weekend inspiration #3: ikebana

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Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, is a great metaphor for personal style, I think. You take natural ingredients and mold them into the desired configuration with the help of scaffolding, highlighting and obscuring different elements as you go, seeking balance and harmony. The end result is a unique, purposeful silhouette, natural yet unnatural, tailored to the flowers themselves as well as the environment.

Also I find them a compelling use of space, when I like them.

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weekend inspiration #2: closetvisit.com

If you are into women’s fashion, this site is so interesting to browse.

Different women† showcasing their favorite clothes and accessories, posing in various outfits and attitudes (usually in their homes).

I am fascinated by tiny details of the lives of others, and so am often curious to see how people arrange their living spaces, how they organize their belongings, how they display their treasures. A combination of images come together to narrate a style, and of course the items you choose to own can be telling. I like the idea of doing this myself. It would be a good exercise, just choosing the items I would want to share, and deciding for myself what some of my favorite options are.

†Mostly the kind of women who have a lot of clothes and quite nice houses, I guess not surprisingly. I like the idea of seeing a more normal subset represented, though (i.e. people who don’t own houses or designer clothes, but nonetheless have a purposeful and personal style), and don’t think I would find that any less interesting at all. I’d like to see the closets of men¥, too.

____¥ _The Closets of Men_ would be a great title, no?

*Unfortunately it is not possible to link to individual posts, they all come up as the same url.

winter chic: faux fur collar

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I have an extremely warm pimp-style coat for winter, with a broad shearling collar and wrist + hem accents but, for the most part, it hasn’t been cold enough to warrant it. My wool coat serves…does this mean I don’t get to have a massive fur collar?

Happily, it does not.

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v  (though it’s hard to believe, I actually wasn’t posing for this one)

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This one was solidly inexpensive and just what I was looking for. Like the idea of wearing it over a motorcycle jacket, too, but I haven’t found the right one yet.

Added monster pearl drop earrings for a look that is says… Anna Karenina.

Faux fur collar: eBay, pearl dangles: eBay, wool coat: Kenneth Cole, Celtic patterned acrylic scarf: gifted, leggings: Topshop (thrifted), boots: Sorel, legwarmers: who knows, gloves: Bon-Ton, alpaca muff: eBay, on the lips: Korres lip butter glaze in wild rose.

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P.S. Thanks to CPL for taking these shots.

classic: doc martens (vol i: winter edition)

When I (not infrequently) acquire something ostentatious, that wouldn’t seem to have many natural friends, I like to behave as if it goes with everything. And invariably, it then does.

I visited the Doc Marten’s site off and on for at least two years before deciding which pair to get, a pleasant, leisurely quest. It was down to a few styles, all quite different, and in the end (about three years ago now) I got these 14-hole boots with pink blossoms (plum, I’d say: a favorite) embroidered down the sides.

Doc Martens 'Liele' 14-hole boots

Doc Martens ‘Liele’ 14-hole boots

And, one way or another, they go with everything.

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shirt: Old Navy, cardigan: H&M (thrifted), knee socks: American Apparel, skirt: Lace Affair, braided belt: American Apparel

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dress: American Apparel, knee socks: American Apparel

dress: American Apparel, knee socks: American Apparel

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sweater: Motel (asos), jeans: American Eagle (thrifted)

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sweater: thrifted, jeans: American Eagle (thrifted), legwarmers: H&M

sweatshirt: thrifted, jeans: American Eagle (thrifted), legwarmers: H&M, belt: Fossil (thrifted)

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crafted: patched beanie

This generic stocking cap/beanie has been sitting in my closet for years, forgotten (why did I ever get it in the first place?), but I came across it on a bad hair day recently and what do you know, I like it. It has the effect [like baldness, or very short hair, or a swimming cap] of isolating and so throwing a spotlight on the face, which results in a whole new set of instincts about presentation. Namely, I want to wear unprecedented volumes of eyeliner.

After years of passively owning both the stocking cap and this cute little whale patch (which I think I got when I was 10 or so, and have somehow preserved all this time), I finally happened to think of them both in the same moment, gathered needle and thread (I sewed a thing!), and lo, a new and improved hat was born.

I inherited this thread from my great grandmother…

Theorize that part of me has the precise aesthetic appreciation of a little Korean girlchild*.

*Exhibit A: my current cellphone charm is a stuffed baby turtle:

stuffed baby turtles...what more is there to say?

stuffed baby turtles…what more is there to say?

I want to wear it all the time now, provided eyeliner. And black eyeliner, too, which I almost never wear. Like so:

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in zero

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in zero

I like accessories like this; something slightly out of my normal style range that inspires me not to look like myself and to experiment with entirely new patterns. Thus expanding my range and allowing for still greater expansion.

The only thing is, once I put it on, I am committed. Can’t really take it off…disaster underneath. [This is the trouble with hats, for me. Also my head is kind of big?]

Still, satisfying to have raised a dormant object up into a state of usability.