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severe appeal

On September 1, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I sometimes wake up craving a severe, restrained look like this. Hair sleek, lines simple, fabrics luxe, colors muted, face stark, accessories minimal. I often associate this kind of austere, controlled elegance with Ralph Lauren, who does it so well.

This craving may be attributed to a severe mood, an ungenerous mood, or perhaps it is a display of control to balance some hidden lack of control (surely there is no shortage of this). Or something less traceable.

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Usually I prefer, like J Crew’s Jenna Lyons (good interview), to leave something (or many things) undone to give reality and warmth to the look. An air of carelessness. There is something especially armour-like about heavily polished, curated looks, however, something impersonal and impenetrable that has its own peculiar appeal (though it runs the danger of being completely charmless, even if technically well executed). The transparent purposefulness of the approach also sidesteps the phenomenon of spending much time and effort to look as if you have not spent much time and effort, though this too is compelling in a bizarre way.

I couldn’t want to do this sort of look every day but it is occasionally satisfying.

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The tooling on this bag is lovely. Ralph Lauren, fittingly. A thriftfind.

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Ralph Lauren bag (thrifted), thrifted silk tank, Victoria’s Secret linen beach pants, Birkenstocks, 10mm pearl studs (of course, it had to be pearls) from Pearls of Joy, vintage Geneva watch. On the lips: Stila liquid lipstick in Beso.

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I am often looking rather severe, which is either me being horribly serious or just my face, doing its thing. I don’t think there’s any way to tell them apart.

x

 

omelettes: what you should be doing

On August 27, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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OK, I love eggs, and I love eggs that have been manipulated into any shape that falls under the umbrella of omelette. This is not about omelette technique (whatever achieves the desired texture and the happiest family of ingredients for you that day, go for that) but about flavor.

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Brussels sprouts, scallions, red onion, camembert, asiago, nutmeg

Whether a creamy French-style omelette, folded, rolled, stuffed, some combination of these, or something in frittatta territory, these principles apply. It doesn’t really matter what the other ingredients are, either. So, next time you are whipping up an omelette, try one or all of the following.

1. fresh herbs – My favorites are parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil, and thyme, but anything you like. Dill and cilantro can also be interesting. This is Thai basil. Any or all. I like to beat them in with the eggs as well as employing as garnish. Fresh over dried: fresh much, much better in this context.

2. pimentón - beat this into the eggs along with your salt and pepper (and herbs). Adds a little smoky kick. You can successfully add this to anything savory, incidentally, and many sweet things, too.

or

3. nutmeg – grate fresh (ideally) over as garnish or beat into the eggs. Use in moderation and your omelette will have an added richness without explicitly tasting of nutmeg (though explicit nutmeg can be good, too). Nutmeg is a true friend of eggs, and can be added virtually anywhere they are.

4. truffle salt – an excellent way to add a dark, creamy depth to the whole scenario. I tend to use it as a garnish rather than an internal element. Much preferred to truffle oil, which is all synthetic. I like this one. Also put on fries. Also put on any potato. Also put on pizza.

5. bonus cheese – Whatever cheese you are adding, add another one. It almost doesn’t matter which. In this example I have asiago and camembert. I use whatever I happen to have around. This is an easy way for the flavor to make a big jump in complexity, with the right cheese.

6. Greek yogurt – add a generous spoonful as a garnish. The tartness of the yogurt cuts the richness of the egg while the creaminess compliments and enhances the creaminess of the egg. Highly, highly recommended. As is the case with most ingredients, the better the yogurt, the better the final result. This Tide Mill Creamery yogurt is a wonderful organic one from Maine.

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Good luck.

x

the docksiders

On August 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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It’s times like this, throwing on a bikini top and a few other scraps of fabric and heading out the door…I know I’m going to miss summer when it’s gone.

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I recently met CPL for drinks and she showed up with a cap on and her hair natural and big, escaping all over. The inspiration was immediate and irresistible. I knew right away that I’d found a new application for my hat.*

*Actually I was pleased with myself for several hours after this inspiration follow-through, and bought another hat. This hat.

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A pretty horrific case of hat hair awaits me later but I’m not thinking about that now. I’m thinking I should wear hats like this all the time

And she wears glasses. The look didn’t seem complete without them.

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I picked up these navy boat shoes in a Timberland sale earlier in the summer and knew I wanted to see them with crisp white shorts. Having realized the vision, it’s hard to want to wear them with anything else. Cut-offs. Straight leg jeans, maybe. Maybe.

Interesting how certain items can become instantly paired with others in the closet and remain together, an exclusive clique, for years at a time. How easily this happens.

An anklet would be good here. Next time.

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 Timberland Classic Unlined boat shoes, Seafolly Neo Tribe bikini top, Paris Blues shorts (ironing would have paid dividends here but I couldn’t muster up the will to do it), thrifted tank, American Apparel braided belt, French market basket.

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This is similar to the recent natural look, a slightly amped up version of  my everyday look, but with the Stila liquid liptick in Beso as the star of the show (as it is also here). Cannot say enough good things about the formula and this color is sumptuous.

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x

on repeat: Stevie Nicks

On August 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Stevie Nicks has, to me, the most sublime voice. I discovered this track, ‘Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You’ (how had I not heard it before?), while watching American Horror Story: Coven, which so good. Cheeky and aesthetically spot on, witchery-wise. Angela Bassett so tirelessly gorgeous.

[And Stevie Nicks makes guest appearances, to the credit of all parties.]

Lovely, no? A child of the 80s, to be sure, with an overdose of synthesizer here and there, but a beautiful ballad.

My favorite Nicks track might be ‘Stand Back’. Maybe. Might be. Or possibly I’d have to go into Fleetwood Mac territory.

image via pinterest

distraction: a compelling case for sunblock

On August 23, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Artist Thomas Leveritt set up an ultraviolet camera and viewing monitor in Prospect Park to reveal the hidden effects of UV light on skin. I’m fully converted to the virtues of sunscreen so this video is preaching to the choir, but this is a powerful message. 

His description, “We showed people what they looked like in ultraviolet, & wondered aloud if they wanted to put on some damn sunscreen already.”

Great song, too.

image and video from Thomas Leveritt via becauseimaddicted

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