Friday, February 27, 2009

Bladerunner Shoulders...In Moderation of Course:)

I have a conflicted, ambivalent relationship with shoulder pads. Some of the ones that I grew up with in the 80's and early 90's were grossly humongous (in my humble opinion, of course:) But...I love those little lifting shoulder pads on late 70's to 80's dresses. They give the shoulders a little drama, without making me feel like a linebacker. In this sweater dress, I've found another happy medium. It originally had a gigantic, beaded, flowered...I'm not even really sure what to call it...detail (?) covering the right shoulder. I carefully snipped that off and managed not to snag the dress. I wasn't sure that it would all work out when I left the thrift store last weekend, but I'm quite pleased with the dress...and the shoulder pads.

Now, all that being said, I couldn't stop thinking about Bladerunner when I was wearing this today. I have to say it, I LOVE Rachel's wardrobe in Bladerunner. Maybe its a combination of the clothes, the lighting, her makeup and hair. Maybe its the strong 40's influence on the look of this 80's noir film...but there's something so alluring about those straight shoulders in pretty much every outfit she wears throughout the movie and I've always wanted to look like Sean Young does in that film. Here's my attempt. I might as well take advantage while there's so much 80's thrift pickings out there.

80's Sweater Dress: thrifted
Tights: American Apparel
Oxfords: Me Too
Belt: Marshall's

Image from Bladerunner can be found here on flickr.

Color, Dazzle Me!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bundled Up Inside

Some days I just need to stay in and bundle up in bed. It must be said that I sometimes feel really guilty about this. Right now between school and two jobs, I'm feeling a little worn. I had conscientiously planned to spend the entire morning studying and working on a few projects that I need to complete for my classes. Instead, I haven't been able to pull my lazy self out of bed. I'm beginning to recognize that maybe I need a morning to relax and not think about school:) On top of all that, its bitterly cold outside. I cry not fair! It was in the 40's earlier this week...darn wind. Oh well-a good excuse to stay right where I am and enjoy some of my favorite aspects of a morning bundled up inside. Here they are:

Green Tea with honey! And in my favorite mug! Hooray. Specifically, its ginger green tea. When
I lived in Italy several years ago, my roommate Shin and I missed American coffee. So we had our own special mugs out of which we would drink stovetop espresso in mass amounts with lots of milk to simulate the taste of, well, something other than espresso. I'm not sure how well it worked, but it was fun to wake up with her in the morning, go to the kitchen and brew coffee together. This was my my favorite mug of all. A huge, warm cup of green tea with honey always makes me feel better, no matter how much time I have to spend in bed. 
That, combined with the quilt that my mom hand-made especially for me, is a great start to a morning of rest. 

Besides hunting for thrift and vintage items and sleeping, I also love to watch movies. There are always a few movies in my life that I can curl up with at the end of a bad day, or just when I need to turn away from my usual worries and just take time off. These are some of my favorites. Over the past two years, I've discovered the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski. I can watch Red and The Double Life of Veronique over and over again, and always discover something different, either in my reactions and emotions towards them or in the films themselves. Flower Drum Song is an old favorite that I've recently discovered. The 60's technicolor look of the film is fantastic! Not to mention the dance scenes. Amelie, well, I've seen it so many times that I could watch it without the sub-titles and know exactly what they're saying. I saw it eight times in the theatre...and the first time was in France. It has a special place in my heart. Enough said. 

If you're into old movies and have any interest in 40's fashion, To Have and Have Not is a must see. The chemistry between Bogart and Bacall is incredible and the dialogue is so edgy and oozes with sexuality, despite its lack of explicitness. Sometimes screenwriters found ingenious ways to get around the censors (see Double Indemnity if you have any doubt about that:) Last, but not least, is The Passion of Joan of Arc, a silent classic with an inspired (modern) soundtrack. As a disclaimer, its a really intense film. But its so worth it to see. The script came from the transcripts of Joan of Arc's trial-so the words were really hers for the most part. And its filmed mostly in close-ups, which weren't a commonly used technique at the time. Anyway, if you have any interest in the history or just in a unique viewing experience, check out this movie.

Another one (left out) is my favorite, The Philadelphia Story, but I don't currently own it. Frown, its a great movie. Oh! And Hannah and Her Sisters! Okay, I'm done,  no really:)

Mena Love

Another reason to stay in (and not feel guilty doing it) is that I get to spend hours with my cat, Mena. She's been with me for almost nine years now, ever since my parents called me to ask if I wanted a sickly-looking kitten that had been abandoned near their farm. It used to happen alot unfortunately. Luckily, my parents have big hearts and so over the years our house and the farm have become a menagerie of pets. Its not such a bad position to be in when you have the room:) So now when I take the day off and get a little time to myself, we keep up the tradition of curling up and taking naps together that last well through the afternoon. Sometimes she even reaches out with her little paw and rests it on my arm. Sigh.

Nightgowns and Sleep wear! Spending half the day in bed also gives me the chance to wear my new vintage nightgown all morning long! I have a small, but growing collection of Easter-colored nighties that are all sweet and diaphonous. (When I purchased this one on Wednesday, the girl at the counter asked me how many I own. I bashfully admitted that I have seven. She replied 'Oh, that's not a bad start.' Now that's what I like to hear:) I almost feel like Doris Day floating around in them in our bedroom. I figure, if I'm going to be a bum for most of the day, I might as well do it with style. Besides, my nightgowns make me feel pretty:) 

So that's how I'm spending my morning. Curled in my cave of a room with the lights low, a movie playing, my cat by my side, and green tea at hand. Now I think I might be ready to venture out this afternoon. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scarves Ahoy!

Today I decided to give scarves another go. I've seen alot of women wearing them this way on fashion blogs lately...especially alot of people on Face Hunter. I wasn't so sure if I could pull it off, but I liked the look alot. Today was another chilly New England day, so something a little extra around the neck was nice to keep me warm when I ventured outside. 

Hopefully soon it will be warm enough for Dan and I to start making expeditions to our favorite parks and gardens and begin exploring some of the historical sites we've wanted to visit since moving here. So here it is: I pledge to venture out of our room for picture-taking in the least sometime in the near-distant future. When its not quite so cold outside. Tisk, tisk...I'm hedging already:)

Scarf: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Dress: Thrifted
Cardigan: Anthropologie (sales rack)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ilsa, Ilsa, Ilsa!

Coat: Thrifted (altered by me)
Boots: Stonefly

Every year on Valentine's Day, my husband and I watch Casablanca and eat pizza. Its a fine tradition. Some years we go to see it at the Brattle Theatre, but this year we just stayed home on the couch, but watched it none the less. No need for purchasing cards that will inevitably be thrown away soon thereafter. No need to buy roses that will wilt and die. And best of all, no mad dash to the store to prove how much we love each other...because we show one another that every day. Instead we indulge in comfort food and one of the best Hollywood movies ever made. This year was no exception. 

As we were watching Ilsa and Rick engage in their ill-fated love affair, I started thinking about how much I looove Ilsa's look, and always have. I even realized that a thrift store coat (which I bought and altered last year) looks alot like the one she wears when she returns back to Rick's Cafe in order to explain herself on that first night in Casablanca. I think its mostly the strong shoulders in the coats and also the way they fit in the waist and then go a-line down to the knee. 

 Anyway, every time she walked onto the screen I couldn't help but think 'I really like her outfit!' No surprise. First of all, Ingrid Bergman was a beautiful woman. Second, her wardrobe was pretty darn sharp. So here's a tribute to Ilsa, Ingrid Bergman, and the studio designers at Warner Brothers in the 40's. Inspiration for any day of the year, but especially on Valentine's Day. 

Image of Ilsa from Casablanca came from Hollywood Picks the Classics: A Guide for the Beginner and the Aficionado by Afton Fraser (2004)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Variation on a Theme

Like most of the other fashion and vintage bloggers that I've discovered recently, I have a large wardrobe...mostly collected through vintage and thrift shopping over the past five or six years. I honestly try (most days) to wear a combination of garments that I've never before worn together. This (and the thrift shopping) is both what I love about my wardrobe and how I justify it to myself. I tend to get on specific the high-waisted skirts that I wrote about in my last post, but I always attempt to incorporate different items and take risks, depending on how I feel when I wake up in the morning and step into my closet. Some days it works out, other days it doesn't. Some days I feel like its worked out really successfully, while others may not be so sure. 

This morning I woke up determined to wear one of my two vests. This blue one was purchased (on sale, of course) at Urban Outfitters a few years ago (I also have a black, pinstriped one from J Crew, that I got for only nine dollars!). Ever since I saw Jolie Holland in concert late last year looking so cool in her fitted black vest, red blouse and form-fitting black pants, I've kept them on a very close back-burner. Anyway, I digress. I'm always trying to think of ways to wear them and this morning I woke up with my green skirt in mind. So here's a variation on the high-waisted skirt theme.

Vest: Urban Outfitters
Blouse: Thrifted 
Skirt: Anthropologie 
Belt: Thrifted 
Tights: grocery store
Boots: I bought them for cheap in Italy a long time ago

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but I love the 60's and 70's as fashion decades. I also really like the A-lines of the 50's (and own several 50's day dresses), but there's something about leather boots of any heel height and a high-waisted skirt. Or a polyester blouse in crazy colors...or a great polyester dress...I could go on and on! No, really...just ask my sister. I don't know, I pretty much love all of the decades, even those darned drop-waisted 20's skirts that I have so much trouble wearing, but most of all I love playing with color and trying variations that I've never thought of before. That's the benefit of having a large wardrobe isn't it? There are so many possibilities, so many options and so many opportunities to go shopping in your own closet:) Just writing about it, I can't wait to wake up and start all over tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams tonight and happy fashion adventures tomorrow everyone!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I've Got Norma Shearer on My Mind

Lately I've been infatuated with the high-waisted skirt look.  Ever since I wrote that entry about scarves, the image of Norma Shearer leaning against a wall has stuck with me. She's wearing what looks like a knit blouse over a high-waisted skirt and a skinny belt (not to mention a fabulous belt and an infectious smile). I'm still working on the scarves, but over the past few weeks I've been drawn to those skirts with, well, knit tops.

Top: Thrifted (Its my sister's:)
Skirt: Forever 21
Belt: Thrifted (The Garment District)
Boots: Stonefly

Sweater: Thrifted (GoodWill)
Skirt: Thrifted (Boomerang)
Boots: Stonefly
Tights: American Apparel

I tried the drop-waist look, but alas still think that it just doesn't look right on me. Maybe I just haven't tried the right combinations yet.  And when I wore a scarf to work the other day (layered over a long, thin sweater, layered over a dress) I got a weird look from one of my co-workers. I will keep trying though and eventually work those lovely items into my wardrobe more successfully. That's part of the fun, right? 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Once Upon a Time, on an Iridescent Evening...

...I made my way home in the snow, pausing to take in the allure of the night; stopping to appreciate the shimmering world all around me; taking a moment to let it melt on my tongue. Although sometimes I do curse the snow, at this moment, in this place that I now call my home, I found it reflected back to me all of the joy that I had in my heart and all of the magical, amorphous, mysterious possibilites that I believe exist in the world.