Monday, January 31, 2011

feet on the ground, head in the sky

dress: thrift -- shirt: thrift -- shoes: thrift -- cardigan: thrift

Today's one of those days when I just don't feel like writing much. I'm a little overwhelmed by the amount of work I put off this weekend that I need to do.

It was actually super rainy yesterday. You'd never guess it looking at these photos. I even had to take off the tights I had on earlier because it was too warm. Gosh, I love the collar on that shirt. It's wonderfully exaggerated.

Today's title comes from Talking Heads -- This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody). I keep waiting for Talking Heads to get old, but they never do. I wish I could have seen them live! I listen to their live albums more than their studio recordings. Oh well!

Friday, January 28, 2011

new haircut debut and my first ever OSS video!

Hey guys! I finally got my hair cut today :D What do you think?

I also made a video so I could show you around my room :) The outfit's in the video. Hope you like it!

Apologies for the Cloverfield-esque camera work.

Thanks again for all of the amazing comments on my last post. It was great seeing how many other people know just what I'm talking about. You are all the best!


Monday, January 24, 2011

an outfit and a blogistential crisis

First, today's outfit to start us off and then some blog-navel-gazing. The absurdly warm weather continues to persist, much to my delight.

oxford shirt: thrift -- shorts: thrift -- shoes: Urban Outfitters clearance -- suspenders: thrift -- earrings: Target, gift from Alex

One of the first pieces of advice that I read as a new blogger was "leave comments on other people's blogs." I took it to heart, and watched my traffic and comments increase. I sought out blogs like crazy, leaving enthusiastic comments with a level of detail that demonstrated that I had actually read the post and not just looked at the pictures.

Since then, I've watched my readership increase. Sometimes steadily, sometimes rapidly, and sometimes at a slow trickle. Lately, it's been that slow trickle, and I think I know why. That whole commenting thing? I've totally fallen off the wagon.

Every time I open my Bloglovin' reader, I'm greeted with "200 unread posts," give or take fifty. I have my "dailies" category that helps narrow things down, but it's always a Sisyphean task. The comments I leave aren't nearly as involved, either, and I think it's because I just can't possibly ever keep up with the number of blogs that I follow.

I'm a full-time student at a demanding university; I co-teach a class (one that you get actual credit for); I have weekly chores and tasks for my co-op house; I do all the reading for my classes; I sleep seven hours a night; I'm in a long-term serious relationship; I spend time with my friends; I go to yoga; I work four hours a week; and I have appointments, meetings, and errands every week. (Although I have to admit, that against many of my peers, I'm not even that busy.)

It's really, really hard to find time to blog, and it's even harder to find time to comment on other people's blogs. I love blogging for the community it gives me. I love reading other people's blogs. I keep blogging, even though it's totally insane for me to do so, because it's something I enjoy. It's a leisure activity. It relaxes me.

That said, I've gone from four outfit posts a week to three, stopped holding myself so stringently to my weekly feature, and cut down dramatically on the amount of commenting I do. I still can't keep up.

So what's a lady to do? I want to increase the readership of my blog, but that requires seeking out other bloggers and making connections. I don't mind that, I just don't have the time.

I think that it's worth more to have blogger-friendships than to have 400 followers who leave comments like "omg cute dress love it" if they comment at all. Not to say that those comments don't make me happy, because I still treasure every comment and marvel in the fact that anyone reads my blog. But those comments just aren't as meaningful as the ones that show a little bit of interest and time and kinship.

I entered the new year with the grand ambition to dramatically increase my readership here to the point where I might start to be able to sell sponsorship space. I figured that if I could make enough money blogging, I wouldn't have to work at my already minimal job, and could cross one commitment off of my litany of weekly tasks.

I don't think that's going to happen. It seems to me like explosive popularity is by and large random, and I like to think that I'm not blogging to be popular.

 I'm blogging because I love style, thrifting, writing, and discourse. I'm not always going to be on top of comments, and there are times when it's even difficult to keep up with outfits. It's corny and a little weird, but I really treasure the friendships I've made through blogging. You all inspire me so much.

Friday, January 21, 2011

dressed like that, you must be living in a different world

shirt: thrift -- cardigan: thrift -- shorts: thrift -- shoes: thrift -- sunnies: small town county fair -- earrings: random vendor outside my school's bookstore (her business model is everything is $2. Geeeeenius.)

I spent the afternoon with Alex today, which was lovely! We went for a drive around San Jose, and he pulled over at this great sixties-built church for some photo-taking. It reminded me a lot of the pictures I've seen of Palm Springs architecture, and it seemed like the perfect SoCal-esque backdrop for our SoCal-esque weather.

Everything I'm wearing in this outfit was all purchased from different 50% off thrift store sales. I think that makes the grand total $9, $15 with the sunglasses and earrings. Take that, Urban Outfitters! (Or, as Alex calls it, "the store for people who haven't discovered thrift stores." That said, he buys his Levi's there and I sometimes buy stuff on sale. Ok, and I bought some Levi's there recently, too. Hypocrisy!)

My legs are SO pale. It's like I have on white tights.

Alex descends into the picnic gazebo thing in one of our favorite city parks.

We don't kid around. Wait, all we do is kid around...

One of the best things about this park is that it's adjacent to this teeny random thrift store that's part of a Catholic school/church. It's open for about four hours a day, so actually making it inside is always an event. They were having an "everything's a dollar" sale, so I picked up a really cool sixties beach cover up/dress thing and a really cool sixties blouse/tunic/thing.

My haircut is in exactly a week, and I can't wait. It's way, way too long/fluffy right now. Gonna get a Jean Seberg pixie!

It will be the baldest I have ever been since I was a baby!

A couple of you asked about photo-taking in my last post. Well, the answer to that is somewhat complex. Since starting this blog in late August, I've posted outfit photos from at least six different cameras. I have a little point-and-shoot, which is what I usually use. If I have a DSLR checked out from my school, I like to use that. If I mention that Alex took the photos, he took them on his DSLR, usually.  Alex can't take my photos most of the time since we live about 30 minutes away from each other and really only hang out on weekends. Most of the time, I just use self-timer and a tripod, no remote.

Today's title comes from The Undertones -- Get Over You, a super fun punk/new wave gem.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

just saying it could even make it happen

dress: vintage -- shoes: BC Footwear via Nordstrom Rack -- jacket: Levi's clearance -- tights: Target, gift from my sister <3

Can you tell how happy I was when I took these? I came back to campus after an appointment, and the sun was out and the grass was green, and I saw a weird little road leading into the middle of the expanse of grass with eucalyptus and oak trees that you see in these photos. It just put me in the best mood :) I totally sketchily parked my car in the CONSTRUCTION PARKING ONLY zone, shot some photos, did some dirt-road-driving to turn my car around, and exited the area just as a campus sheriff drove down the road I had parked on. Win!

After seeing so many gorgeous 50s dresses on bloggers recently, I was taken with quite a 50s dress jones that I couldn't seem to shake. Two weeks of waffling later, I decided that I should just buy the thing since I hadn't lost the impulse. I found it at my favorite vintage shop for $32, and that's on the more expensive end of their price spectrum. This dress is so amazing. It fits as if it were tailored to me. Nothing's too tight, too short, or too long. It's juuuust right! I think that at $110, this is the most expensive outfit I've ever worn on the blog, excluding ones that include my leather jacket. Not bad, eh? I may spend way too much time on clothes, but at least I don't spend way too much money.

I've been hearing Florence + the Machine -- The Dog Days Are Over on the radio, on friends' stereos, and in stores a lot recently. I like the song, but it always just makes me want to listen to Kate Bush, whose song "Cloudbusting" supplies the title of this post. That particular tune probably isn't the best intro to Kate Bush, so I'm posting the really cool video for her super-catchy song "Hounds of Love" instead.

I noticed I've been listening to music by women a lot recently. Joni Mitchell, Best Coast, Patti Smith, Kate Bush, and Beach House. There's something very refreshing about the female perspective since so much of the stuff I listen to (probably 85% or more) is by men.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Photo Sunday, Monday Edition: Alejandro Chaskielberg

There are few photographers whose work has ever had quite as strong an immediate impact on me as that of Alejandro Chaskielberg.

All of these images are taken from his series The High Tide, which focuses on the indigenous Guarani people in the Panara River Delta of Argentina.

I particularly enjoy Chaskielberg's work because he cleverly manipulates analog methods to create the effects you see here. Using a 4x5 view camera, Chaskielberg manipulates the focus and angles of his picture to create a surreal sense of scale. He supplements dramatic night-time lights with flashes. The only post-camera aspect is the increased color saturation.

Oh, and did I mention that he's only 33?

I'm not usually much of one for photojournalistic photography, but Chaskielberg's work is something special because it transcends simple documentary-style images. He creates art that stands on its own away from its socio-political context and implications.

I accidentally closed the browser window that had all of the tabs for the sources! Oops. All of these images are the property of Alejandro Chaskielberg, and I probably shouldn't be posting them at all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

i don't mind dressing in green if i thought that you'd understand what i mean

Spent a beautiful afternoon taking photos with Alex in the park. It was CRAZY warm today. 65 degrees warm. What a treat! One more reason to love the South Bay.

I love when everything is green! The hills all turn brown in the sun by May, normally, so there's a very brief window where things are all bucolic and verdant like this.

On me: skirt: thrift -- top: thrift -- jacket: thrift -- shoes: Jeffrey Campbell / On Alex: cords: Levi's -- sweater: thrift -- shoes: thrift -- hat: Scala -- jacket: Vintage Members Only, thrifted

Today's title comes from The Soft Boys -- There's Nobody Like You. The Soft Boys are a really amazing, influential, and sadly under-appreciated group from the seventies. I strongly recommend their album Underwater Moonlight to any fans of post-punk and 80s alternative!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

you just haven't earned it yet, baby

skirt: thrift -- blouse: thrift -- shoes: BC Footwear via Nordstrom Rack -- tights: Payless shoes clearance -- cardigan (below): thrifted

Sporting my newly-thrifted skirt, which I made mine for $4 and change. I really like it because it's quite fun and funky without being too over-the-top. And dig the weather! I wasn't cold at all while taking these photos. Gotta love the Bay Area.

I'm sorry to be such a poor blog-reader recently. I barely have time to write my own blog at the moment. I've been especially booked this week with attending meetings, finishing up some personal tasks, and getting all adjusted to my new academic schedule. I also spent a lot of time doing yoga this week. I've done yoga many times in the past, but I haven't ever taken any classes here at my university. Unfortunately, both of the instructors I've tried out thus far weren't quite jiving with what it is that I want to do in or derive from a yoga class. Nevertheless, they've really whetted my appetite for yoga, and for that alone I am glad I spent the time and money. Now to find the right class!

Anyway, I was feeling silly this afternoon while taking my photos. Observe.

Busting out a modified tree pose. Somehow pinning my heeled shoe against my thigh just didn't seem appealing.

Impersonating an airplane (or an albatross!).

My attempt to get into eagle's pose before the self-timer clicked.

Mood swings. I love that cardigan I'm messing around with. I bought it for $1.50 at the Salvation Army in senior year of high school, and I've worn it way more than I should ever since.

I think I'm going to try putting my tripod much lower to the ground and see if that helps with the blurred-shoes-thing. I noticed that all of the ones where my shoes are in crisp focus were ones where I rested the camera on a random low wall or something. Hmmm.

Today's song title comes from The Smiths -- You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby. (In case it wasn't already clear, I'm totally obsessed with The Smiths.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

apples and oranges

jeans: Levi's -- top: thrift -- blazer: found in costume closet -- shoes: Pour la Victoire via Loehmann's -- cardigan: Delia*s clearance

I wish today's photos had come out better! I was in a rush to get to class, and I wasn't nearly attentive enough to the exposure settings. Ah well! It also drives me crazy how my (point and shoot) camera always makes my shoes blurry. Grr.

Anyway, I love the colors in this outfit. Lucky magazine was talking about pairing pale pink with orange, and I thought that sounded like a really dandy idea. I topped it off with cognac shoes and this amazing blazer I found in my school's costume closet when I directed a play in my senior year of high school.

The blazer fits me perfectly and seems to be a real work of craftsmanship. It has great details like this striped lining in the sleeves and red piping where the lining meets the wool.

It was also made in the city where I live!

Thanks for all of your congratulations on my last post! I really appreciate it :) I'm sorry if I've been a little slow on responding to comments--school's back in session, and my life is back to its usual over-scheduled pace. Hopefully I'll get into the swing of things.

Today's post title comes from Pink Floyd -- Apples and Oranges. Syd Barrett forever!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i'm in the new york times online and photo sunday!

First things first...

...that's me! In an all-thrift look I styled for a photoshoot for the New York Times! I've been wanting to share this with you guys for so long. Back in November, my friend Alok invited me to participate in a shoot that our school's Sustainable Fashion Collective was doing for a New York Times feature piece about sustainable fashion on college campuses. I lent a lot of clothes to the group and modeled for the shoot, and I was lucky enough to make it into the online feature. Best of all, I'm wearing the top that's pretty much my favorite shirt ever :)

I can't thank Alok or the Sustainable Fashion Collective enough for getting me involved. It was a really wonderful, fun experience. Major props to our photographer, a fellow student Kris Cheng.

And now onto Photo Sunday. I thought that today, I'd share some of my favorite photographs, all by different photographers. I left out ones by people I've already featured in Photo Friday/Sunday, but their work would all definitely be here otherwise.

Edward Weston
Charis Wilson, 1937
This photograph is one of the dozens of unforgettable images that Edward Weston and his muse/model/wife Charis Wilson created together. I believe that it's a photograph taken during the time they spent touring the States and making photographs for a Guggenheim Fellowship. There's just such an obvious connection between Charis Wilson and Edward Weston that comes across in this photograph. It's as if you can see all of their relationship just in her expression. Some of my photography teachers were actually friends of Charis Wilson, having met her because she spent the second half of her life in Santa Cruz, which neighbors the San Francisco Bay Area to the south. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 95. By all accounts, Charis Wilson was a beautiful human being in all senses of the word. A documentary about her and Edward Weston, Eloquent Nude, is definitely worth watching.

Alphonse Mucha, 1908
I only know about this photograph because I bought a postcard of it at the Metropolitan Museum when I was 13. I don't think I even saw the print itself. I love the juxtaposition of the gazing woman and the sleeping man. It's a sort of unfamiliar visual scene, but I always have such a strong impulse to figure out what the model must have been thinking. It's corny, but you can really see something behind her eyes, can't you?

Peter Hujar
Candy Darling on her Deathbed, 1974
I first saw this photograph as the cover of Antony and the Johnson's album I Am a Bird Now. Candy Darling was a Warhol Factory superstar, a transwoman who delighted everyone with her beauty. And that's her Lou Reed sings about in "Candy Says." She died of leukemia in 1974 at age 29. All of her grace and all of her sadness come across in this image.

Man Ray
This is probably the first photograph that I ever really fell in love with. I'm not sure I'd find it quite so impressive now as I did when I was 13, but I can still look at it for a long time. I think Man Ray singlehandedly created my artistic interest in creating surreal images.

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
This photograph is from 1909. That's right. 1909. Full color. Prokudin-Gorskii essentially invented the Technicolor process. I think the process of this image is what really fascinates me, but the composition and colors and expressions themselves would make it a standout even with today's technology.

I hope you liked seeing this little smattering of photographs! It was a lot of fun to put together.

On the subject of photography, RosieGlow is having a camera necklace giveaway! It's SUCH a cute piece :)