rock on

On October 23, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Rocks are so lovely. I really like rocks. I hang-out-in-the-natural-history-museum like rocks. I like trees and plants and other things that fall under the umbrella of nature as well…but especially rocks. Rocks, crystals, other kinds of mineral deposits that harden into rock-like structures…

After all, you can wear rocks.

While I do like stones that have been formed into beads, faceted, manhandled, I have a visceral appreciation for the raw beauty of a more organic presentation.

semi precious stone necklaces

Really craving this kind of large, raw-edged, stone jewelry for the last few years. Such stones feel somehow naked and true. Anchoring.

amethyst necklace

Here is a gorgeous piece of amethyst and citrine crystals, unabashedly bulky and heavy. While potentially [ideally] imposing, I find such jewelry capable of being casual where a more ornate (“fine”) piece would feel overdressed and out of place. It’s simultaneously overstated and understated. Eye-catching and bold yet approachable, relatively inexpensive, versatile.

turquoise necklace

Turquoise I love any day of the week, in all forms. There are a number of stones available in this format of bulky puddle-stone style necklaces and I find myself drawn to them. In wearing such stones I seem to be saying, what more processing do they need to serve as worthy embellishment? None. Pull them from the ground, clean them up, drill some holes, et voilà. Fit for a queen.

There is something stately about them, too. Solemn, even. Something not at all frivolous, unlike those ubiquitous faux-stone bib necklaces, for example. Not that I can’t appreciate those but they have little stylistic weight, if that makes any sense. Even when well-played they are still merely trendy. Trendy can go far, very far indeed in our culture, but do we not want to go beyond that?

I think the word I’m looking for is fierce.

amber necklace

Love the warmth and luminosity of amber. One does feel rather like some goddess of the earth when wearing a rustic band of jagged amber, bedecked with the fruits of the underground (one’s shadowy domain? I like where this is going). I recommend it. I happen to have picked these pieces up on eBay. Others like them aren’t hard to find, and beautiful semi-precious stones abound.

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summer tropics

On July 21, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Far more likely to engage my attention than a floral print is a botanical print. Perhaps because they tend to be more lively, less repetitive? Because I love the color green? Because they often incorporate more earth tones?

It is likely all of these things, amplified by the volume afforded by the maxi length. What I really like about this print is that it conveys a tropical look without being garish or neon about it.

floral print olive summer skirt

I am particularly predictable about this kind of olive shade, grounded and earthy, and just inexplicably compelling, the way one’s favorite things often are. Can we take a moment for these sandals? Adore these sandals. Can we take another moment to embrace shamelessly rumpled silk?

henna italian leather sandals

Henna still going strong.

Ah, the maxi, so easy, so cool and loose, such a strong impact of color by virtue of square footage alone. I quite enjoy the gathering up and sweeping around required to go up stairs and such, too, and very much enjoy the billowing that accompanies descending the stairs. Yes, long skirts rarely look so well as when they are displayed upon a stair.

J Crew silk camisole Coach sunglasses

I also love this Cleopatra-style necklace, which I picked up at a Cambridge artisan co-op a couple of summers ago.  Always on the lookout for interesting, handmade pieces like this. I recently met the owner of local company December Thieves, which specializes in pieces from emerging artists in jewelry and fashion. She has wonderfully curly hair as well! Obviously we got along. She has the kind of shop that makes you want to take up metalsmithing.

pearls stacked bracelet

Kara Ross bracelet, amber ring

Especially like to pair amber with earth tones.

J Crew silk camisole, silk blend skirt (thrifted), Kara Ross bracelet, Gian Luca sandals, Coach sunglasses. On the lips, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Favorite (color showed better on instagram).

 

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the turtleneck dress

On February 10, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

While I love a sweater dress, a turtleneck dress now and then trumps it for me. Isn’t it a bit old-fashioned to like turtlenecks? I’ve been a devotee since grade school, when I wore what were surely hideous ones (prints!).  I like to have my neck covered? My neck is easily cold?

I think it is simpler than that. I think I’ve just always thought: those look cool.

And I basically still think that. At least I’m consistent.

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Well, it’s not meant to be quite so tight. I’ve been eating lots of popcorn.

I rather like it, though. A strange blend of conservative and ever so slightly risqué or gauche. And it is meant to be tight…

The balance of conservative and sensual* inspired the austerity of this ultra-tight, drastic side-part bun.  Here again is that just-below-the-knee length I like so well.

*reminds me of the crop top in this way.
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Dress from asos, Cole Haan pumps (thrifted), Breil Milano watch (thrifted), Mulberry bag (thrifted).  On the lips: MAC huggable lip color in Love Beam.

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the baseball cap

On July 4, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I’ve mentioned before wanting a baseball cap but could never quite find something that suited me. What I really like is that broken-in look that caps get when someone actually wears them a lot, curves the bill, ideally the bill gets a bit frayed, etc. I don’t care so much about the color or logos as the look; classic/vintage baseball shape, nondescript, Everyman’s cap. So, I reasoned, it would be great if some friend with too many hats anyway just gave me an old one. For years this seemed reasonable, and I left no small number of hints about how reasonable I thought it would be. I’d given up but IT FINALLY HAPPENED! A friend gave me a hat!

A baseball cap can be such a strangely feminine touch. You can throw it on with anything; dress it up a little, dress it way, way down, take it in a sporty direction, a butch direction, an editorial direction. It always adds for me (on others and on myself) an air of friendliness and approachability. It seems more likely that I would be asked for directions, randomly smiled at, that kind of thing. There’s also something inherently wholesome about them, not least because properly worn, you should be outside. [Here I run into problems because once it’s on…I can’t exactly take it off. A curly hair thing.]

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I love it.

What’s a governor’s club? Who cares!

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I’d also like to make a case here for the exposed, unadorned neck. A young, healthy neck is decoration enough, in so many cases, especially as in a case like this, with such a clean, abundant expanse of skin showing. It can be a shame to break up that expanse, even more so than with the wrist, for me, as there is such an appealing, intricate arrangement of bones and tendons around the clavicle and the base of the throat. [Am I losing you?] I think the play of light in these varied hollows can be stunning, as good as or better than jewels – a simple presentation of the occasionally lovely human body. Have oiled up here with some Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse (and sunblock), which is phenomenal.

Strapless sweetheart bodysuit from MotelRocks (via asos), Paris Blues shorts*, Skagen watch, Mexican bone bracelet, amber ring, Converse.

*I am into white shorts. With the cap I really wanted to wear [more casual] cut-offs but I realize I don’t have white cut-offs. Project.

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And of course a baseball cap is the quintessential American accessory. Happy 4th of July.

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smell this: Manly Indulgence humidor candle

On June 18, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I thought I would just mention this candle, as I think it smells fantastic, but it turns out to be really difficult to find, some rare collaboration between Nieman Marcus and Ambercrombie & Fitch. TJ Maxx yields mysterious gems, now and then. I only picked it up to investigate because I thought the packaging was cute/ridiculous.

I’m going to mention it anyway.

Usually I don’t buy scented candles. I think this is one of just two that I have, and the first one I was given. It now inhabits that category of not-very-desirable objects I haven’t quite thrown away yet. I have one of those little tea candle diffusers that I sometimes put essential oils in or, more likely, just drops of perfume. With candles the scent is often too cloying, even if it is abstractly nice, or too cheap/synthetic. This one, though, just smells so good. I bought it impulsively and stuck it in my closet. The official notes are teakwood, mahogany, cherry bark, sweet tobacco, amber, and plum. I pick out amber, cedarwood, and sweet tobacco, with the amber rather dark (which I could see as plum-influenced) and dominant but I would say balanced with the wood.

I suspect this is a testament to the virtues of paying up. That is, expensive candles, not unlike expensive fragrances, where the expense is reflected in the ingredients, really do smell better than their cheap cousins. This is particularly evident when I note how pungent the candle is just sitting around, unlit.

So I guess I like expensive candles now.

UPDATE July 2013: This candle, while high quality enough to smell very good, is not high quality enough to burn well (evenly, completely). Lesson learned. It turns out there is (as with so many things. As, really, with everything) a whole world of candle knowledge.