Sunday, May 31, 2015

Monkey See, Monkey Do

    Most individuals can define their heroes.  Some people look up to sports icons.  In passing, I've often heard names like LeBron, Durant, and Kobe while referring to examples of amazing athletic prowess. Of course, the only reason these names stuck with me was because I was informed that each one of these individuals have their own shoe line.  Now that's something to get excited about!
   Other types tend to have heroes of a more economic persuasion.  Oddly enough, this is not much different than worshiping the, "Sports Gods."  Word around town is they seem to do fairly decent in the money department as well.  At this point, I feel like I should probably throw out some references to multimillionaire athletes.  However, I just named the three I'm currently familiar with so that's a bit of a bummer.   
    So, moving on... then there are people like me who worship the, "arty," types.  Luckily, the world is full of creative people.  I've never had an issue finding talented individuals to look up to in the realms of music, art, and literature.  For this particular post I would like to focus my attention on one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Jane Aldridge, the creator of, "Sea of Shoes."  
   The thing is, I know very little about this style blogger's actual life.  She is not one of those writers that goes into great detail about her personal character.  She keeps her blog posts short and to the point of fashion only.  Sometimes, I wish I could be more like this type of style blogger. Unfortunately, (especially, for my readers), I tend to ramble off subject quite a bit and find myself using this blog as a platform for many odd topics ranging from my fear of the Ebola virus to the mice that ravaged my vehicle last winter.  Somehow, in my world, these topics seem to correlate well with the subject of style.  
   Anyway, returning to the true topic of this post, I have a deep respect for the fashion sense of Ms. Jane Aldridge, "Style Blogger Extraordinaire." Oh how I wish I would have had even a thimble full of her taste in clothing while I was in my twenties!  Instead at that time, I was sucking down many thimble fulls of beverages one may find in a crappy mini bar.  Ah, if I could only time travel back and change my priorities.  Who knows what kind of shoe collection I could have by now?  What I do know is what kind of shoes Jane Aldridge is wearing, as well as belts, bags, and stunning one of a kind vintage pieces.  Like I mentioned earlier, we all have our heroes.  These are individuals we aspire to be like.  If Jane says lime green is the new black, well then call me Kermit from now on.  
   Recently, "Sea of Shoes," featured a post declaring the collection of New Balance sneakers designed specifically for Bergdorf's department store Jane Aldridge's favorite comfy shoes.  This specific post featured several pictures of her frolicking around town in these little beauties.  All of a sudden this fashion blogger had the undying urge to strap on a pair of New Balance's and walk long as people could see me wearing what my favorite blogger endorsed. Sad, right?...WRONG!  Wrong, not because I had to have them out of hero worship.  Admittedly, that is all kinds of sad.   Wrong, because these are some of the comfiest shoes I have ever worn in my life! Finally, I can see why people feel capable of physical activity while wearing sneakers.  They actually make one comfortable enough to engage in sporty type behavior.  Who the heck knew?! ...and why didn't they inform us arty types?  So thank you Jane Aldridge for not just cluing me in to a super cute pair of shoes, but also for bridging the gap between the jocks and freaks.  There may be an extremely stylish future in diplomacy for you.     

Jacket:  Thirfted (Member's Only)
Shirt:  Dana Buchman
Jeans:  Kasil Workshop
Sneakers:  New Balance
Tote Bag:  Vintage (Guess)
Hat:  Olive Juice
Bracelet:  Vintage
Jane Aldridge's Sea of Shoes Blog:


Thursday, May 28, 2015

America's Next Top Middle Agester

   Not so long ago a good friend of mine asked me to model with her in order to advertise for her fabulous vintage clothing store.  (Insert sales pitch here.)  If you consider yourself a lover of fashion and are in the Sioux Falls, SD area, you MUST make a trip to ELOFSON.  Believe me ladies, no one else in town has this many unique treasures at such a reasonable price.  GO NOW, GO....
  Alright, maybe finish reading this post and then click over to her Etsy site.  I'm sure chances are the weather is pretty crappy and one may not be motivated to get off the couch.  No problemo, ELOFSON is considerate.  You can shop this store while watching garbage television like, "America's Next Top Model," from the comforts of your home.  Here, let me help you out with that  OK, now I promise I'm done promoting for the day.
   The reason I mentioned, "America's Next Top Model," is because the day I went to my ELOFSON photo shoot I found myself at home watching a marathon of this show.  It went like this, I woke up, ate my mandatory morning waffle, turned on the, "tube," saw it was on and thought, "Huh, I wonder if this can help me look like I know what I'm doing later today?"  Here is where I admit again that I am not a model, (as if anyone would really believe that I am).  I'm just a lady who really loves clothes and needs a way to justify her constantly growing closet.  A fashion blog just seemed like a really great reason to keep on shopping. 
   The day I went to model for ELOFSON I had mixed emotions.  I was excited to be able to try on all those fantastic clothes.  I was flattered to be asked to help out by someone who's opinion I cared about.  Lastly, I was a bit anxious that somehow I would blow it and look completely amateur in every picture.  I may take a lot of photographs of myself but that's just me at home messing around alone.  Take me out of my element and add other individuals into the equation and I start looking less like a model and more like a meat-head.  
   In my effort to look more professional, I watched that morning's marathon of, "America's Next Top Model," and thought, "I can be more expressive through the eyes.  I can move my body into more interesting poses.  I can be...can I even type it without laughing?...fierce."  The pictures above are some practice shots I took before going to my shoot, and the product of this thought process.  Some of these photographs really make me laugh.  My, "fierce," look just appears majorly pissed off, and, "more expression in the eyes," seems to have translated to the emotion of terrified.  The last picture of me wearing the scarf is my favorite.  Upon glancing at it now, I see a woman who looks kind of freaked out rather than deep and introspective.  However, I can state that it's a pretty accurate portrait of how I was feeling going into a real modeling project. Yep, freaked out sums it up.
   It turned out I had absolutely no reason to be scared of my photo shoot.  I had a blast posing for the store and even though I felt a little stiff at times modeling for a real photographer, I didn't break out in any crazy rash or suffer dry heaves so I count this experience as a score for me.  The last picture I included in order to show one of my favorite shots from the actual project.  I like to think it proves even a thirty-something non-model like me can pass as legitimate with the support of good friends and other talented individuals.  Also, if you find yourself needing someone to look really pissed off in a picture give me a jingle.  I seem to be pretty good at it.

Trench Coat:  BB Dakota
Jeans:  Liverpool
Boots:  Born
Scarf:  The Limited
Purse:  Vintage
Bracelet:  Thrifted
All Clothing and Accessories in Last Photograph Provided by Elofson:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Phew, for a minute there..."

   During my last post I mentioned how life in the spring is just a monotonous series of events that includes constantly going to work, increasingly bad hair, and impressive experimentation on what a grown woman can actually define as her evening meal.  What I'm saying here is time is of the essence when one is working what seems to be endless overtime.  It's these moments where creativity, especially in the kitchen, can be key.
   When I'm this busy I find it hard not to feel like I've somehow lost myself.  I'm an individual who takes pride in defining herself with her hobbies.  For example, I love to read fiction.  I am a bookworm.  I enjoy sewing.  I am a crafty type.  I'm fond of cooking.  Actually, I believe I may be the, "Casserole Queen."  Lastly, these days I find myself mostly writing.  Basically, a good therapist is too expensive so I opted to start this, "style," blog in order to ramble on about the stuff on my mind while showing endless pictures of me trying to look like the person I want to be.  In actuality, this blog has been a very effective way for me to have just a smidgen of control over my self image. Sometimes I look back and read past posts that literally, "crack me up."  This blog has made me realize that sometimes I think I'm pretty funny.  Whether others agree with this statement is really of no consequence because I'm not looking for others to define me.  I'm seeking my own personal definition of self.  Which I now believe is a Stephen King reading, tater tot hotdish slinging, narcissist wearing yet another amateur re purposed creation straight from her sewing machine.  See, all I needed was a little time on the computer keyboard to work that definition out.
   I named the title of this blog post after a Radiohead lyric that goes, "Phew, for a minute there  I lost myself, I lost myself."  I've always felt very connected to this lyric and the idea of the sudden realization that one can get swept up in the day to day grind and loose what is constant and true about themselves.  I must state, I've always hated loosing things.  It brings a real sense of anxiety to me. For example, I lost the brooch I'm wearing in the above photographs for a whole year once.  I had worn it while going to an outdoor art festival with friends.  Upon arriving home I realized it was no longer pinned to my button down shirt.  I remember being super frustrated by this and decided to immediately rip apart my shirt and transform it, via aforementioned sewing machine, into a pretty impressive headscarf.  Writing this now, I anticipate people may think this to be odd behavior. I suppose I should admit it is totally possible that I had decided to transform the shirt before noticing the missing brooch, but that just doesn't make as good of a story.  Anyway, I mourned the loss of my missing item for about a week until I moved on to whatever new, "crisis," came my way.  About a year went by (we're talking seasons of rain, sleet, snow) and one sunny day a maintenance man brought it to my door saying he found it laying in the yard and thought it might be mine.  I couldn't believe it!  There it was, a little tarnished, but as I remembered it. Sometimes this is how I feel about myself.  So this time, I decided to take some pictures of myself and the brooch.  Now, a part of me feels like neither one of these things can ever be totally lost.

Blazer:  Ann Taylor
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Boots:  J. Jill
Purse:  Frye
Brooch:  Thrifted (then lost, then gifted back by a nice stranger)
Rings:  Spoon Ring:  Costume Ring:  Thrifted 
Sunglasses:  Vintage
Radiohead's, "Karma Police":

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Against the Wind"


   There are times in every individual's life where each day seems like an uphill battle.  For those of us employed in the green industry that time is usually about now.  It is this time of year that I reluctantly wake up every morning to the obnoxious sound of my alarm clock informing me it's time to start the, "same ol', same ol'," all over again.  I literally sit bolt upright in my bed every morning thinking, "What day is it?  Am I late for work?"  Of course, I eventually remember the day and upon doing this envision it written in perfect cursive font across the bottom of my disheveled, still in bed, image. Monday, it says and I'm sitting bolt upright in bed.  Tuesday, it says and I'm sitting bolt upright in bed.  Wednesday, it says get the picture.  Yep, in the springtime I'm basically living in my own version of the movie, "Groundhog Day."  Actually, defining this in print makes me realize I should have changed my alarm ringtone to Sonny & Cher's, "I Got you Babe," years ago.  I mean, why fight it?
   What I'm getting at here is at this time of year my life is a series of events that includes;  wake up with increasingly hideous hair, fight droves of impatient customers all day long, try to figure out if one can actually make a meal out of fruit cocktail and pretzels, watch half and hour of 80's sitcoms before I pass out from exhaustion only to do it all again in the morning.  While I have to admit that I do love my job at the greenhouse, I also need to clarify that I don't always love it enough to give up my whole identity.  Unfortunately, like most working adult Americans today, I too have found it hard to balance my hobbies and daily work routine.
   About a month back I was able to find a little extra time to attend a Bob Seger concert.  I figured this was about the best reason I was going to get to skip my nightly episode of, "Family Ties," before bed.  I have to state that, "Boy, was I right!"  This concert was fantastic.  I couldn't believe how great Bob and his band sounded.  Not only that, but his stage presence was truly a joy to watch.  The man couldn't have looked happier doing what he was doing...what he has been doing EVERYDAY since about 1960!  It was impressive to see someone enjoying themselves so much at a job that is much more demanding than spending a couple of months slinging plants to the public.  I left this concert feeling inspired.  I went out those event center doors feeling like the mayor of, "Mainstreet." I had, "Night Moves," damn it!  Actually, I was just coherently moving at night which hadn't happened in a while due to my usual 9:30 PM  bedtime.  Basically, Bob Seger gave me my social life back along with the much needed reminder to, "roll with the punches."  Even if it feels like waking up to the same uppercut every day.  
   The day I took these pictures I was still feeling the effects of my positive evening with Bob Seger. Instead of counting down every hour of precious free time on my only day off, I actually enjoyed my time.  This day I spent serious minutes on the mundane things.  I woke up slowly without that immediate feeling of dread.  I actually BRUSHED my hair, went to the grocery store, and simply sat in the quiet of my backyard away from all the chaos of the world of retail.  I look at these pictures now and I want to thank Mr. Seger for reminding me that work doesn't have to suck because life includes many other things.  I hope to remember that we are all fighting, "Against the Wind."  Being the southpaw that I am, I figure that gives me somewhat of an advantage.

Jacket:  Gap
Skirt:  Vintage (Handmade)  
Boots:  Vintage
Purse:  Lucky Brand
Sunglasses:  Versace
Bob Seger's, "Against the Wind":   

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Doing the Hoochie Gucci

   Some of my favorite fashion photography is represented in the Gucci Fall 2008 Campaign.  For this particular post I decided to feature some of these mesmerizing shots.  I want to clarify that I realize there is endless editorial fashion photography out there.   One could argue that the above photographs I've chosen to covet are far from artistically groundbreaking.  With this being stated, I feel the need to justify there is so much, "greatness," with the above campaign it's a shame not to give credit where it is most certainly due.
   To begin, the clothing featured in these pictures is outstanding.  I mean come on, it's Gucci.  Duh! However, I want to concentrate on the genius way this line was marketed.  Obviously, this collection was heavily influenced by Bohemian culture.  Not only am I always a sucker for the, "Boho," vibe, I find myself entranced by the trippy, dippy, gypsy cult way it was represented here.  Do I look at the above pictures and believe these women belong in these clothes?  Yes!  Can I imagine the possible illegal substances that may have been engaged in before these shots were taken?  Yes! but for Gucci's sake lets just say these pictures were taken in Colorado.  Do I think these ladies are dancing to Jefferson Airplane's, "White Rabbit," while possibly sacrificing an actual white rabbit?  Yeah, I'd buy that.  My point is the Fall 2008 Gucci Campaign is not only this hippie's dream, it's her nightmare!
   My favorite part about these photographs is the eerie undertone I get that something just ain't right. When you strip it down these are simply pictures of women in fantastic clothes dancing in a field. However, when one looks closer, this blogger can't help but get an uneasy feeling.  Like most fashion photography the models have a vacant look in their eyes.  In addition, they seem to have a cultist attitude in their appearance and posing.  At the same time, each woman appears completely unaware of the presence of her peers.  It's like she fell down the rabbit hole of her mind and may never get out. One can't help but question, just how long have these ladies been in Colorado?  
  All of these elements combined with the rather goth-like makeup and at times extremely awkward poses makes me positive there is only one explanation for what is happening in this field.  Zombie gypsies!  These women aren't alive! They're too ridiculously cool to be human!  I guarantee if I had any one of those handbags on my arm I would have the stupidest grin permanently plastered all over my face.  I wouldn't even begin to be able to, "hear my inner drum circle," because of the question, there are how many studs on her belt?!  Not to mention, if I found myself in a field with these beautiful stoners I would patiently wait until every last one of them passed the heck out.  Then guess who would be sporting her fabulous new brocade coat on the jaunt back into Denver proper?  People don't do drugs while wearing Gucci.  There are predators out there.
  In conclusion, I love this Gucci campaign.  While I was photographing the pictures of myself above I decided to try some of my own awkward posing.  While the last picture of this post is interesting it obviously lacks the artistry that only Gucci can provide.  However, everyone is influenced by someone.  I feel safe in speculating the photographer for Gucci was at one time a fan of Beck's music.  I mean, who doesn't like a, "Nitemare Hippy Girl?"

Vest:  Guess
Shirt:  7 For All Mankind
Jeans:  Liverpool
Boots:  Ugg
Necklace:  My Grandpap's dog tag
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Cole Haan