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

 

the turban

On September 19, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

The impulse and the will to carry through an unorthodox style are no casual matter.

                                                                        – Kennedy Fraser

 

I finally had a chance to try out a turban look I’ve been mulling over for a few months.

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This is just a raw piece of fabric a few yards long that I’ve wrapped and knotted and wrapped and knotted. Nothing remotely special about this technique (I just fiddled about until I liked the shape) but type ‘turban wrap tutorial’ into YouTube and prepare to be amazed.

I love the clean look it gives, similar to the look of a bald or very closely shaven head. It’s austere but can be very striking with angular features and big accents. The austerity is the key to its charm, for me.

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IMG_7132We are loving this dress, and for the obvious reason. The view from the side is nice, too, with the cut such that the back is completely open rather than framed.

IMG_7188I opted to go with bold jewelry but the turban is enough of a statement on its own, to be sure. I don’t think I have quite enough eyebrows for this turban. I think I’ve demonstrated, though, how truly I needed this necklace.

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IMG_7230Open back maxi dress from GoJane, Kara Ross bracelet, antique necklace and earrings, Gian Luca gladiator sandals, mirror aviators from eBay, on the lips: NARS lipstick in Heat Wave.

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♪ ♫ Blackalicious – If I May ♪ ♫

x

 p.s. The winner of the pearl giveaway, chosen via random.org, is Penelope Tree! Penelope, I have messaged you as well, please contact me with your address. Thanks to everyone who participated!