Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oooo, pretty!

I was checking out one of my favorite fashion blogs, What I Wore, and I saw a post about new designer Megan Nielsen's Spring collection. It's gorgeous! It's inspired by her love of vintage clothes, especially feminine stuff from the 60s and the 70s.

Like this dress, for example:
Gorgeous, isn't it? It's called the Sophia (all the pieces have pretty retro names). I think the pleats on the bodice are absolutely adorable; I'm a real sucker for pretty pleat details. I can see myself wearing this in a garden with a pale green cardigan, pretty flat sandals, and a string of pearls.

Anyone who writes a blog post sharing their favorite piece with a link back to Megan's website has a chance to win it! Here's hoping...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Photos of the day.

Building a blanket fort in the living room. Saturday January 9, 2010.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On fashion and consumption

When my future mother-in-law gave me “Funny Face” as a gift, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I saw what the film was about – Audrey Hepburn, an intelligent and intellectual young woman, is swept up in the tempting world of fashion. I was excited to learn something about how the two worlds could be reconciled: the purer virtues of knowledge versus the fun frivolity of fashion.
What I got instead was a film that glossed over the issue by creating a fashion-y love interest and a sleazy philosopher-villain. Sigh.
I spend a lot of time wondering about my interest in fashion, and how it fits into my world. My dad’s biggest hobby is thrift shopping, to the point that I have called him the Imelda Marcos of pants. He has owned literally hundreds of pairs of the things. I’ve inherited this love of thrift shopping. As a result, my wardrobe has a turnover not unlike a character on a TV show (though I do actually rewear clothing). It seems justifiable because the individual items are so cheap, but, over time, it all adds up: I’ve got a closet that’s nearly full and a wallet that’s close to empty.
Not only is this a bad thing from a financial perspective, but it’s also an intellectual dilemma. At school, I study international development; we talk about how countries all over the world change through time, and what that means. After years of study, I feel that I’m qualified to say that the current trends towards consumerism and materialism are unsustainable. If every country in the world becomes like developed countries are now, the planet won’t have the resources to support us all.
If we lived modestly, this wouldn’t be a problem. But we don’t. We live in a world of disposable items and quick obsolescence. Don’t like your current iPod? Don’t worry, there’ll be a new model next year. Your blender broke? It’s cheaper to buy a new one than to replace the single flimsy plastic piece that broke. Very few things are built to last, and we’re encouraged by the advertising industry to throw things away and start afresh. A prime example of this is, of course, the world of fashion.
But I love fashion. The excitement of a new dress or the thrill of the hunt on a sales rack or in a thrift store is a pretty great feeling. Even though I rarely buy things at full price, I am definitely contributing to the problem. So how do I slow down and tell myself that I don’t need a new cardigan to match that skirt? Do I give up caring about fashion altogether? It sounds a bit silly, yes, but for me it is a valid concern. What do I do? What about you?

Elaine, the budget-conscious fashionista helming Clothed Much, one of my favorite fashion blogs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

In this day and age...

I turned 23 a little under a month ago. I've had to take an extra year in my undergrad due to illness and lack of funds in my third/fourth years of school. I feel so insecure when I realise that I should be starting on my Masters', not still working on my undergrad, and I'm not even doing honours. Heck, some people even get their first degree done in three years!

As I sat on the bus headed to class this afternoon, Lily Allen's "22" popped up on my iPod. I was a fan of her first album, but I was a little late to the party on checking her second album "It's Not Me, It's You" out, and so I added it to my iPod rotation in hopes that I'd get gradually introduced.

When she was 22 the future looked bright
But she's nearly 30 now and she's out every night
I see that look in her face, she's got that look in her eye
She's thinking how did I get here and wondering why

It's sad but it's true how society says her life is already over
There's nothing to do and there's nothing to say
'Til the man of her dreams comes along
Picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age

She's got an alright job but it's not a career
Whenever she thinks about it, it brings her to tears
'Cause all she wants is a boyfriend, she gets one night stands
She's thinking how did I get here, I'm doing all that I can

Anyway, I wasn't sure what I was listening to when the song started, but when I heard the lyrics I found myself hooked. Lily Allen's lyrics sound like some of the songs I've written in the past, with some lines in particular standing out, and they got me thinking...

We are a youth-obsessed culture, and that really goes without saying. But I get the feeling that that doesn't just start at age 30. We're always being one-upped by those who are younger than ourselves. Maybe I've read too much into my copy of "Ender's Game", watching episodes of Naruto, reading about 12-year-old prodigies going to university, and seeing young kids using cell phones, but it's a worrying trend.

We're asking kids to grow up faster, and telling grown-ups they're inadequate because they haven't gotten a degree/married/chosen a career/had a baby/paid off their student loan/retired/bought a car/bought a house, etc. at as young of an age as they should have.

At the same time, we're promoting lifelong childishness or adolescence - bachelors having one-night stands and playing video games, for example. It seems like acting like a modern-day Peter Pan is de rigeur.

I need to think about this more.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photo of the day.

Happy birthday, honey. I love you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

to veil or not to veil?

I've been thinking a lot lately about wedding headgear. It's really easy to get caught up in the hoopla of pretty feathery flowery lacey tulley hair accessories. They're all expensive, though, so I'll definitely be making my own. But what will it be?

The thing I'm having the most trouble with is the idea of the veil. Is it unfeminist to wear one? Would I feel like I'm getting married without one on my head? Though that might seem like a stupid question, I have looked at pictures of veil-less brides and thought "She just looks like a girl in a white dress to me". Now, this isn't true of every bride sans veil that I've ever seen, but it makes me wonder.

I think it's time to consult Google. Here are some of the things that a wedding veil can be or represent; protection from the elements; protection from evil spirits (in ancient Rome, women wore bright red veils to confuse demons - I think this is awesome); and the bride's viriginity/protection of her modesty and purity (only first-time brides could wear veils, because they were virgins, and in pre-veil times women just wore their hair down to symbolise purity).

When the groom lifts the bride's veil, it means that he accepts her. This is why some feminists feel that the veil represents the man's ownership of the woman. A possible compromise to this is having the bride lifting the veil instead, meaning that the couple are equals.

This doesn't really solve a lot of my problem. Veils are worn for aesthetics and tradition now, and you can't really say which one is more significant. Some feminists wear veils because they just like veils. A friend of mine said that she wore her veil simply because she liked the idea of it scaring off evil spirits, and it made her feel pretty. Maybe I'm too concerned about fitting into one definition of "politically correct"?

I decided, on the aforementioned friend's advice, to try some veils on and see how I looked in them and how I felt. I looked through my wedding boutique photos. I tried on a few veils during that quest (and ended up with a dress from a thrift store - best $9.50 I ever spent). The first photo I found was in a cute-ish dress and an albow length, fairly standard white veil. I didn't look terribly impressed. However, in the photo of me in a simple dress and a cute birdcage veil, I look ready to burst into happy tears. I think I may have a winner...

What do you think, ladies and gents? To veil or not to veil? What did you do?
PS: I did consult my fiance on this, and he was fine either way, but did indicate that he thought I'd look lovely in a veil.