monochrome: camel ii

On March 5, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Camel, tan, honey, sand…whatever you want to call them, they are my colors. I never get sick of these slightly warm mid-to-light-range browns. A monochromatic look is such an easy way to look pulled together, especially dramatic when that color is not black or brown but also so so good when it is. We’ve been here before.

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Mixing it up with varying textures, wool, suede, fur (faux here), pebbled leather, wood, gold, creates the interest we otherwise might achieve with color, as demonstrated so masterfully by Haider Ackermann in nearly every collection somewhere. I love when the hair and skin play into this, additional human textures in the same shade range for a truly limited palette.

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Dress, asos. Boots, UGG. Bag, Mulberry Roxanne. Watch, Skagen. Cloak, thrifted.

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On the lips: Urban Decay Naked liner and MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick

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the floral A-line

On September 11, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Remember how rose-heavy floral prints on black backgrounds started popping up everywhere after Dior featured them several seasons ago? Three years or so later I’ve finally found a piece I like in this scuba A-line skirt from Warehouse.

Warehouse floral print

I’ve grumbled about floral prints before, how difficult it is for me to find a print of the desired scale and busyness, how often they tip into the realm of the distracting and garish. There is no one formula for me, either, as with so many things. Everything has to be assessed case by case. Those prints I do like, though, tend to offer a soft, pleasing wash of gently variegated color.

Warehouse floral print

This hazy, digital floral print I like for a skirt of this volume (meaning I think I would not like the print as well writ small, as shoes or a clutch, or a tank top, say), a classic, fairly full A-line meant to be worn high at the natural waist. Love where this length hits; a bit below the knee, just revealing the base of the calf. A retro length with a modern print makes for nice contrast.

Schutz Kutia pumps

These are new. We are loving these. Not unlike the Aquazurra ones we love, which is no coincidence.

Schutz Kutia pumps

This color!

pearls, hamsa necklace, Givenchy fuchsia irresitible lipstick

Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, NARS blush in Luminoso, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury Veruschka eyeliner, MAC false lash effect mascara, MAC brow set. Could argue that a peachy nude lipstick matching the pumps would have been fitting or even superior here.

Givenchy Fuschia Irresistible

This limited edition lipstick packaging was compelling, I won’t deny. This color is a cult classic, for good reason. 

Warehouse skirt (via ASOS), Schutz Kutia pumps, thrifted black silk tank, Pearl Paradise pearl 8mm studs. This little turquoise hamsa necklace I am loving (eBay). There are tons of variations with different stones, if you search (the best all seem to be from Israel). They are good luck, traditionally, though I mainly wanted something small and turquoise on a slender gold chain. I won’t say no to any luck that may accrue to me, however.

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pencil it in

On May 18, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot get enough of midi length skirts and dresses right now, especially in a pencil silhouette. There is a retro ambiance to this length, hemmed somewhere around the calf, that is conservative while still feeling chic.

asos midi jersey pencil skirt

I find this length revealing in all the best ways, much more universally flattering than something that reveals the knee, and drawing attention to the calves and ankles in a way I find particularly feminine. I think this holds for a full or a fitted skirt, it’s all about that length.IMG_9281

The slinky jersey accentuates the pencil silhouette here, creating that fertile tapered curve from the width of the hips to the narrow point of the knees. Clothes that reveal more or less everything but do so with plenty of fabric nearly always come across as sophisticated to me. I positioned the skirt fairly high up on the waist as well, and do I only imagine that I seem taller?

The curvier you are, the better this silhouette looks.

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And white. Of course.

One can imagine this look with a black skirt but…white is definitely the bold, conspicuous way to go. Somehow white skirts are exponentially more appealing to me than white pants. Why is that? I’ll have to think more on that.

I can imagine it with a teal skirt or something along those lines as well, or a bright shoe, but I wanted to keep it duochromatic.

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Remember this necklace?

I like a natural look like this, a peachy/bronzy look with no eyeliner. This is the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera as bronzer/highlighter, NARS Gilda blush, a beautiful matte burnt coral, and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Penelope Pink with a little Korres lip glaze over top to pink it up (Penelope Pink is not that pink, despite the name, it’s a really nice nude). The Beach Sticks are lovely, by the way, remind me of the Kjaer Weis cheek creams, and a bit like a NARS multiple upon initial application but with more of a cream-to-powder formula as you blend. Very easy to blend with fingers.

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Try putting a touch of your blush (or bronzer) just above your crease with a loose blending brush to tie everything together. It doesn’t really matter what other colors you may or may not have going on on the lid (I have gold here, incidentally, loving my Lorac PRO palette), it works with anything.

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asos white midi jersey pencil skirt

J Crew silk blouse, asos jersey midi pencil skirt, Zara suede d’orsay pumps, thrifted jewelry.

J Crew polka dot silk blouse

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to market, to market

On September 5, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Here’s what I wore to the grocery store earlier this week. Love wearing an ultra-basic foundation (cami, jeans) with a generous sprinkling of accessories, and the more eccentric, the better.

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So many pearls, so few arms.

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I like wearing a line of color on the top eyelid only, it gives some drama and shape to the eye but doesn’t close it up the way completely lining the eyes does. I haven’t done much of a flick but that could be fantastic, too. Even more retro/pin-up. Hm. I should do that.

Express jeans, Asos cami, Ray-Ban retro round sunglasses (you like? I like. So much attitude in this shape). On the lips, MAC lipstick in Good Kisser. Limited edition from the A Novel Romance collection (comically cheesy romance novel cover-inspired promo material for this collection, pretty entertaining), a dramatically vibrant fuchsia pink in person, it’s good. It’s coming off as a normally bright fuchsia on camera but on me it stops just short of being so opaque and so bright that the lips look fake, bizarre. A fun line to walk.

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earth tones

On July 21, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“Luxury is aggression dressed as fashion.”

                                — Handbags, Anna Johnson

Here’s one of my ideas of an ideal summer ensemble. Loose and light, ultra comfortable (as in the photo I was recently distracted by).

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I could wear earth tones every day.

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So, this is a (pretty good) replica of Vuitton’s Sofia Coppola bag.

It doesn’t often happen that I am interested in a high-end designer item, not in the ‘willing to fork over my money’ kind of way, anyway (just in a ‘how inspiring’ way). Usually it’s moot because I don’t remotely have enough money to consider it. I liked the design of this bag so much, however (and for so long. I rarely like bags, only very recently do I even own multiple bags), that I was open to that shady category, the replica. I feel no disloyalty to Luis Vuitton, as they have not lost a sale…I was never going to spend $7,000 on this bag, so this is all happening a little outside their reality (intellectual copyright is still very slippery in fashion, a difficult topic, but the pricing of luxury brands is also a difficult topic). I did look around for something similar, actually, but none of them were as nice as this replica, which is, in fact, quite nice. It is, satisfyingly, about exactly as nice as it should be.

The cachet of luxury items is by turns interesting and troubling to me. They are, to the cognoscenti, walking price tags; subtle or perhaps not so subtle announcements of superfluous wealth. There is something aggressive and potentially gauche (if not outright tacky) about this. Especially when the items are being worn not because they are loved for themselves, but because they are on trend.

In the best cases, though, they are truly sublime objects, beautifully constructed out of impeccable materials. So there is something aggressive about them either way, but there can also be about them something ultimately tasteful, reflective of excellent taste.

Even what is now a kind of middle market, the $50-80 pair of pants, say (even given that a savvy shopper would almost never pay the full price), I would not call inexpensive. That is not inexpensive to me, anyhow. It is difficult to be stylish on a true budget (remembering that this book had a lot of great ideas about it, though). Or, it is not difficult to be stylish (given a bit of time to slowly accumulate good pieces), but it is difficult to be stylish in a variegated way, to have many solid style options. One must be very resourceful and invest a lot of time to find pieces made of good material that have been treated well, designed well, cut well, which, in many cases, at least at some point in their existence, were relatively expensive. Good clothes shouldn’t be inexpensive (someone somewhere was woefully underpaid, if they are…and likely even if they are expensive this is still the case…), they should be an investment.

I do like the French (at least, most famously French) concept of a minimal, versatile closet, some 10-15 carefully curated pieces that can be mixed and matched endlessly with different accessories to provide variation….but I like too many things. I want to look like too many kinds of people. I completely agree with the virtues of this concept but I cannot fully embrace it with my style so in flux. Maybe one day. My closet does need culling.

Ahhh. This is why I have no money left.

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This is Nars Taj Mahal blush again. So good.

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The necklace is various incarnations of jasper, which is quite a chameleon and has long been a favorite stone of mine.

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Camisole from asos, lounge pants from hush, Anthropologie Amentum sandals, obi belt from Viktor Sabo, Breil Milano watch, bag, bracelet and necklace from eBay. On the lips: Lipstick Queen in Jungle Queen, a beautiful, sheer poppy orange-red. [The packaging is a stunning dragonfly green and it’s beautifully done all around.]

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