Saturday, April 28, 2012

Street Style: Brim Hats

My hunger for being well-dressed with style and lust to dress dapper throughout the semester was initially very weak and has been dwindling ever since. I scoffed at those who suggested dressing for comfort was more important than appearance, but as of late I've had to make sacrifices of my own in order to keep warm and keep comfortable for that argues trek to university on weekdays. With the chic addition of a vintage felt hat and an anomalous feather tucked in the band you may be able to add class to an outfit with little energy expended. I should point out that there are certain standards and regulations (of my mind) that must be adhered to when dressing dapper and adding a hat as a stylish accessory. It can only be worn with t-shirts and singlet tops under very specific circumstances, such as a cute cardigan and a lovely pair of quirky pants or possibly cuffed jeans.

Matching colour of ribbon and lipstick as well as a fur coat or woolen cape is looking like an appealing combination, given my current attitude towards life in general. I'm sure some sort of spark and fire will be reignited when my gorgeous handbag arrives safely and payment first clears but at the moment I can not summon the strength to put the clothes of my floor back into wardrobe and clean the windows. It's not just my outfits that need an extra amount of dashing good looks- scented candles, new perfume and some knitted goods will most likely be making an appearance in my small universe. I love to imagine what the rooms of these ladies must be like and the kind of aura they shroud themselves in- all in order to channel specific energies and moods into their outfits.

While I may not be able to dress in tan or brown and feel like I can shine, I admire women who can and can really use neutral tones but still draw a crowd around them. My skin colour and foundation colour have been normally described as beige, my eyes brown and hair darkest brown to near black. Neutral tones seem to already make up a lot of what I wear everyday but perhaps a simple and grounded approach with accessories will help me blend in a little more with society. I already traipse around the university campus in a warm, red fleece cape from American Apparel; a sweet felt trilby could add a lot of chic class to an everyday outfit like that. Unfortunately I'm a prone to turn to something practical such as a beanie to retain heat on the cold Autumn days; I may even begin to forget brushing my hair before leaving the door each day (but let's hope it doesn't come to that).

The magical thing about obscure paintings, fantasy; or even the back of someone's head is that in your mind's eye you can pretend to be them and traipse around town in Dr Martens and flowing feminine clothes. Investing in a flowing skirt as well as warm, over-sized cardigans seems to have escaped me at the moment but I will manage with layered t-shirts under blouses as well as estranged pairs of jeans. Among all the subtle shades and earthy tones of the outfit above, the burgundy hat really ties it all together and makes me lust after a good headpiece. Etsy is bound to have something promising in store among a treasure trove of vintage pieces and all that I need is a little more room to move in terms of funds. As well as the classy and sultry touch about her outfit, I love the idea of abandonment of technology and using a proper paper map when exploring a new city- dressed perfectly for the occasion.

For those lucky, select few that can wear the colour yellow without looking sickly, why not highlight your blond tresses with a gorgeous yellow bowler? While it may look like it belongs in a wardrobe of a tacky car dealer along with game show host jackets and garish bow ties, with such a simple and sweet outfit I think the addition of colour is really something special. A good hat can also be characterised by a wonderful, artistic shape and sculpture about it but also the uncanny ability to attract the attention of any passer-by. As well as the mustard trilby and blond hair combination, I am crushing on the bag with black suede panel and immaculate black leather. I can't wait till my robust Mr Fill n Zip from Deadly Ponies arrives, if it does at all.

Last but certainly not least is a denim shirt's favourite companion: the colour bubble gum pink. Be it a colourful and paisley printed scarf or the most wonderful floppy brimmed hat with monogrammed ribbon I absolutely adore the shade, and were I able to find the manufacturers of such wonderful head wear I would be sure to snap it up. I'm quite content to wait around for my pink denim Levis shorts though which seems to have the best of both worlds. While they will do a dismal job of keeping my head warm, I just don't think I can readily wear hats everyday or wear a lot of accessories. You either are or aren't in love with hats, and while I am not an avid hat collector or wearer I can appreciate a girl who knows hot to wear one.

Black Magic

Wearing: Ashish X Topshop Studded Jumper, Wowch Leggings, Dr Martens Floral Boots, Vintage Frilly socks and various silver necklaces.

I've been very cautious when it comes to wearing my Dr Martens boots without adequate thick woolen socks to protect myself from blisters, hence my reluctance to wear such an outfit for university. The combination of a studded jumper and combat boots is enough to ward off any fellow commuter so this outfit would be reserved for only the worst of my bad moods. The frilly socks almost didn't make it into this outfit but I'm rather glad they did; it makes my odd feline friends look a little sweeter. I'm also sporting a new haircut with tidier ends, but it will take a few more days for it to properly settle in to a recognisable shape. It's the same dark, brooding brown colour as it has been for the past few years that doesn't really do much for such a dark and sombre outfit, but I have faith that a colourful vintage knit will contrast well with hair that's almost-inky-black.

Femme Fatale

Lately I've been looking to woman for a lot of my inspiration- not just for fashion and outfits but also for decor in the home and general success. After flicking through a lot of the StyleLikeU interviews on Vimeo, I discovered a lot of wonderful young women with a distinct style and outlook on life that I identified with on various levels. Some made mention of feminism, particularly the ones who's still I liked the most; and it's caused me to question whether I too hold the same philosophy or whether I look to them purely for aesthetic. I've always been quite comfortable being alone and dependent solely on myself since I was young, but that had more to do with my individual traits rather than any basis on gender. There's also the small matter of my boyfriend, and the deepening of our relationship causing me to become more and more dependent on our interaction for my happiness. That's not something that I really want, but I can't imagine him not being a part of my life anymore, and certainly not because I don't feel strong without him. These times of my weakness and reliance on conversation with him are rare at best, but they still make me feel uncomfortable and a little insecure.

One of the more inspiring things I've heard comes from teen youth and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson; loosely translated she stated that just because people feel off or aren't in a state of absolute confidence that doesn't mean they're bad at being feminist. You also don't have to be a certain type of person- my idealistic feminist was my Junior Year High School Literature teacher, she had chunky jewellery and was a true 1960s flower child. Of course, one of the main reasons she was feminist is because she lectured the girls on what type of man they want to marry and picked on the two hapless boys in the class, giving them extra work to do for no apparent reason other than gender. Being a feminist and promoting harmony between women seems appealing to me, but if that involves hating men and putting them down too then I doubt it's something I want to be a part of. On another note of appearance in relation to ideological philosophy, "You're a person and multi-faceted", being both a gorgeous girl and feminist as well isn't impossible and they aren't a contradiction to one another is another message Tavi gently preached.

If being a feminist meant that I could network with other young women and start interesting conversations to better my own growth and well-being, then I'd be very much so interested in starting some sort of blogger-feminist groups. Being 'Hot Babes' wouldn't be a requirement, but having something to talk about all day isn't something I would turn down. I tend to muck around with my friends for much of the day, be nauseatingly cute with my boyfriend, bitch about work with colleagues and spend most of my time studying, talking and writing in Science. This is all well and good, but I can't remember the last time I felt inspired and a change in mood due to some sort of epiphany.

I'm pleased to report that it's been years since I've felt any sort of jealousy towards women, be they singers, models or other, based on their looks and appearance. It isn't uncommon for me to feel a longing towards the way they express themselves and their own self-assurance, as well as some sort of need to assimilate myself into their life but then I become happy to be myself and am accepting of my looks once again. Sometimes I wish my stomach was just a little flatter or maybe I was a smidgen taller but having the compassion of my boyfriend had made me love myself and others just a little more. I will never look like a goddess of spring and hold a lamb with pink ribbon and golden hooves, but I can accept the path I've chosen and that my reality isn't as wondrous as others.

I would love to look at the world through renovated and renewed eyes, all though my education at university is entirely new and different to me, there's still an unsatisfactory element or repetition. I'd normally escape through a media such as novels and fantasy or the wonderful allure of sweet melodious music. Channelling some mysticism of Florence Welch in sequin costumes or perhaps headdresses would be appropriate for the energy I need, I think wearing  all the strange clothes I have as of late will be quite enough. I wish I could remove myself from my shabby routine for just a day, rather than precariously living through the achievements of my current inspirations from StyleLikeU. I'm getting to the point where I memorise their words and tone as they talk and lust after their neatly decorated rooms, it really can't be that healthy for me.

Some girls are naturally skinny and stick thin while others are generously proportioned and have voluptuously thick curves- you can't really expect to feel happy about being second best to someone you envy and in a way, it prevents you from reaching your own potential. There's nothing wrong with reinvention, working to become something better and improve on yourself like a piece of raw material to be refine, but it's unhealthy to resent yourself or others based on looks and appearance. Growing up with the omni-presence of Barbie Dolls: blue eyes, blond hair, pearly white smiles and basically no buttocks to speak of and an unrealistic waist seems to have warped the impression of beauty and twisted it. I'm more then happy to come home to my lover praising my curves and shape of an ordinary, everyday woman.

Some people argue that magazine covers and publications thrive on looks and as a result, making their audiences feel bad about themselves. I think that energy would be better spent trying to look up to that person or publication and channeling a little bit of their style as an extension to yourself. While on the topic of looks and the aesthetic importance in the 21st century, may I just say that the British "journalist" who published an article entitled 'Women Hate Me Because I am Beautiful', can I just say that it is extremely hurtful and vain to consider yourself such a threat that people disown you from their lives. A strong ego and shameless self-love may threaten them as well as apparent inconsideration towards other, but I doubt that someone who considers you as a friend will hate you based on looks. Any of my beautiful friends are the ones who I admire the most for being so grounded and wonderful, kind people as well as graceful. But being beautiful on the outside clearly doesn't always reflect well on the inside and people can be as deceiving as some carnivorous plants it would seem.

Sultry singer and temptress Lana Del Ray has been one of my latest fancies in the last few weeks and months- her voice is so smooth, like melted honey to the ears and she's absolutely gorgeous. Her video clip for 'Born to Die' in which she has matching red lipstick and manicured tip nails which cuts across her neck was simply gorgeous and I've been thoroughly convinced I need a floral crown to become successful now.  The slight turn at the corners of her lips are to die for and her hair always looks like spun gold and is perfect... I honestly wish there were more singer's like her around and that my ears could be filled with the tune of some human-siren goddess. To really enhance those beautiful vocals I'm tempted to buy her Vinyl album since my father has a player right next to the computer, now if only I could get it to play in my room I would be a happy little Vegemite.

Tough and angular styled biker boots with daring cut outs and silver buckles can be easily made feminine and personal with the complementary companionship of elegant and floating sheer skirts. I have my mind on Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes in black distressed leather myself, once all my online purchases finally arrive and I but birthday presents.  Being pro-women's rights and feminist doesn't mean the total abandonment of all things that embody the female body, but certainly adopting certain masculine elements in design and clothing has its perks too.

Growing up in what I consider to be a largely male influenced household where I idolised the Red Hot Chili Peppers and looked up to my father, I abhorred pink. I had three Barbie dolls but in the limited collection there were still many pink outfits to choose from. I currently have a more modernised outlook on the shade and find it strangely empowering to wear and a cliche symbol of femininity. It's not an ever day occurrence in my outfits but having a blazer draped over the shoulder and a pair of killer heels would be a good way to own the day. A more realistic outfit in a tribute to pink would be a graphic t-shirt with a cat and matching leggings with cat faces and some strange plastic pink sandals. There may be room for more pink and empowering pieces yet- or just some sweet leather bags and killers heels. Pink and punk is a nice blend if I can't muster the emotion for a more domineering demeanour- black and studs seems to go well with just about any colour I can imagine.

I made the arduous trek to the hairdresser's and shelled out a good forty big ones to have my fine locks chopped and shaped into something more manageable- there's nothing shockingly different in terms of the structure, no front fringe but despite not having the bravery for that small step, I would have loved to try pastel pink hair. There's something somewhat glamorous about the combination of wildly coloured hair and a fur coat as well as thinly primed eyebrows. I don't quite have the same wild-eyed spirit as an iconic movie star or a Blythe doll but I think with a faithful bottle of hair dye in hand I could rise to the occasion of having all the quirk of hair the shade of cotton candy. A fur coat or even woolen duffel coat my be a little far from my reach but I'd be prepared to bet it would look hauntingly beautiful with a cheeky smile and soft pink hair. Now if only I had the fun personality to match...

A promising sign of my growing maturity and changing attitude towards the serious business of getting dressed in a manner that reflects my inner-most self, I have taken quite a fondness to high heels in all manner of shapes and sizes as well as platformed monstrosities that add to my height. Some favourable targets include shoes by Jeffrey Campbell and Opening Ceremony, and if I had the money you can be sure I would eagerly possess Rodarte for my growing collection. I don't have any simple black wedges in Mary Jane style, but I have been eager to team up my new acquisitions with colourful tights and socks. With the release of more Jeffrey Campbell collections in May and the colourful online hunting grounds to choose from, you too will be able to marvel at my composition of photographs. As soon as I clear a nice corner of my room and decorate it properly; there is quite a lot of dust about my house and although I have been recording whimsical outfits dutifully, I still need to work on the execution of such fanciful fantasies.

It seems quite rare to admire someone so much despite a notable age difference; but I think an admiration for a strong female role model transcends any imaginary barrier imposed by age. With the empowerment of women, it's always a concern that the newest generation will loose touch with the struggles of their elders and take for granted the abilities which they seemingly chose to abuse. I refer specifically to scantily clad young teenage girls who seem willing to bear all when it comes to clothes or there lack of, but Tavi Gevinson has long been a favourite fashion blogger of mine but her ideals about feminism and equality across gender is really quite inspiring. She's just such a versatile role model when it comes to embodying different energies and focused styles across eras. I never did imagine the 1960s flared sleeves and hemlines to be shapely, but once again I have been happily proven wrong. She looks like an angel in bell sleeves and a beehive.

What I admire about strong and beautiful women is they way they can brighten up something with just a smile or a carefree look. Celestial sun-kissed goddesses can liven up a boring ripped denim shorts and shirt combination with their own light and looks and there is something really empowering about a woman's image. A classic Doctor Who monster known as the weeping angel are a series of statues that can move when you don't look at them and as they starve their image diminishes. I know it's vain to place such an importance on beauty as it is only skin deep but there's something profound on the way modern women especially through social media find their voice using their looks and appearance as a creative outlet. Some women have turned dressing and the art of composition and outfits into a small art form.

I must admit that I find Spring and the cyclic blossoming of flowers to be a sensual and graceful reflection of the life of a woman. There's often a withdrawal and hidden allure during Winter followed by an explosion of life and colour in the natural world and also the cycles of the waning and waxing moon. The expression of buds, the sweet aroma of nectar and flowers is often used for perfumes of a woman; often aimed at the younger set which includes myself.There's something to be said about expressing the vignette tones of an old camera as well as a flowing skirt in elegant length with the youth of a glorious girl and nature. I think it's about time I began reading more Oscar Wilde, or at least picked through several pages of Dorian Gray to put myself back in touch with my old literary and poetic self.

There really is no reason for such a pretty young lady to feel the need to hide, unless there's some greater artistic purpose and goal she must surmount to. I feel like hiding myself since it seems I'm being ignored by my other half but I don't have the delicate hands, bouquet of lavender or pink hair to make the situation as intriguing as it is endearing. Instead I'm likely to brood for the entire day and remove myself from any situation in which I can be contacted, clean my room and limp around the house and attack both the keyboard with my angry typing as well as my note books for university. It's stupid that my resentment towards someone who I normally admire so much is making me feel so bad, as well as the fact I've been in terrible moods for the last two weeks. I just want to have a sunny disposition again and maybe dye my hair a wild colour (or at least act out in an immature teenage way and cause a scene at the very least).

While I do love covering myself in head to toe silver jewellery with at least one piece of black clothing to offer something familiar, I extend some love for those who can wear all white and look effortlessly chic. I'm a little too shy to wear white in fear of stains combined with my own clumsiness; there's also the small fact that I would look less than angelic compared to someone with a paler complexion. But this has little to do with cheap comparisons to other people, my latest mission is to shower praise on the fascinating and intelligent girls of the Internet who all have many and varied talents. In cheap moments where I disagree with someone's opinion or expression I never leave mindless or spiteful messages. Instead if I have an instance in which I think I can compose a better outfit than someone else, I counter that negative though with "So why don't you? What's holding you back?". This prevents me from being hurtful and instead makes me competitively inspired which sounds odd but is still more creative and constructive than spending my time on the Internet being a bitch and making others miserable.

While my high school Literature teacher and biggest feminist I have ever known in real life blathered on about power colours and the way a colour and description in a novel effects one's mood, I found it strange that black was my power colour and I chose to wear red when rarely visiting the doctor. I love the tough demeanour as well as chic nature of black and the way it can take on many different persona's despite being perhaps the most wonderful shade of all. For example, the angular printed cover of the clutch, buckled boots and large metal ring on the hand of the girl above all emit a grunge aura about them. A lot of my jeans are also black too, unusual since they are most notably known for being blue and faded after too many years of wear. Instead mine fade to a strange full black, grey colour but none the less I love to sit on my hip in a feminine way when wearing something that suggests the shape of my curves as well.

It is rather biased of my to suggest having long hair makes you more feminine, as having short hair doesn't make you any less of a woman but it's rather the way society perceives you. As women tend to become more mature they generally have shorter hair about the time of their mid-forties since it's easier to maintain and a routine haircut becomes scheduled in their lives. I prefer to take shelter in my long masses of black/ brown hair and even after my haircut a friend commented that "it's still (my hair) ridiculously long". I take pride in such a comment and the fact that my fringe was often a refuge to hide my crying eyes and still acts as such. I just feel that much safer when surrounded by a curtain of hair smells like apples is there to contrast against the salty sting of tears- something which is always well accompanied by a tragic movie and a cup of tea.

The transition from primary school to secondary school wasn't an easy one since I did not openly welcome wearing a dress and knee high socks everyday as routine but I slowly embraced the tradition and also wore T-Bar shoes for most of my resigned education. Where it not for my strong association between them and the mind-numbing boredom of school lessons I'd love to wear them again in maybe a soft shade of pink or nude. It must have something to do with my nostalgia of the time and longing to be reconnected with those careless days of finding a good place to sit at lunchtime and hanging in a group of ten or so girls. Talking about boys and sitting in a circle was by far one of the most entertaining pass times when we were so obsessed and had nothing better to do than chase relationships. But they require so much time and energy; I wish I didn't have raging hormones that screamed at my every moment that I need a man in my life to make me happy because I know I can be happy alone again if need be.

Having studied Literary works in a classical style and sense, I'm familiar with the many names and faces of the moon. Phoebe, Diana, Artemis, Selene and Hecate just to name a few. Perhaps it has to do with the cyclic and natural representation of the moon; but I have always been drawn to the strange and charming powers of the night- the hidden darkness of the unseen and mysticism since adolescence. Silver has also been a favourite material of mine to wear as part of jewellery, mainly to do with the affordable price but also the willingness of designers to create eccentric pieces from it. Tattoos in strong outlines in a single colour have been an alluring notion to me without the worry of colour fading or falling out but there will be nothing daring sketched on my neck (sadly).

When I'm in the need of becoming a strong woman and getting all of the boring, remedial tasks of ordinary life I usually listen to Florence and the Machine. As if being a wonderful red-headed wasn't enough but each of her songs has such a wonderful energy about it and I can easily pick from any of her albums a song that will suit my mood or enhance it. I just wish I was as passionate about what I do as what her music sounds like and raw with power. While it seems petty to idolise someone just for being beautiful, I think society praises models for leading what is a 'popular' lifestyle but they are also good at what they do. It seems that they can't ever appear unattractive and that's a quality many regular people would die to have and there's the party lifestyle and being dresses up in expensive clothes... Singers and songwriters who also can dress in a beautiful way and act creatively through their music is also inspiring for me, but I let music become less important in my life in favour for other loves.

The only last bit of advice on feminism or general thought to share is that if you treat any other woman with the tender love of a sister it will grow and transcend into a great kindness shared amongst women. Hanging out with your girlfriends can have such therapeutic effects, such as telling them all the secret doubts that you can't share with anyone else for fear of being judged. But never dismiss another woman in conversation and out her down with your friends because that is when a nest of bitchiness breeds and it only leads to stupid and competitive comparisons between women. If we openly complimented each other I think self-doubt could be easily cemented stone cold and people may be happier and more accepting of themselves. In school we are taught to tolerate people of all kinds and accept them but we're never taught to love ourselves and accept the way we are either. Mind you, some people would have already mastered such a lesson in life but it would help people with self-esteem of my levels. Hold your heads up high, band together and help each other out really is what can easily promote feminism. Holding someone's hand and offering them refuge can make a small difference. Matching outfits are entirely optional but if you do dress in such a manner put it on the Internet and let it grow into a popular culture hit.
The only thing more intense and deeply intriguing at the moment than the intense stare of a gorgeous girl would be the passionate song work of Matt Corby. My regular routine this morning has been interrupted with passionate music full of highs and lows; I may even be tempted to finish all my assignments this coming weekend and start cleaning my room and tidying once more. I don't want just a place to sleep at night; I want a moody and inspiring Studio space that is full of curiosities as well as empty space full of opportunity for outfit posts and photographs. There is however a mountain of homework to pioneer and conquer and many other chores to get through before the evolution and beautification of my room can begin.