the gladiators

Damn I love a gladiator sandal.

Free People Cypress gladiators

These are the Cypress gladiator sandals from Free People, which carries a bunch of appealing gladiator styles, if you’re on the hunt. This was the year I finally found the knee-high gladiator. No support in the footbed so some kind of supplemental padding is in order, at least for me, but I’m pleased with their badassness overall.

Free People Cypress gladiators

What is it about the gladiator? The ancient Greece connection, for sure. Basically those statues in the MFA? That’s exactly how I want to dress. Actually literally exactly. Sometimes.

Then there’s the encasement of the foot and possibly also leg, which can be pleasantly intricate or, equally pleasantly, simple, all while conforming to the shape of the foot (not masking or disguising the silhouette of the human foot but still enhancing it). The classic natural leather (or, these days, at least made to look natural). This kind of timeless design is invariably versatile, easily holding its own in a much more formal context. I don’t think I care about that, though…I just like them.

Have you seen designs from the brand Ancient Greek Sandals? Fantasy sandals.

[Then, also, Scandal.]

Free People Cypress gladiators


Often I think my profile looks bizarre, I think because I hardly ever see it. Strange how different a face can look when you just shift the angle a little.

theseventhsphinx fotd

Quick face breakdown: Kjaer Weis Desired Glow cream blush (love), Becca shimmering skin perfector in Opal (also love, but I like a lot of other highlighters as well. I love highlighter. I should write a post about that…), Benefit Gimme Brow, Milani blush in Luminoso (a little too shimmery for some purposes but a lovely peachy coral, famously popular in the youtube/bloglands), Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Amber Haze (so easy to work with, a great eye crayon), MAC Cream in Your Coffee lipstick (a new one, so good! My new favorite neutral, more mauve than I expected it would be from swatches), Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation (so, so good for a natural, light-medium coverage, only detectable where my skin was too dry), Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder. I’m late to the powder party but I believe in the power of powder now. I still don’t always wear it, but I believe.

Oh! And a few individual lashes (Ardell, short bunches), which, at least in person, make a massive difference. Kind of a pain at my bottom-rung lash application experience level, but they make a difference.

Free People Cypress gladiators

From the front, though!

Express hi-rise cutoffs, Madewell belt, Skagen watch, Free People sandals, the wooden earrings I think from a street vendor? Other stuff thrifted. A peasant blouse that isn’t too…forced, is hard to find, but so worth it when you do.

This look is quintessential summer to me: white shirt, jean shorts, great sandals, minimal accessories.

Free People Cypress gladiators, summer essentials

Skagen watch theseventhsphinx

Love how mannish this watch, yet not comically oversized on my in fact not-really-that-small wrist. I am often wearing one Skagen watch or another.


inspiration: ancient everywhere

“…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.


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


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




Actually I have something a bit like this…




This is like the mama scarab to my little pendant.


Now that is a sandal.




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


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



Photo Credit: Chris Bennett


Photo Credit: Chris Bennett


Photo Credit: Chris Bennett


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


Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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


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…


Photo Credit: Chris Bennett


Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

Found several charming interpretations of my namesake as well.