Monday, June 23, 2014

Outfit for a Thursday: Silver Stacks

When I was young and first began wearing jewelry, I refused to don any gold metal; in my ignorance and general myopia, I associated gold with old, mature women, namely my mother, grandmother, and various great-aunts, and insisted on silver. My first pieces of jewelry that I wore fervently and religiously were a silver spoon ring, gifted to me by my mother, a relic from her own childhood in Cincinnati, and a long dream catcher necklace. The dream catcher, a cheap replica of Native American aesthetics that was popular in that moment, broke, likely while romping around and climbing like a monkey on my wooden playground. My spoon ring, which fascinated me, with its intricacies and its age, its history, its lineage, its relation to my mother as a little girl, someone foreign and amazing to me, thankfully garnered more respect and care. I was vigilant about its safety. It was the only item in my wardrobe, clothing or accessory, that really carried meaning and that I protected. Despite my reckless and boisterous tomboy proclivities, my various misadventures, I never lost it. I continue to wear it today; it is on my left-hand ring finger now, as I type.

Eventually, during my later school years, I came around to gold tones, reconciled my initial dismissal, and wore silver less and less. Now, gold metals prevail in my jewelry boxes, so I often overlook my first love, silver. Last week, I proverbially dusted off these two silver cuff bracelets, both from my adolescence, and layered them with a newer sparkling rhinestone piece. The turquoise cuff is another heritage piece from my mother, a trinket discovered on a trip to Greece in her early twenties. While this beautiful and delicate bracelet has shamefully sat sallow in recent times, I am unwilling to relinquish the piece to my mother, who occasionally asks about its whereabouts. Sneaky.

The white with black paint splatters tee shirt was a recent purchase from Uniqlo. After some wine and some World Cup unwinding with a colleague, we trekked over to peruse the affordable wares. Lately, I am not drawn to graphics on my basic tee shirts, they often seem juvenile and are a look that I have mostly evolved beyond. The MoMA-inspired designs of the current Uniqlo line offer a more refined and visually compelling alternative to some of the typical large, popular-image tees that are also floating around. For whatever reason, probably the intense 1990s aesthetic revival that is permeating fashion at the moment, those over-sized tees emblazoned with cartoon characters, like the Tasmanian Devil and Tweety Bird, have resurfaced. Still goofy, and since I am no longer in elementary school, I can easily abstain. This paint design is whimsical, but mature.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Birkenstock Bounty

Some of the most beautiful and most hilariously frustrating aspects of fashion and particular, au courant style trends is the revivalism, the cyclic come-back, the oscillation conversion from aesthetically displeasing and laughable to obviously inherently cool and chic. With technology and media platforms that allow for and encourage instantaneous reporting, that dispel that lag time between designer conception, runway presentation, and mass commercial replication and consumption, the sort of omnipresence of particular trends is all the more palpable. The past few seasons, the paragon of both omnipotence in the digital style editorial world and the eek-to-sleek metamorphosis has been the white Birkenstock sandal. They are everywhere, flaunted by fawning fashionistas on nearly every blog, on a meticulous and calculated clockwork schedule. The mighty and oft-capricious pendulum has swung; once a snickering style, now, one apparently to envy for and lust after. Naturally, as with so many trends these days, or at least so it seems, for the Birkenstock moment, we can thank the boldness and the cavalier attitude of the Olsen twins, about four years ago.

While I appreciate that there are not set, firm standards of attractiveness, of what can or should be in, and that any style or form or brand, even those previously laughed and scoffed at, can emerge from the flames as a brilliant sartorial-phoenix, what I find aggravating is the promotional portion. That style-makers across media seem to band together in this flagrantly contrived and predictable manner to peddle trends, while rational from a business-perspective, always incites a heavy sigh. Where is the creativity, the individuality? At the least, I would propose those in power at least stagger the slew of blind endorsements for the brand or the look. Rather than a behemoth barrage of bravado for the once mocked Birkenstock, the brand bragging could be interspersed with another all too common topic in the blog realm, the deliciousness of the not-so-novel avocado toast.

Certainly I am cranky and cynical, especially at the moment as my head pounds from the maddening pressure of florescent lights flickering in my office, but I think I am justified in ranting and in wanting a little variety, a little creativity in a purported creative field. 

(image taken from Birkenstock)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Swimsuit Scramble

Earlier this week, rather spontaneously and abruptly, it came to my attention that I no longer own any proper bathing suits. Towards the end of last season, upon realizing in a separate moment of lucidity that most of my swimsuit repertoire was dismally dated and dingy, I tossed them. Wearing them infrequently, my neutral-toned one-pieces had served me well for a number of years; they were classically cut and simultaneously chic and comfortable. One, in a deep chocolate brown, survives, in a drawer, along with my black bikini, for which I currently lack the appropriate abdominal muscles. Now, I find myself marching steadfast into June and into summer season, having already passed that optimum and narrow window of ideal swimsuit selection in the retail world. 

Being both busty and young, thus, generally, not wanting to look like a matronly retiree who is about to spend the rest of her life baking underneath a Florida sun in her floral suit with a built-in skirt, swimsuit shopping has always posed a unique challenge. When I was growing up, tall, strong build, the suit solution always came easily, since I swam competitively. My racing suit was perfect for the pool and bouncing into the crashing waves at the beach. A tomboy, all I cared was that it fit and I was covered; I wanted to be able to maneuver, glide like a porpoise. Now, I want fit, I want comfort, but I want to look sexy too and avoid that dowdy, post-menopause territory. Thankfully, recent trends have revived some retro flair: the one-piece again prevails, with a multitude of attractive cuts, colors, and patterns. Hopefully, my neglect and procrastination does not mean I missed out on all the good picks; it usually feels as though for seasonal items, like swimsuits and winter coats, locusts have descended and devoured anything worth having, leaving a barren field for the rest of us. This weekend, I will attempt to make some time for a swimsuit scavenge, fingers crossed that it is not in vain.

(image taken from Slate) 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Branded Shoes

Etymologically, to brand has its roots in fire, flame, burning; the brand colors for my company are red, orange, and yellow, aesthetically rather bold and bombastic, but ideal for connoting the visual of a spark. A creative spark, that moment of synaptic power when insight and innovation align, a catalytic spark, that instigates forward motion. A spark that grows into fire, fueling. Unknowingly, in wearing these dark pink, orange, and yellow sandals to the office the other day, I was mirroring our company branding. The orange and yellow painted walls of the office, brazen and almost nauseating, seem to have seeped into my subconscious. Generally, brighter primary colors, particularly shades of yellow, do not entice me; after a generally dreary and dark winter, with lots of black palettes, yellow and orange accents are an ideal introduction to the hot, hot heat.