switching it up

On April 9, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I am currently browsing wigs like it is my favorite extra-curricular activity. I can trace the current jones directly to RuPaul’s Drag Race, as I watched several episodes (in an abbreviated way, skipping to the main runway event) and was totally inspired by the looks and, especiallyespecially, the wigs. It occurred to me that I had never explicitly searched ‘drag wigs’ in any previous wig investigations, and I was right in thinking this would yield excellent results.

I love my hair,* but the desire to be something new, something other, isn’t about liking or not liking my genetics, it’s about creation and play. And hair is a major player, make a drastic change and people will have a hard time recognizing you, meaning it is not only influential but influential in an easy, straightforward way. What I’m getting at is: I enjoy wigs. [Haven’t worn them recently, which I realize I need to remedy.]

*my hair:

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So, going to show you the wigs I’m considering at the moment (you know when you leave a tab open with a cart that you occasionally fiddle with and just think about for a while?).

But first! A brief history of wigs wrt this site (images link to original posts):

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slightly tacky ponytail

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An excellent Halloween

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Bangs! This is the wig that made me want more, still darker wigs. They provide this incredible contrast.

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Asymmetrical bob

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Classic fro. [Gotta love these RayBans.]

OK, so I’m all about variety.

AND, now thinking about (images link to vendor pages):

2dea01c8da3175b68fe2fde33612d639Long, luscious curls. A little looser than my own curls but still riotous. Loved this one right away, definitely at the head of the pack.

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Glossy layers with hint of wave, polished and healthy but not otherwise dramatic (unless you know what my hair is supposed to look like) dark strawberry blonde shade. Really, really want to see what this shade would look like.

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Same model as above but in a dark brown shade with a few lighter shades blended in. I’m curious about the lighter shade but this one is singing to me. The color looks so lovely, and more natural as well.

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I didn’t realize what a booming business there is for Kim Kardashian-inspired wigs. It’s no surprise, of course, because Kim’s hair looks phenomenal and always has. Love this voluminous style, though something a little shorter with more layers (that is, a slightly different Kim K style wig) appeals as well. This is in second place after the dark curly queen at the top of the list, or I think it is, though I keep turning back to

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More body. Curls still loose but uniform rather than clustered at the ends. I hope you can see that this is totally, completely, so, so different from the wig above. There is a seemingly endless variety of curl types, and for me they genuinely have different effects, call to mind different kinds of characters. This isn’t what I was looking for (isn’t what I thought I was looking for) but I liked it immediately. The SassySecret wigs look especially natural [and SassySecret is just a hilarious name].

And then, the wild card.

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I love this shape, full and not too slick with loose curls gathered at the tips. Actually I looked for the same style in darker shades for a while but only found some with streaky highlights. Alas. This is the if-only entry. I don’t think this ginger, Jessica Rabbit color would be any good on me, really, but it would be fun to try out anyway. And maybe it would be weirdly cool? You never know until you try, and I like wigs that represent hair styles I couldn’t have with my own hair, at least not realistically, not without major outlay, damage, and upkeep. Seems like I should have at least one red wig…

So what do you think? Tough decision, right?

Would you wear a wig?

[All of this thinking about change makes me want to at least cut my hair.]

x

great find: Loyal Supply Co.

On March 24, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I was returning from the Korean market in Union Square [too late to get donuts, sadly], preparing for a long Sunday wait for the bus back to Harvard, when I spied a door marked Loyal Supply Co., and next to it a window full of such miscellany as I cannot resist: small Farmhouse Pottery (which love, met their team recently at a design show and was so impressed) pieces, balsa wood airplanes, mysterious contraptions of leather and brass (keyrings? something cooler?), rustic soaps, beautiful scissors and rulers, fine pens and pencils and erasers and sharpeners, all spread out like jewels for the discerning craftsman.

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You know those shops you enter and think, what do I not want from this shop? Or, similarly, I must be a patron of this shop. Loyal Supply Co., for me, is one such place.

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Here is their description of themselves:

LOYAL SUPPLY CO. IS A DESIGN FIRM, RETAILER, AND DISTRIBUTOR OF HOME, OFFICE, AND STUDIO SUPPLIES. WE BELIEVE USEFUL, THOUGHTFULLY DESIGNED PRODUCTS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE AND PRODUCTIVE. OUR SPACE, A MODERN TAKE ON A TRADITIONAL PEGBOARD WORKSHOP, DISPLAYS FINISHED PRODUCTS AMONG THE TOOLS THAT MAKE THEM. OUR HOPE IS TO INSPIRE AND ENABLE EVERYONE WHO WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR.

Well said, no?

Especially this: useful, thoughtfully designed products make life more enjoyable and productive. Just so.

It was not easy, as my personal stock of supplies is superb and I had already spent my monthly supply budget (and then some), but I was determined to walk away with something. I settled on this lovely pencil set from The Pencil Company.

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They had me at “one carpenter, one bridge, one white wax,  one no.2, one jumbo hex, and one jumbo round pencil”

Pencil names!

A bridge pencil I did not know! [For designing bridges? Does anyone know? Pencil aficionados?] Jumbo hex!

To think I’ve been missing out on such delights for so many years. I want a life the requires such pencils as these, with their warm, old-fashioned charm and modern, artisan-revolution aesthetic. Do you not?

It comes down to these details, in questions of style. The hair, the clothes, the bag, they are pieces in a larger—and, I hope, more grand—design. To live down to your bones, down to your pencils (and your plants, and the way you walk, the way you plan and execute, the way you turn your head), in your style. Not because you had to think about it, to decide on it (though you may have had to realize it) but precisely because you did not have to think about it. Not because it has been premeditated (though that can be the case, must this be then less authentic?) but because style is instinctive. Inevitable.

Yet, I believe, inevitable in a malleable sense, though perhaps what seems like malleability is only that peculiar kind of change which is not actually change, not most accurately change, but the sloughing off of extraneous possibilities to reveal an increasingly clear identity. And style born out of instinct (unquashed, not covered up or overcorrected) cannot help but be, at least in some sense of that slippery word, good.

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Stamped in gold foil! My spirit pencils. And white. Yes. White always and forever.

x

cart unity

On March 19, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I enjoy the process of shopping, whether physically or virtually adding items to the cart (and removing items from the cart, this also key), and find it especially satisfying when there is some harmony or narrative to the cart, as when, in the grocery store, purchasing ingredients that complement one another, seem conspicuously to belong with one another,* reveal precisely what you intend to make with them.

*Conversely, also deeply satisfying when they seem conspicuously not to belong with one another, when the cart contents are markedly odd and unexpected as a unit.

Not every vendor carries a sufficiently broad range of categories to make interesting juxtapositions, though, too, I’ve been pleased with certain combinations of just shoes or just paint brushes – it needn’t be a precisely logical harmony. It’s not that the items would necessarily be used together, though perhaps that might be the case, or it might be fun to imagine it as the case (say, a skirt and a pair of sunglasses), but more that they are aesthetically compelling together according to whatever quirky beauty-logic is currently reigning in my head at the time.

Here’s a recent J. Crew cart I found pleasing, somehow more appealing to purchase these items together than it would have been to get any given element singly.

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Here we have: two neutral silk camisoles, Garance Doré stationary, notebooks, notecard, Troi Ollivierre lipstick in Parker.

See what I mean? Love this largely cream palette with gold accents and that single pop of berry pink. I like the range of textures, too, metallics and silk, paper and cream. What would also have been fitting in this cart is these great cream and gold New Balance 620’s (really like their various brand collaborations, for the record, some great color combinations). Really similar to a pair I was jonesing for last year but couldn’t find from a vendor that would ship to the U.S.

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Only of course they are sold out of my size.

Hm. I’ll try to show some other examples later (do you like seeing what people buy? I’m often interested to know this kind of mundane data, and it’s not a bad way to learn about new products). Definitely doing some spring shopping at the moment.

x

inspiration: ancient everywhere

On September 6, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“…nowadays even men wear gold bracelets…women wear gold…covering their fingers and their necks, ears, and hair, gold chains run at random round their waists, and little bags of pearls hang invisible, suspended by gold chains from their owners’ necks…even their feet are shod with gold…”

                                       — Pliny, Natural History, about AD 77-79

The MFA currently has exhibitions devoted to ancient Mediterranean as well as ancient Nubian jewelry, this in addition to the already impressive jewelry/adornment collections they have anyway. Add to this the incredible style of various sculptures and paintings (especially ancient sculptures, for me), and the MFA is non-stop style inspiration. I kept finding just exactly the accessories I’ve been looking for, only some several thousand years too late to purchase at market.

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In all seriousness, how did this ever go out of style?

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Finger ring of Taharqa. In all seriousness this is exactly what I have been looking for.

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Sublime.

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Actually I have something a bit like this…

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Exactly. 

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This is like the mama scarab to my little pendant.

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Now that is a sandal.

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This is an interesting hair situation. I need to think about this. 

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Above: Lessons in drapery. Below: Further lessons in drapery.

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Where even to begin with these maenads? Mavens of floral garlands (I’m taking notes) and all manner of organic accessories.

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

If you spot anything reminiscent of these things on polyvore, drop me a line. Seriously.

Please.

In the meantime I’ll just go back (becoming a member is pretty reasonable, and there are special events) and visit them. Sketch them. Design outfits around them…

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

Found several charming interpretations of my namesake as well.

x

thoughts on a pile of accessories

On July 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

These accessories from Monday’s post look so good without me.

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It struck me that this is how I usually see my accessories and clothes (and pretty much everything I own): isolated, out of the context of an ensemble, waiting to be used rather than in use.

The thoughts then meandered like so:

Even or especially when in use, I often can’t see things I’m wearing. Necklaces and earrings, invisible, only noted in the mirror periodically. And clothes…I don’t actually see what I’m wearing once I’m past the initial putting-on. I feel them, I know them, but I don’t really see them (except, in my case, later sometimes, in photos). Rings and watches, bracelets, maybe…but I’m not typically looking at them, or paying attention to them. They, along with everything else, are temporarily assimilated into the body, and I forget about them until they get in my way, somehow, or until someone else comments on them.

Masses* of objects waiting for a purpose, to be put to use. Even in an Iris Apfel mood (here’s a great conversation with her), I can only wear so many things at once. This ties into my interest in displaying the dormant objects. I want to wear them, sure, I want to be the kind of person who would and does wear them, but also I want to see them. And in a way I can only see them when I’m not wearing them. And in a way, the pleasure of wearing them is due in no small part to the appreciation developed over extended not-wearing of them, during which they became familiar in a manner that is entirely distinct from the familiarity established in the wearing (which has its own potentially powerful appeal).

*Of course I have too many objects, despite always culling, always curating.

Thinking about dressing (clothes or accessories, makeup, etc) as an act of decoration, whether careful or careless. Thinking about a closet as a jumble of decor options, as a store might have a box of candles, ribbon, flowers, standing by. Thinking how odd for our culture to elevate (increasingly, it seems) that box alone, without the store or the window display or any application whatsoever. It’s almost preferable, the objects in the absence of any application, in a pure state of being. A shoe without a foot.

[Amassing metaphors is a pleasant activity. Let me know if you have any good ones.]

I get it, though. I often like objects for themselves alone, and don’t even intend to wear them much at the time of purchase. How could I, when there are so many others rotating in, competing for air time. But I rationalize: the wearing is to be stretched out over some decades (’tis a sound bargain!). This is an extremely careful and discerning kind of consumerism, but still a flagrant one. There is something a little monstrous about it.

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