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building blocks

On September 17, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

If you are attacked as regards your style, never reply; it is for your work alone to make answer.

                                            — Voltaire, Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. 1802

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Here’s the shirt I picked up from the Altuzarra for Target collection (available on Net-a-Porter). Really nice cut, just an OK fabric, polyester crêpe de chine, which just means a plain lightweight weave with a crisp appearance. Some pieces are especially fruitful starting places for a look, and I get so many images and ideas when I see this cornflower pinstripe buttoned number. Things just start falling into place, snowballing as if of their own accord into a fully formed ensemble. For instance…

First: pencil skirt. Not black, though, not dark at all, I think. Something pale, gray possible, or flax. I want a heathered texture, for whatever reason. Something in a warm fabric for early autumn, literally and figuratively. This thin woolen blend No. 2 pencil skirt from J. Crew suits. This is a critical fork in the road, and determines all the colors to come.

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Then shoes, I think (though any element may be the starting place, and any may yield the next). And I still have those heeled huaraches from the Altuzarra show on my mind, so something along those lines, but in a richer shade now.

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Then lipstick, surely. I could go in a few directions here, anything on the red or plum spectrums, even a rusty orange, but a medium to dark fuchsia wins the day. Cannot recommend the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy line enough.

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Then I see browns, golds, ivories for the other accents. Pearls, of course pearls. This is the Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand palette, an excellent option for a basic mix of easy shimmery and matte neutrals. I like this strong blue anchor (not that it is a bold blue, but that it is a definite, conspicuous piece of color), gently shadowed and warmed by pale neutrals. I know I’ve hit upon a a good color vein, or combination of color threads, when it pleases me to see them together. There is a certain almost visceral satisfaction to these happy combinations, as if sating your (ravenous, always) eyes with a nourishing meal.

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It doesn’t matter what the colors are, really. Which categories they satisfy. Just as it is beneficial to begin thinking of makeup as one massive collection of pigments with various textures (not lipstick, but creamy pigment, not eyeshadow but powder pigment – so the potential applications begin to multiply), so you begin to think of your entire wardrobe (and more and more of life begins to fall into the category of wardrobe, of style) as a collection of colors in varying shapes and sizes, textures. Building blocks.

Then I toss in a watch. Gold-toned, surely. Love the sleek, clean designs of Danish brand Skagen’s watches.

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Just one example.

the nosering

On September 14, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I can’t say how it began, the wanting of a nosering. I was around 17, and can’t remember any special trigger or role model. Can hardly remember even seeing or knowing anyone who had one, or, at least, anyone who had one that I liked. A description in a book, perhaps? It came upon me suddenly, I think, as these things* often do, and I waited patiently to see if it would fade. Two years of tireless fantasizing about a tiny gold hoop later, I got my nose pierced, with nary a moment of doubt or disappointment. It was a strange experience because the piercer has to get very near your face to do the job, and the guy who pierced my nose had eyes uncannily like mine, so we were both sort of astonished and distracted the whole time.

*Ex. Right now I want a pair of antique scissors, as a turn of the century florist might have used. Who can say why?

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My being 19 is very poorly documented. I can’t find this one picture. I am maybe 23 here? I’d just been snowboarding. You get the idea. I’ve had it for a while.

So at 19 a tiny hoop melded seamlessly into the architecture of my face (it was instantaneous), and I loved it, and I love it. I hardly see it now (or, am hardly conscious of seeing it), and I think I am not alone. I’ve had friends notice suddenly, many interactions in, wondering if I’d only just gotten it. They mention it and I feel something like surprise, too, having more or less forgotten about it. At which point I say, oh yes, I’ve had this for ages, and feel the pleasure of remembering having once made an excellent decision.

It fits, seems to be the indication. It’s me.

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From this look, a favorite.

I like so much finding these things that are me. This Meghan life paraphernalia. My long-lost style brethren.

I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a while…

Altuzarra is killin’ it

On September 12, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Joseph Altuzarra has turned out a stunning collection for SS 2015, where by stunning I mean just what I want. He’s such a wonderful young designer, and a prime example of what the Vogue Fashion Fund (he won their award/grant in 2011) can do for a designer and so for the world of fashion. He’s been turning out solid collections for years but this is the first one to actively catch my attention.

Great use of asymmetry in diagonally placed stripes and angled vents and cut-outs. Soft, suede-like material here, leather there, lovely draping. A clean black and white palette with touches of cognac and a saturated cornflower, gold.  Wonderful use of layers (love the sheer tops) and simple ribbon belts.

He shows—at least, for the most part— that often rare yet, when honorably implemented, irresistible element in the circus of fashion week: realistically ready to wear designs. Transposed onto the street most of these women would stand out, sure, but for the best reasons. Reasons like, because you appreciate their style, because you, too, aspire to wear designs that trumpet confidence and character, because the colors and lines please your eye.

Highlights:

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Actually I’ve always had a soft spot for gingham.

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This is a sublime V-neck situation.

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I want something very much exactly like this. I should be able to make something like this, it seems. Ish.

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This deep toffee color is everything I want it to be. This ties in to my taste for rust and sepia shades at the moment, to be sure. This sudden injection of texture in the narrative of the show is a wonderful, softening surprise.

I keep trying to remember to wear a button down like this as well, that careless unbuttoned look I find so appealing. I think I could manage it.KIM_0276

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Again this color. I am smitten with this color.

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The draping on this top is a thing of beauty. I like this black bralette peeking through as well. I want to copy elements of this collection outright. These little woven sandals, heeled huaraches, are appealing, too. I like a narrow ankle strap like this these days, there’s a delicacy to it (visually and probably literally).

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Bravo. High marks for color, texture, silhouette…I can’t wait to see what is next from this kid.

images via style.com

lady lightning

On September 8, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bikini tops are so versatile. Am only just now reminded of this look, though the bandeau is completely different. Totally different.

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It was about 95 degrees out, so one had to be creative. Still, sheathed from abdomen to knees, it doesn’t seem that revealing to me. Even though there’s obviously a good amount of skin showing, and a slinky jersey pencil skirt doesn’t obscure much. It always seems to be more a matter of what is showing, rather than how much. All perception.

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The song playing in the background of this look, a rough harmonic translation, say, is the badass, incomprehensible ‘Push Push (Lady Lightning)’ by Bang Camaro. Fellow Guitar Hero players will know this one. Who is lady lightning? What is she pushing? Why aren’t there a couple more lyrics to give me a hint? I don’t care. I like it. [Reminds me, need to wear these earrings again soon.]

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Seafolly bikini, Calvin Klein pumps, Kara Ross python/brass bracelet, 100″ pearl rope from Pearl Paradise, pencil skirt (thrifted), pearl bracelets (eBay), Ray-Ban aviators, French-style market basket. On the lips: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick in La Favorite.

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distraction: Retro Butterick

On September 7, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been itching to sew lately. Getting great inspiration from these 50’s and 60’s Retro Butterick patterns, especially these bell or swing/rockabilly skirt styles.

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$_12

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May need to take a stab at this last one.

images via pinterest

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