Sunday, July 30, 2017

Marvelous Marni

   To begin, I’d like to start with a comment one of my friend’s made to me.  We had been discussing clothes with a group of people when she nonchalantly mentioned that she was, “thinking of starting to wear her jeans like Rayna does.”  At first I was flattered that anyone would consider mimicking something my trainwreck mind concocted.  However, upon further reflection, I started to wonder, “what was so different about how I wear my jeans?”  Later I posed the ridiculously self-conscious inquiry of, “how do I wear my jeans different than everybody else?”  Her answer was immediate and emphatic.  “You you always cuff them at the bottom or wear them short."
   “Huh,” I thought.  I never considered this habit of mine to be something that was out of the ordinary.  In fact, all of the fashion magazines and bloggers have been doing this sort of thing for quite a while and I was simply following suit.  I always figured if it’s good enough for the heavy hitters in New York, its good enough for the hayseed likes of me in South Dakota.  However, I do realize that I’ve been donning this look for nearly four years now and fashion is a fickle thing.  I guess I just figured perhaps the ladies of the Midwest would start to eventually wear their jeans cropped and I would stop looking like the paranoid Doomsday lady looking to build an ark.
    I will state that when first introduced to the idea, cropped and cuffed jeans looked ridiculous to me as well.  A few years ago I remember my favorite fashion blogger announcing the, “baby bell bottom or cropped flair,” as the next biggest thing in fashion.  While I was mighty skeptical at first, this lemming couldn’t wait to jump off that cliff with her.  Unfortunately, no one here on the high plains had any knowledge of the baby bell bottom and people kept looking at me like, “why the hell is that Amazonian woman wearing such little pants?”
   While I’m aware that the cropped pant can’t last forever I admit that I’m going to ride this train until it totally derails.  One could argue there are many benefits to wearing your pants in this manner.  The first being it's a welcome distraction from the dreaded skinny jean.  While I’m wearing cropped flairs I have absolutely no concerns about how my thighs look.  Around here everybody’s too distracted by the question, “what’s up with short pants over there?”  The other benefit to this look is one can take any old pair of sloppy thrift store jeans and whack off the bottom cuffs in order to create a chic look.  There has not been a cheaper trend since Grunge…which by the way was another one of my deep fashion loves.  The last, and most important, benefit of wearing little pants is one’s ability to show off their shoes!  While I adore wearing bell bottoms and bootcut I despise how they hide my footwear. 
   Of course, it could be argued that this last point is also the ultimate downfall of the cropped craze.  While I’ve saved quite of bit of money in regards to purchasing denim I’ve justified way too many expensive shoe purchases simply because I’m confident I can display them properly.  The above photographs provide a perfect example of this.  I went insane one day and finally purchased a pair of Marni sandals that were on clearance.  While they make me near 7’ tall, they are one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.  In addition, when I put them on I know I’m wearing designer duds and can’t help but strut around a bit.  On the day I wore this outfit I walked into one of the local trendy boutiques and instead of the usual, “there’s short pants side glance,” I usually receive from the hipsters working there I got, “Wow, I love your outfit!”  That alone is worth designer prices.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Haute Out!

   It was just a few posts back that I proclaimed I was trying not to complain about the weather.  Of course the title, "It's Haute Out!" is proof that my word means little.  However, I believe my protests are justified.  I mean, come on people, it’s hot outside! 
   On the day I took the above photographs I was worried about showing sweat.  I want to elaborate that this concern is a big deal for me, considering I’m one of those freaks that does not sweat…like ever.  I want to note that this is a very physically unhealthy thing and not something to be desired.  I can also state it seems to annoy everyone around me during the hot summer months.  I can’t help but chuckle every time I think back to my days working at the greenhouse.  I would lament, "I was hot!," and then glance at my pissed off looking coworker who was soaking wet with sweat.  I remember him always ragging on the fact that, "Rayna does not stoop to sweating, she glistens."  
   While it appears to take the hubs of Hades for me to actually physically show I’m hot, I'll admit it takes barely anything for me to bitch about the weather.  Of course, I used to do a lot more complaining when I refused to bare my legs in public.  Yes, I was one of those.  I don’t think any skin above my ankles saw the sun from the age of sixteen to thirty five.  Honestly, just recently I’ve become comfortable with exposing my knees.  Today I question why I'm more confident with my thirty eight year old knees than I was when they were twenty four.  I guarantee my legs were better looking all those years ago.  Today I mourn the fact that my twenty-something self had such image issues.  Oh! if I’d only had the guts to wear one pair of hot pants!!!  Would my life have turned out much differently?  I’m fairly certain it would have, and upon further consideration it would most likely not have been for the better.  Of course, here I am bragging about showing off my knees when I’m wearing jeans in all the pictures featured in this post.  Okay, so old habits die hard.  However, on this particular day I was mentally scolding myself for not wearing my long shorts. 
   In addition to the weather being uncomfortable, I was attempting to find a new location for blog pictures.  I'd decided to drive to a rather industrial area of town in order to find a semi urban looking setting.  However, due to the blazing heat I decided not to venture far from my vehicle in case I temporarily blacked out and needed to crawl to air conditioning.  As a result, all of the pictures above were taken from locations that were very close to moving traffic.  Now nothing makes one feel like more of an idiot than taking glamour shots in front of strangers.  While I may no longer care what people think of my, “ugly,” legs I still seem to be concerned with their views on my sanity…which admittedly was questionable that day.  The only justification I have for my actions is, “Hey, I liked my outfit!”
   Luckily I not only survived the unrelenting heat, I did so without a hint of glistening to be seen in my photos.  Of course, I feel these images could have turned out better had I not chosen to take pictures in such a populated area.  I was self-conscious of the eyes of those driving by…actually I was more consciously paranoid by the other unbalanced individuals around me who were roaming the streets on such a dangerously hot day.  Come to think of it they didn’t seem to be sweating either.  Huh…uh oh…

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Art Intermission

   I admit I’m starting to feel a tad guilty about these, “Art Intermission,” posts.  In the beginning I originally defined, “Little House Of Haute,” as a fashion blog.  However, over the years it’s become painfully me and my poor readers…thank you again for subjecting yourselves to my pointless blathering…that this blog actually has very little to do with the topic of fashion.  In reality I'm a novice regarding this subject and am only an expert in trends that suit my personal taste.  Ironically this does not keep me from posting my ensembles all over the Internet.  In the future I hope the outfits of, “Little House Of Haute,” won’t appear too cringeworthy.  Just in case, I figure the, “Art Intermission,” posts may lend a bit of academic flair to an otherwise pretty juvenile collection of photographs. 
   In a way the, “Art Intermission,” images I’ve posted so far could still be considered personal style pictures.  In fact, each one of these images was originally intended to be regular style shots… “And they would have got away with it too, had it not been for that meddling weather!”  Wait…sorry I slipped into, “Scooby Doo,” mode there.  However it’s true that I'd planned the outfit in the picture above to be featured in my typical blog post format.  Unfortunately, the day I took this picture happened to be quite stormy, which was not at all compatible with the idea of a photo shoot.  Again I lament, “Damn meddling weather!”
   I guess the reason I have Scooby on the brain is due to the actual image that was created that day.  After taking one picture in my garage and then throwing in the towel…before I had to actually go fetch a towel, due to the torrential downpour…I started to notice how very detective...ish my ensemble appeared.  Obviously, I took that idea and ran with it until ultimately I'd created the above picture.  Upon showing this image to a friend she immediately stated it looked very, “Alfred Hitchcock.”  I was thrilled!  Leave it to me to think, “Mystery Machine,” when I should aim for, “Vertigo.”  Overall I’m quite pleased by how this image turned out.  In addition, I believe this altered picture transformed a rather, “Meh,” looking outfit into something a lot more interesting.  I see  this picture and wonder what mystery I’m trying to solve.  Then I suddenly realize the only mystery on my mind that afternoon was how to avoid getting my trench coat soaked while running to the front door of the coffee house. 
   This whole post really makes me wonder about the relationship between context and clothing.  Had I just photographed this outfit in my normal, "ho-hum," manner I would’ve never created a feeling of mystery.  However, give this lady an hour on her smartphone with an image and I can transform it into something with a backstory.  I guess the true mystery here is whether this story was created by the clothes or the ambiance.  Either way, lately these art images occupy more of my attention than my regular glamour shots.  I mean, who wants to settle for beauty when you could have baffling?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"I'll sleep when I'm dead"

   Well, it’s official.  I’m sick again.  Honestly, I don’t believe I’ve ever been ill this many times in one year.  The myth about working in childcare is true.  I work in a germ factory.  Thankfully it’s one decorated with drawings of Pokemon and cats.  I mean, how can that seem threatening?
   Despite the fact that I’ve not been feeling well, I’ve refused to allow myself to have a total collapse.  Basically, I took a vacation day to enjoy a three day weekend and I will not accept that I'm ill. I’m hoping this mentality won’t bite me in the ass later.  All of this reminds me of the words of a former coworker at the greenhouse.  This particular person was a veteran of the Vietnam War.  I had been complaining one day about the extreme heat we had to endure.  His response to me was, “You don’t know hot until you’re an eighteen year old sitting in the sweltering jungle sweating from heat and fear of, “Charlie.”  He elaborated by stating, “It’s all mental Rayna.  If you decide you’re roasting hot you will be.  If you decide you can’t survive something you probably won’t.”  From that day on I can’t help but think of my coworker each time my privileged mouth starts to state, “Man, it’s hot ou…”
   I titled this post, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” due to the fact I found the lighting in some of these images rather heavenly.  In addition, this title was inspired by a phrase my boyfriend utters constantly.  Ironically he is also a veteran, although he served in The Gulf War.  We always joke that when I was enjoying the luxuries of being an eight year old child he was off fighting a war…literally.  For anyone that knows him personally it’s no surprise to hear me state that Al works constantly.  He is one of those motivated individuals who defines a great portion of himself by the work he does.  He often states, “He has no idea what to do when he’s not working, and is not happy doing anything else."  I, on the other hand, am the exact opposite of this.  While I take pride in the work I do, I’ve never felt that any of my jobs defined me.  I’m a person who shamelessly loves her hobbies.  Without them, I would have no idea who I was.  In retrospect I have no clue which way of life is better.  In him I see an extremely successful, productive, and inspiring individual who is unable to relax.  Of course, then there is me who prioritizes creativity, introspection, and leisure time, but still has not formed a solid life plan.  Meh…tomato, tomahto...right?
   Lately, I’ve been trying to follow the wise words of these two men.  Instead of throwing in the towel immediately I’ve been attempting to push through and do things that would generally make me uncomfortable.  Already this summer I’ve attended my high school class reunion, gone to a few graduation parties, and socialized with friends more than once a week!  Like my coworker stated, I decided that I could, “survive,” these situations and I did.  Of course, in no way do I mean that last statement to belittle the experience he went through in the past.  I am well aware that anyone who has gone to war has endured things I NEVER could.  Perhaps that’s why I put so much weight in the words of these individuals.  Okay, well I see value to some of the words my boyfriend says.  Many of the things he utters are still stupid.  
   In addition, this weekend I took to heart my boyfriend’s catch phrase.  While I’m certainly not feeling my best, I decided to attend our beloved Brookings Art Festival.  Despite the fact that, “Man, it’s hot ou…” and I was fighting to breathe through humidity and mucus, I had a great day.  Al finally took a Saturday afternoon off work, and I sacrificed some comfort in order to spend some quality time with him.  Don’t get me wrong, my sacrifice was pretty small.  I walked away from that festival with some of the most legit 1970's vintage denim items I’ve ever seen!  I can’t believe I almost didn’t go!  For some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that Al’s words of wisdom where not meant to inspire me to push through the pain in order to shop.  However, maybe he could learn a few things from me as well.