Bigger and brighter
The other night I was hunting around for something to wear to dinner with friends (cupboard full of stuff, something like 70 pairs of shoes, an even higher number of earrings, so no idea why I can never find anything) and decided to go for a $1 pair of ex-army pants and a $1 beige knit top with $7 brown heels and $2 bronze earrings. I was running late as usual plus my camera is crap at taking night photos, so I don’t have evidence to the contrary, but I like to think I had a sort of minimalist chic look going on. Arriving at friend no. 1’s apartment, though, I was told I looked like an OL (Japanese for “office lady” = a nice way to say ‘boring and conservative but neat and tidy’) and asked if I was going for a job interview or something (hardly likely at 6pm on a Saturday). Then later at friend no. 2’s place several people told me they’d never seen me look less ethnic, which I took to mean “OH MY GOD HAS AN ALIEN SHAPESHIFTER INVADED YOUR BODY?” as I obviously did not look myself. So if I am to master this minimal look which is apparently sweeping the fashion world it looks like I still have a way to go. In the mean time, though, normal broadcasting has resumed… in keeping with my usual purchasing patterns, this skirt was second-hand (sometimes I call it ‘vintage’ when I want to sound posh) but in a shock departure from my habitual tight-fistedness, this cost SEVENTY DOLLARS (or thereabouts… not sure as I bought it years ago in Tokyo, and who knows what the yen-AUD rate was then). This rare burst of extravagance was brought on by the veritable riot of colour, pattern and decorative studs on what was once a long skirt – I don’t really do ‘long’ so I cut it to make it a knee length skirt, and then because I can’t leave anything alone for five minutes I had to fiddle with it some more so that I could wear it as a mini-dress. I used the cut-off part from the hem to make an insert and some straps, which, with the help of some press studs, attach to the inside of the waist band. Not the most professional of jobs and I have to be careful not to breathe in and out too much because otherwise the straps just pop off… but meh, inhaling, exhaling, I can wear other stuff to do that sort of thing.
As for the accessories, I’ve just realised you can’t really see the jewelled cuffs that I bought for $5 each somewhere in New York to go specifically with this dress, but just imagine bronzey coloured cuffs with colourful plastic gems stuck on them and you’ll get the picture (classy description, no?). The yellow necklace was a birthday present from the abovementioned incredulous friends, and the gold one is actually a big brooch that I’ve clipped on to a gold chain, I think each piece was a few dollars at Japanese flea markets. The earrings… can I brag a bit? They were a dollar or something at a Tokyo flea market but Anna Dello Russo has complimented them – even though I was sitting in a room surrounded by fashion editors wearing Prada, Gucci, and all that jazz. Don’t you love it when that happens!?
The bag, as you can see, was made from the leftover bit of hem from the skirt, sewn on to a remnant of orange obi fabric. Then I painstakingly pinned strands of chunky wool between the layers of material so that it looks like lots of dreadlocks hanging off the bag. People either love or hate this one, I personally have a bit of a thing for dreadlocks so I love it, but most guys don’t seem to get it. Kelly seems to like it, but knowing what other things she likes to sniff, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Wow, that is super gorgeous and the jewel colors look amazing on you! You've brightened up my Monday!!!
Stay with what suits you, even if it restricts your breathing – your body will adapt! That shade of red (tomato? paprika?)looks great on you. Wear it every day as part of the experiment! That bag's amazing as well – would never have thought of doing that with the wool.
Oh boy do I love what you did with that skirt. And the bag! You are the modification QUEEN! It's funny that you mention the Vinnie's Clearnce store, as I went in there today as well! I don't go in often because I don't usually find clothes there but always find furniture that I desperately want but don't need! Anyway, I dropped in today and fell in love with a big glass jar-lamp-thing. I didn't buy it as I had my boyfriends money and was specifically looking for a belly dancing skirt, but I am totally going back to get it tomorrow. I hope that you didn't buy it!! Tell me you didn't…?xx Claire
Thanks for your comment. I love fringe and print, so this is a great look and that bag is especially fun.
Both the bag and dress are very beautiful items.
I really like them! I don't at all understand your friends if they question your sartorial state of mind when you wear them :-).Thank you for tipping me off about it, if I do fin the guts to cut into my skirt I might try this. Oh, and do you actually live in Mornington? That would be so cool. Small world. Btw, I also lived in Takaido Higashi in Tokyo, and worked in Shibuya. Is that your old neighborhood too? That would be too much of a coincidence not to be scary (but fun)!