weekend distraction: henna/mehndi

This has been on my to do list for at least four years. I find mehndi such a beautiful art – every design different, with traditional elements modified and combined in endless variations. The designs can be as simple or as ornate as you like.

I love the idea of a design on my body but a tattoo is too permanent for me, I don’t think I could ever decide on anything, or accept the loss of the option of nothing. Enter mehndi (henna as body decor).

Finally I have the henna powder and the little applicator bottles with the special nibs (which I got three years ago! I had good intentions), now it’s just a matter of practice. Imagine on the feet in the summer with gladiators. Would be stunning.







Images via pinterest.

style: it’s personal


Was talking with CPL about style, and wondering about ideal projected style; the aspirational style of the future self.

Personal style is closely tied up with expression and identity, and so is, to me [re: my own style identity as well as that of others], endlessly interesting. I like this idea of a marriage between my instincts and my cultural exposure/education, the forces combining, gradually, to yield a style that is distinctly mine…even if I cannot quite or always see (or articulate) myself what that style is. That way one cannot always see oneself.

I imagine a base of clean cut, tailored pieces in good fabrics with good lines. Solid colors, muted as well as rich. The overall atmosphere is quiet, elegant, essentially simple and understated. Not many pieces actually required. To this base add accents from a carousel of compelling and distinctive (even ostentatious) accessories. Large or contrasting or eloquent or just right bracelets and necklaces, shoes and belts, scarves, hats (and hair), makeup and perfume and nail polish and anything else I can think up. Decoration. Not all at once of course but a tailored selection. Sometimes coats might fall into the decor category, too, for me…which I think is why I like coats so much.

So: a simple, well-fitting base with carefully (or whimsically) chosen accents.

[And then I allow for semi- or outright contradiction. It can always be worked out later why seeming contradiction is not really contradiction but is in fact a deeper and bolder presentation of true identity.]

There is a nice parallel with my inner identity of a consistent foundation-self with many presentations here. And there is a lot of room for evolution within this identity, which is critical to its health. Given the power of small details–and the cumulative power of many small details–it also allows for great variety, which my many selves require.

It makes sense, too, as I am drawn to accessories more than basics, where by basics I mean, essentially, clothes. I have specific pieces I want, of course, and clothes I prefer, but I don’t have the same drive and stamina when it comes to searching for clothes. Nor do I desire to have many pieces. Perhaps because it is more likely that I have my bases covered, whereas candidates for more obscure categories like the ideal turquoise ring or python belt still elude?

[more on these particular categories later]

Hard to say.

But it speaks to the point that style-wise (and everything-wise, of course), I have to work with myself, and my tastes arise from my nature as much as from any delight of the eye. Actually, trying to determine why I like something, to trace some connection between the look and myself, is part of the appeal of the whole process.

[Or why I don’t like something, which can be just as useful. c.f. the blasphemous or wrong or just sad feeling I get when wearing something I find ugly, or when I’ve bought something I realize I find ugly, and the avoidance of that feeling.]

I am really making a judgment here, which is that style should be personal; should arise out of one’s nature in this way (or whichever way it works, say, for you).

What is your ideal style?