Monday, 28 January 2013

"I think this is the best costume for today"


Confezioni Crosby Lookbook, F/W 2012.
Photos: Bill Gentle
Styling: Fanny Bostrom Gentle

This amazing lookbook has been around the internet and back, and I hesitated about posting it yet again here, but I simply cannot get enough of it. Give me the entire collection, or even these exact outfits (acutally, minus the white tights: I like the look on others, but ever since my mother pointed out they make my legs look like they're both in casts, I can't unsee it), and I'd wear them with pride and comfort. The settings show the promise of good food, drinks, and books, as well as quiet adventures that let you be home in time for dinner (and you know, a delicious dinner). Also, the model looks like a really cool girl whom I wouldn't mind being friends with, and she's seriously making me want to grab the scissors and get a fringe again.
It was incredibly cold out last week (-25 Celsius for most of the week), and I'm oddly getting inspired to actually make the most out of the warmest pieces of clothing I own instead of just giving up and piling on my entire collection of wool sweaters (which would, on second thought, probably be impossible). Quilted dresses, casual blazers, and rust/burgundy velvet everything sound like the best way to go.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Interesting Blogs: Collective History

Paris, 1910, par Roger Viollet
A scene from the rue Bonaparte during the Great Flood of Paris, 1910. The flood shut down the city’s basic infrastructure by Roger-Viollet. (photo and caption via Collective History)
One of the blogs I find myself visiting daily, and often on mutliple occasions, is the fantastic Collective History. It is frequently updated with vivid photographs accompanied with the background information that is so often lacking on tumblr, but that acts here as a daily historical research springboard for history passionates like me. Enjoy it here.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Shift dress project completed!

Favourite clothing items, mid-january 2013

Favourite clothing items, mid-january 2013
I also wanted to tell you about the shoes in this photo, but this post is getting quite long and shoe-heavy, so I'll keep that for another time.
Also: messy bedroom, oh well.
Favourite clothing items, mid-january 2013
Still unable to smile, but you probably wouldn't have smiled either if you had seen the state of my half-homemade tripod.
Favourite clothing items, mid-january 2013
"I should probably sit on that chair and look less ridiculous, but it wouldn't allow me to show off my dress/shoes/whatever properly."
Favourite clothing items, mid-january 2013
I finally finished sewing my first dress, the one I told you about here, and I couldn't be happier. The fit and cut are exactly what I was going for, actually perhaps even better. That type of mid-60s shift dresses is one of my favourites, but most of the ones I find are usually either too tight around the hips or too wide at the shoulders, so I'm glad to have managed to make a dress that not only applies to my aesthetic requirements, but that also fits well while being comfortable. The lighting in my house is not too good at the moment, but I just couldn't wait to show you my new dress. Yes, I'm just a bit too proud.

About a year and a half ago, Jessica was kind enough to send me a simple shift dress pattern. When I finally got around sewing the dress and setting up my sewing machine properly, one move later, I simply (stupidly) couldn't find it anywhere. I fortunately found a pattern (Butterick B5415) for a similar dress while visiting my hometown, and got to work as soon as I got back home. I pulled out some extra supplies from my storage trunk only to find... Jessica's pattern I had been looking for. So I ended up following a bit of both, cutting from the Butterick, and adjusting it (longer, slimmer sleeves, shorter length). Next time, I don't think I'll bother putting a zipper on it though.

I wore the above outfit on Monday, and it includes some of my favourite items as of late. Thick bamboo tights from American Apparel, a 1960s mohair cardigan/jacket from Local23 (I had been looking for one for quite a while), my new dress, my mother's old belt (which I wear almost daily), and probably one of my favourite thrift shop finds EVER, the green loafers (only worn inside for now, mind you, it's too cold out to wear anything else than boots).

Actually, I really need to tell you about those Moreschi olive green loafers.I found them at my favourite thrift shop which, in spite of all the great items it always contains, is usually not so good when it comes to shoes. I was a bit disappointed to see they were a size 5 1/2, but I decided to take them for the shop anyway, as they were too good to pass up. But then, they looked a tad bigger than a 5 1/2, so I tried them on: they fit perfectly and very comfortably my size 7 feet! They were simply very small men's shoes! They were priced at 20$ (not a thrift shop price at all, but you know how some charity shops have certain new items at higher prices?), and I thought it was still worth it: they were unworn, had a not-even-tried-on leather outsole, one of them was ever so slightly faded, but it was barely noticeable. Upon inspecting them further, I found the original price tag: 390$. And when I got to the cash register, I had this little exchange with the cashier:

Her: "Do they fit?"
Me: "Yes!!!"
Her: "Well, as long as you don't try and return them."
Me: "I won't!"
Her: "Ok, so they'll be 5 dollars."

As I said, best thrift shop find, ever.

I think that was my best charity shop experience so far, and that's a lot to say as my experience is quite extensive. If you don't mind my further bragging, I might show you other items I found in another post.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

High Standards

Track list:

1. Track 3, Joe Meek

2. For Your Love, The Yardbirds

3. Ode to the Wind, Danny and the Counts

4. Hey Joe, The Leaves (pre-dates the Hendrix version!!!)

5. I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), The Electric Prunes

6. Friday On My Mind, The Easybeats

7. Eight Miles High, The Index

8. You Showed Me, The Turtles

9. Summer Kisses, Winter Tears, Elvis Presley

10. You're Mine, The Bachs

11. Come On, The Atlantics

Here's a mix of tracks I've already posted about here, as well as fresh ones, and overall a list of favourite personal 'standards' I keep going back to.

Just a warning: the first track is recorded louder than most tracks (and features vocals by the tone-deaf Joe Meek, but that's another story), so I recommed you don't start it too loudly for fear of falling off your chair. Also, if you really like tracks 1 and 7, you can download the entire albums they are featured on for free over at the awesome FM Shades (here and here), where I found them myself.

Enjoy :)

Expected end of studies rant


***Before I start my complaint, here are some quick snapshots of my pet cat climbing the tree in my front yard.***

So, the New Year has brought quite a few changes with it already, leaving me to re-evaluate my academic future earlier than I had suspected. These changes are both welcome and worrisome, but I think they are needed for the time being and that I just have to figure out what to do with them and how to take the most advantage out of them. I recently (somewhat) quit my fairly longtime job, no longer working regularly in order to try and concentrate on my schooling, only to realise this could be my last semester, and that I could graduate this Spring if I wanted to. The thing is, I know I want to pursue my university education further, but I am unsure in which manner. I'm definitely not ready to go out and work right away (not sure I could do that with an undergrad in English Lit. anyway), and I'm at the point where I have to review my options. I could graduate this Spring, and go on to do a one year certificate in Translation, or I could take a few extra classes to either graduate in the English Honours program (and then attempt to go on and do a master's degree, and then...) or with a second major in History (to go on and do... I don't know).

I'm pretty sure everyone has to go through such a stage of indecision concerning their studies at one point or another, and I just feel like I have both too little and too many options opening themselves to me at once. I first entered my program with the intention of doing my best, as it was my first time going to school in English, but I have surpassed my personal expectations and the safety net of translation has gone from being my only career option to an option amongst many.

I've been wanting to write posts about lighter subjects for over a week, but I really needed to get this off my chest. I'm sharing this here, rather than confronting the matter only privately, because I feel I can benefit from as many pieces of advice I can find, so please do share whatever wisdom you may have concerning the matter and/or your personal experience concerning such life choices - it would be truly appreciated.

Also, if you have made it this far: Happy New Year! I'll be coming back very soon with a more interesting post, don't worry.