outdoors on my patio every day. I haven’t done this since my childhood in our ancestral village. A warm breeze, some stars, some residual city light, a mild fragrance of flowers that I can’t identify mixed with the scent of the lemon rind, footsteps of unidentified animals, croaking of the insects, … the night is very much alive. Hombre stands guard and sleeps by my feet. In his dreams, he is running. Cinco’s nightly adventures include bringing his prey to hide under my bed. I am a farmer’s granddaughter – and we don’t complain about the mice and lizards. The rays of the early sun and Cinco screaming for food have replaced the need for an alarm clock. There is no snooze button for this sort of life.

 

What I wore this Week

Posted on June 17, 2017

Outfit of the day pictures are over-rated. They are more of what I can see when standing in front of the mirror or what the world sees me wear. The little details are what I can see for myself when I wear a garment and what makes it a pleasure to own the clothes … It could be a color. Or a texture. Or a print. Or a combination. Or something as little as the buttons. Or the presence of a pocket. They should be celebrated too. Do you feel this way about your clothes too ? Exercise of the week : photograph a subtle detail in the outfit every day .

“Remember when we were kids and Edmond got that whistle for his birthday, and you got a pony? You were so mad Edmond was happier with his whistle than you were with your pony.” – Mercedes, Count of Monte Cristo. 

That is how I feel about this thrifted polka dot scarf. It cost me nothing but I think it makes my outfits. Poplin shirt dress by Steven Alan

Fashion’s Windu : Margiela

Posted on June 10, 2017

[  I found someone who is worthy of the Jedi master Mace Windu. I am not qualified to analyze and deconstruct Margiela … I am terrified of my own shallow knowledge. This is more of a fan girl making a scrapbook for my own sake. This post is my first draft. I will keep adding to it as I learn more. Please feel free to point out to any flaws in the words I write here. ]

Margiela

One can tweak some colors and details to make a new garment from an existing design … and be called a designer without any real innovation. And the words ‘a designer’s designer’ is used in reference when we talk about Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen, …. Margiela occupies a stratum of his own in this category. Every designer I admire – Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Lemaire, Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo, ….  cite Margiela as their influence. Minimalism in fashion owes a great debt to him. To start off, some words from the insiders:

Martin Margiela has always been incredibly discreet. I went to his shows, but from his whole generation, the generation of the Antwerp Six, he is the only one I have never met. I sometimes saw his name in the guestbooks for our exhibitions, at the Anish Kapoor exhibition for example, but we never actually saw him. I still often wear some of his designs, including the ‘leftovers’ sweater made of pieces of blue jeans, because I find it beautiful and comfortable. I also have his duvet coat. I consider Hermes a prestige brand, but I would never purchase a Kelly bag or pieces with Hermes logo. That is why Mariela’s collection for Hermes were not a shock to me, because the one thing I loved about Hermes was the pure design. I understood that Hermes naturally had two kinds of customers: there were those who loved Margiela’s quality, as well as customers who fell for the things that you recognize ….

 – May Vervoordt.

In 1980s, fashion was at its most affluent and extravagant – bold, brash, and shouting to be noticed. Only a still small voice of calm was speaking a different language. Instead of excess, there was distressed cloth. The orgy of opulence was here replaced by clothes that were deliberately deconstructed with visible darts, frayed hems and shoes with split toes.

– Suzy Menkes

Art of Making

Posted on June 4, 2017

Having wonderful teachers was a privilege I had growing up. They would drag me along to watch procedures, presentations, things getting made, … be curious. One of my favorite teachers told the 10 year old I once was said : ‘if you like wafers, you should know how they are made. It’s not acceptable to claim you like them otherwise’. It’s been a guiding principle that stayed with me since. Shallow knowledge scares me. So when it comes to fashion …. I consume it and profess to love it while knowing nothing about the anatomy of it. How did Margiela innovate his fabrics? ( I will answer this question next week.) How does Alber master the drape on his garments? … I wish I had an insider who can show me the ateliers and let me marvel at the art of it all. I want my blog to grow so that some of these doors open to me and I can learn more about the craft. Meanwhile, I will settle for the on the surface, non-technical videos.

Art of Shoe Making

Women of Style : Yiran

Posted on June 3, 2017

There exists a stigma if you are a woman of science and take an interest in fashion. I hope the more we ‘come out’, the easier it is for the rest of us embrace the non-geeky side. It’s okay to have an analytical mind and enjoy art, take interest in personal style and like the color pink. Yiran is the first guest on my series on women in STEM with great personal style. She is funny, witty, smart, stylish and has strong opinions on Goop.com. She let me rummage her closet, make flat lays, flip through her store catalogs and we talked style for 8 hours. She is the one who tells me about the brands I never knew but loved at first sight, has a closet full of second-hand finds, clothes with beautiful tiny details, … The words ‘such a blogger thing to do right?’ was used too many times. We talked about fashion victims, internet trolls on our blogs and bloggers, …. I let it all out. I grilled her … If you are looking at pictures, fine. If you are reading our conversation, do get a glass of wine/tea.

White Noise : May Edition

Posted on May 26, 2017

Pictures from Meg’s wedding by the legendary Greg Finck. Her wedding day is the day I discovered Lousiana.

Most beautiful blue dress award of the month: FilippaK.

Most beautiful vintage garment award of the month : blue linen tunic. (Ignore the price.) The color, the way it was mended, the stitches, the peter pan collar on the back, the texture, …. what a beauty ! I would love to stumble into something like this in a flea market. Or even better, wear and mend my clothes till they look this way.

A decluttering video from a man I respect and came to adore: THE Wayne Goss. 

I keep getting told that my home lacks personality because I haven’t furnished the walls and surfaces with stuff. When I saw her video on home decor, I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time. I decorate my home with fruits, vegetables, twigs and animals.

Made in Bangladesh.

( Warning : it requires a brave heart. And possibly a loved one to untangle the heart once you have finished watching it. )

My three favorites: Nick Knight’s Showstudio, Lou Stoppard and Peter Lindbergh. Why are his photos the way they are? It’s because of the way he thinks. I want my influencers to be artists, philosophers, scientists and the likes of him. Some highlights if you can’t watch the video:

On Timeless :

Timeless is a very high scene quality ….. either you can go into details and you can start decorating your pictures and decorating the people to photograph …. that is not timeless I think because its all the decoration ….. if you strip everything away to a minimalist approach … that is timeless I think.

On Beauty :

its simple … its just about yourself. If you tend to yourself and be yourself, you are beautiful. It starts very very little cheap but there is no other definition except you can go into details again …

Read, re-read, pin, study, reference, share – worthy. The things I want to say, she says them better with beautiful words.

Man of the hour: Trevor Noah. ( Finished his book and I couldn’t be more impressed with his mind ).

I am off the grid for the long weekend. Until next week.

My Little Blue Book: Introduction

Posted on May 20, 2017

We the bloggers who chase simplicity say the following lines too much: “I am doing a shopping fast”, “I made a wish list”, ” I have too much”, “I am decluttering” or “I wanted these things but didn’t buy them”. Writing / reading these lines can get really boring really fast. My take on every aspect of style is not marred by how much I don’t consume. My answer to “what do you think of the red dress from the Dior Cruise collection” should not be “I don’t shop much”. I can still form opinions. I can still admire beautiful clothing. I can enjoy fashion for its innovation and as an art form. I can fall madly in love with things I can’t afford. I can admire things that are not my style. I can admire the craftsmanship. I can educate myself and become a true curator of my closet. With time, the emphasis shifted to ‘what is’ instead of ‘what isn’t’. I started writing my ‘On Handbags’, ‘On Perfume’, ‘On Makeup’, ‘On Visible Logos’, …. ‘On _____’ as a series which is my favorite brainchild on this blog. Slowly, a style manual emerged. Some axioms that still form the crux of it:

” Buy less, embrace simple design, choose better, make them last ”

” Reject soul-less clothing ”

“I am not all black and navy. It’s the details and the nuances that make up my style”.

“By 2018, I will find the perfect pair of ballet flats”.

“Perfection is over-rated”.

“Style muses exist to make us think, not to make us shop what they wore”.

” De-structured and understated elegance”

” The mastery of second-hand shopping. Yes, it has a learning curve like any other process.”

” Quality can be quantified given the knowledge of know hows ”

” The art of building a closet ”

” Reject phony style rules, ridiculously priced luxury must-haves parading as investments and lists of essentials every woman should have”.

” If you see a how-to-be-stylish guide, RUN from it !”

” Uniforms can be fun and customizable. Constraints breed creativity. ”

” Choose personal style over fashion. Rule-less fear-less guidelines that I create for myself is the way to go.”

” It’s not saving if it’s at the expense of someone else. Avoid the manufacturers who have no respect for the garment quality, human life and the environment. ”

” Color can be therapeutic ”

” Build that accessories closet”

The 10,000 hour rule :

First things first. There is a notion that spending any time thinking about clothes is time wasted. No ! It takes time and effort to learn anything in life. There is an old adage that a man should put in a lot of thought into picking out his clothing, can spend very little time putting it on and then forget about what he is wearing. That is my idea of investing into clothing. The effort that goes into choosing that pays off over the years. Do we know what works for us and never make mistakes? NO ! We change with time and adapt to what life throws at us. Making this evolution possible is a learning in itself for me. Are elegance and personal style imbibed into every human? I think not. It comes with experience and experimentation. There is always the safe shortcut of copying a style muse. We often buy what the influencers recommend and wear. Personal style is becoming homogenized and we often end up buying what’s popular. It’s way more rewarding figuring it out ourselves. When we start growing into ourselves and want to choose for ourselves is when the fun starts! The colors, the proportions, the silhouettes, the pairings and the balance of the feminine and the masculine ….. have to be our own conclusions. This book is what I learned during the first 1/100th of the 10,000-hours. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Presenting: My Little Blue Book

LittleBlueBook

Read : (my) Little Blue Book