Friday, January 31, 2014

Wild child...

circa 2014
circa 2013
I received this amazing dress by Montreal design label Les Enfants Sauvages for Christmas last year.  I came across Marie-Christine's work at a craft fair and fell in love with the mix of demure 1960s cuts and bold African textile mixes. Above, you see me today, and in almost the same look from last January!  I guess I changed up my necklace at least. Oh, and I need to cut my hair short again- it's ridiculously long and unmanageable!  (plus I could totally use the lovely massage that my salon offers...)

Check out Les Enfants Sauvages on Etsy here.

Speaking of mixing prints and vintage clothing styles, I have to talk about the incredible textile installations of artist Yinka Shonibare.  Growing up between London and Nigeria, his work explores the complexities of colonialism and globalization through the Dutch wax printed cottons we associate with African prints but which have much more complicated global and colonial history (inspired by Indonesian batik and now primarily manufactured in Manchester for a Dutch company!) I love his sense of humour and audacious creations (some of the prettier, safer ones shown here), hearkening back to fraught historical moments and classic art-historical imagery.

Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis), 2011
Voila his take on Fragonard's titillating Swing from 1767, with the aristocratic lady's head already helpfully lopped off, post-revolution I guess.

This one, below, felt rather familiar to me... (from a hilarious experience `cycling'  a tightrope last Easter...which apparently I never shared.  nuts. bad blogger!)

Of course, those kindred spirits at Anthropologie have discovered him as well. I noticed in their instagram feed the other day that they are sponsoring his latest exhibition at the Barnes Foundation. Bravo!

Oh, and here's a fascinating story from Slate looking at the history of these fabrics.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

retro thoughts (put a bird on it...)

Hey, so just about exactly 4 years ago today,  I was messing around, trying to think of a title for a blog that might reflect some of my obsessions with fashion, vintage clothing and potential clothes-hoarding. The idea was to corral those fragmented thoughts about colour and texture and pattern, and maybe write a little something. 

Time has passed, my style has certainly morphed a little here and there (oops- totally became somewhat of an Anthropologie addict in the meantime), my hair has grown shorter and longer (like some kind of sad 'Bookstore Barbie'), and hey, I'm still a clothes hoarder! I still don't write in complete sentences (and alas, with a surplus of excessive hyperbolic punctuation...!!) I only get up in the morning in order to play with colour, deriving inspiration from anything from movie costumes (I should probably share those ideas more often) to book covers, and I have probably become even a little more lazy about posting and improving my photography (ugh- even worse today as I seem to have mislaid my camera). sigh.  4 years. Apparently this blog even predates 'Put a bird on it'.  That's wild.

J Crew boy shirt in bird print and vintage denim skirt
So, I may be a little leery of cutesy prints, but I do love a nice subtle repeat pattern.  I waited out this J Crew bird print until it was about 75% off, and now I hear they have a cat print blouse (not yet online_...I just may have to get my hands on that one too...) or this Peter Som dress I've been eyeing.  Camouflage cats, the cat lady's best friend. Meow.

Peter Som Cheshire dress at Anthropologie here
Thanks for following along!  I so appreciate all your feedback and thoughts over the years. I'll try and think of some appropriate way to celebrate soon!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

some knits...that is all!

Anthropologie Clara sweaterdress, J Crew buttton-down, F21 cupcake necklace
Knit dresses.  I've always appreciated the comfort and style, but man, when you're dragging yourself out of bed in the gloom of winter mornings, and trudging home in the darkness of near night...well, let's just say I've been wearing just these cozy knit dresses for months now!

Anthropologie Lousa dress
I'm often kind of lurking through the listings on Etsy, because there's nothing like a stretchy mod shift dress, but I have been rather lazy lately.  I'm very thankful for the above go-to pieces from Anthropologie.  Heck, people even ask if the green one is vintage.  Vintage pieces so often need some tailoring to fit (but then the below dress started life as an XL so I am also thankful for the ease of tailoring knits....)

Vintage knit dress, Anthropologie Marooner swing cardigan
Now, far be it from me to suggest that I might need to add any more dresses to my world but, um, if you know of any other great knit dresses out there, I may be in the market! Still oh so very many days of winter left...

And if you're looking for a great cozy piece, this Clara dress recently went on sale. Highly recommended!

Oh wait, lookee here what Etsy is offering.  Deeeeeelightful!  I guess you should look for this someday soon on this here blog....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tweedy lady (with vintage envy)

Ah, I'm afraid I've been dressing librarianly and vintagey for so long I no longer know what looks merely 'old lady' and what looks 'old lady style' anymore.  sigh.  oh well.  I like my downton-y tweeds and I guess that's just gonna have to do.  I'll throw on boots and skinny jeans from time to time to remind myself there are other more fashionable street style looks out there. (oh outdoors and natural light, I miss thy pretty picture-making qualities!)

Anthropologie Fringed Eliot cardigan, J Crew Mint stone necklace, Uniqlo cashmere tee, thrifted wool skirt, Chie Mihara shoes
Thankfully Anthropologie and my local Value Village second-hand shop supply me with the elements of both old-fashioned and new-fangled items. I always make a beeline for the skirts, hoping to find some nice long a-line wool skirts.  Especially since I have a colleague at work with the most gorgeous pinky-toned tan skirt.  I've been hunting for one in that tone for years, and finally succeeded last week!  It may not show in the pictures, but the tweed has a touch of pink and orange.

I also just found this cardigan in the sale room at Anthropologie- I love how it looks like one of those classic Chanel tweed jackets, but it's actually a super soft knit cardigan.  Now that's my style! Consider my vintage (and not so vintage) envy sated!

I guess while we're engaged in true hunting/shopping confessions, I also scored this amazing green cloche hat from the Anthropologie sale room.  Now when are the next Downton Abbey auditions happening?