winter wedding

On January 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

My sister recently married her long-time boyfriend and had a beautiful ceremony at the historic Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.  The two of them are both unabashed geeks, and the whole event was saturated in geekery in the best way, from the bridal party gifts like this heart glass to the handmade game and/or comic themed terrarium centerpieces. I was the maid of honor, to be sure, and did hair and makeup for her as well, using my modest makeup powers as a force of good.

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Paper flower bouquets and boutonnieres, the bouquets custom made from Harry Potter books, the boutonniers from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Ah, Etsy.

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Brunch before the ceremony at the quirky, charming Gulu-Gulu cafe, featuring these incredibly strong gin champagne cocktails.

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After a session of experimenting (months before) the bride made the bold and excellent choice of Lancome’s Rouge in Love Fiery Attitude for her lipstick. Lovely, no? This lipstick can do no wrong in my eyes. The lace hair ribbon is handmade, Etsy again. She didn’t want to wear much makeup, so actually there wasn’t much to this job.

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And do you know, I’d never been in a photobooth before? I don’t even know where you would find one aside from a wedding or fair, or perhaps a mall somewhere. Quite fun, though. This was the official guest book for the event. A massive hit with the whole room, with a near constant line of people wanting to go again and again with different configurations of people. There were many geeky props. Really entertaining to browse through the book of photos later.

And every guest got to make their own Lego figurine from a buffet of body parts and accessories. Mine has a kind of Lara Croft thing going, I think.

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My brother. 18. Pretty adorable.

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I haven’t seen the photographer’s photos yet but will share some,  maybe, when they come out. I didn’t get many of myself/my outfit with my camera but this shows the general look and color scheme going on. It was absolutely freezing outside, by the way.

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So, that’s one thing I’ve been up to!

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challenge: Weddington Way

On December 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bridal site Weddington Way invited me to participate in their December style challenge; creating a New Year’s Eve bridesmaid look with one of their signature dresses and accents from anywhere I like. This is a particularly appropriate challenge for me, as I’ll be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding on January 2nd! My first time…

[I’ll show you my dress situation later.]

The dress I chose was this one-shoulder number in navy lace (though they have many other styles):

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One can’t often wear lace from head to toe without batting an eye but weddings take place on a strange fashion plane of their own, with their own rules and standards. This means certain limitations, those imposed by formality, but, turning to the vast and wondrous field of formal attire, it means a special freedom as well. Generally I want my formal looks to fit into a ‘understated chic’ category. Not too pushy about it, not too elaborate, because I want there to be that elusive effect of effortlessness.

I partly chose the navy because I so rarely style cool toned looks. I always go for gold and brown, so here is a chance to do blue and silver.

Where next? Shoes, let’s say. I like the shoes they’ve used here, actually, silver (silver?) open toe d’orsay pumps. I’d also like to see grey or taupe suede pumps here. Suede and lace, so good together. I like suede anytime, really.

Or a little glitz, as in full glitter pumps (or flats, glitter flats so adorable). This is something I like about weddings, and something they have in common with the holidays: going full on with the glitter is more than OK.

Something like…

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or

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I want to see a pearl nestled in the hollow of the throat here, not really hanging down, as there is too much danger of interrupting the clean line of the dress across the chest.  I want to keep the necklace (or there could be no necklace, and some generous shimmer splashed on the clavicle, let’s go ahead and add that clavicle highlight either way) snug around the neck. A blue toned Tahitian pearl floating on a silver chain would answer well. I love this simple design from PearlsOfJoy.

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Earrings I also want clean and simple, either diamond (or CZ, or sapphire, or whatever) studs or non-hinged dangles or Tahitian pearl studs.

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9567fbf866abc7ce235157e1505d66feOne accessory I like to see in a formal outfit is a watch, sleek or bulky depending on the look, though probably sleek and slim. Really I like to see a watch in any look, I just love watches, but I especially like to see them where one would expect them to be overlooked for a bracelet or something more traditionally decorative. Here I would want something elegant and narrow that would read from a distance [almost] like a bracelet. Really into the Danish brand Skagen, known for their wonderfully thin movements.

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I like the asymmetry of wearing the watch on one arm and leaving the other bare. Or wearing the watch and some assortment of bracelets on one arm and leaving the other bare. UNLESS you have an old school corsage. I could be talked into that.

Poking around on Weddington Way I liked some of their clutches as well. Maybe this one for the look we’re building here. White or ivory to contrast with the navy and some pearlicious studding. If you’re wondering about mixing freshwater and Tahitian pearls, light and dark pearls, big and small pearls – not to worry. All pearls love all other pearls.

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Add favorite rings (oh, or this pearl solitaire, which I love). Hair up, hair down…you do you. Mine would be up and not too neat, though that’s easy for me as natural curls are inherently informal in our culture no matter how they are styled. A bit of that J Crew-esque undoneness can go a long way toward looking like you didn’t try too hard. You tried, but not TV news anchor tried. Not prom queen tried. Not BRIDE tried. Or pick one other thing to give a casual air, doesn’t have to be the hair, but hair is a good one as it’s so powerful and can control so much of the tone of the look. Going with that idea that if your hair is looking fabulous you can wear anything, by the same token your hair can provide the balancing stone to harmonize the look by being more or less formal.

A blingy nail polish could be in order, something like Essie’s On a Silver Platter, maybe. This would be an awesome New Year’s Eve polish no matter what look you’re doing.

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I’d like to see a soft taupe eye with this, strong brows, big lashes, a sheer or soft neutral pink lip. Maybe the ultra-gorgeous Dior Cuir Cannage eyeshadow palette and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme lipstick in Fig. I haven’t had a chance to properly praise these lipsticks yet but I love this line.

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I think there is a danger when playing with glitter (not unlike playing with fire) of trying to apply the glitter principle to too many aspects of the look. Sequin dress? Then maybe, maybe a touch of glittery shadow to the center of the lid, not a full on glitter eye (unless you are doing a different kind of look, in which case power to you). A neutral brown eye works with anything, and smoking it out with a violet-taupe shade adds drama without being overtly matchy. All about finding that harmony, however you manage it.

Hm. I wouldn’t mind seeing a really narrow glittery belt here, either. Or a belt that is basically a chain of tiny CZ gems? Or a belt of tiny pearls? Or a belt of both? Or not. I think I’d have to see it and decide. A white faux fur or maribou stole (or capelet!) would be bitchin’ and keep you warm on that winter’s eve.

I think that does it. What do you think? Are you seeing it? I’m liking it. I actually want to do this makeup look, now, and pull out my Tahitian solitaire again. And get another Skagen watch. I really do want one…I have my eye on a few.

Don’t need to go to a wedding? Weddington Way’s selection of little black dresses is worth a peek.

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the vintage spoon bracelet

On September 27, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I’m borrowing this bracelet from CPL for a while and liking it so much, I wear it all the time.

IMG_7446Antique silver spoons shaped into a circlet with a magnetic clasp.* I particularly like this art-deco wheat pattern. Articulated and quite heavy, it falls beautifully on the wrist. Weight is a boon to any draping cause.

*which magnet is no joke, and needs to be kept away from electronics and watches and such.

This piece is from Recycled Silverware by local artisan John Atkinson. [617-372-2817, jasilver1@yahoo.com]

You can find similar designs from a number of Etsy sellers. [keyword search ‘spoon bracelet magnetic clasp’] I have my eye on some of these. There are spoon rings, too, evidently, which have a nice massiveness to them. And doubtless other things. Forks**…wind chimes…

**I like that the distinction is maintained, whether it used to be a spoon or a fork, even though the business end has been sacrificed for the sake of decoration.