Sunday, July 28, 2013

birthday (space)suit

sweatshirt, necklace and sandals, zara; shorts, club monaco.

 i got a few things at the various season-end sales around my birthday and so i decided to make my entire birthday outfit out of these gifts (either from others or to myself hehe) with pretty weird results. i've been really drawn to light colours recently so here i put the silhouette and detailing first, with a combination of hard+soft, armoured pieces and sleepwear. one part of comfort is the physical feeling and fit of clothing but another part of comfort for me is in choosing outfits that desexualize people's perception of my body especially when a lot of it is on display. the easiest way to do this is to choose silhouettes and fabrics that look 'unnatural.' i thought it was cute that my roommate had a lot of similar elements in his outfit.

Friday, July 26, 2013



my summer including: the plateau, rose infused water, humble lion coffee, best friend, my messy closet and collection of things from people i hate, birthday cake i ended up making a few days after my birthday because i was so sick and blowing out at 6 in the morning

 so i've been really really sick and therefore not able to actually take outfit photos or write anything coherent for over a week and therefore i present to you this compilation of photos taken in the interim (and a few from before) which aren't really about fashion but more about summer heat and lifestyle and aesthetics and prettiness or at least the organized ugliness which dominates the lives of poor young people like us and sometimes passes for beauty

Monday, July 15, 2013



pants, joe fresh; top, dkny via winners; sandals, zara.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

for buying rice

skirt, zara; tee diy'd by a friend; shoes, joe fresh.

just a simple outfit for running errands in with a breezy silhouette for these super hot days. although i always prefer pairing printed bottoms with printed tops, this oversized metallic tee has an interesting texture to balance the loud floral print. i never really know how to style this skirt although i loved it so much on the hanger, especially since it doesn't fit me perfectly, but i think crop tops hide all manner of evils in an outfit.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


dress, hurley via winners; top via winners; shoes custom fitted in greece; necklace, topman. on my roommate: tee and hat, zara man.

it's been sweltering hot in montreal lately so i wore this breezy silk dress under a chiffon top to protect my skin from the sun. the shoes were custom fitted by a sandalmaker in athens whose shop was hidden in one of the sketchiest neighbourhoods ever, but his shop was so crowded that it was impossible to get in and try things on. he's a real artist. i posted about it on my tumblr last summer, and i finally get a chance to wear them!


Monday, July 8, 2013

silk on silk

silk blouse, mexx outlet; silk pants, joe fresh; bag, danier outlet.

this isn't the first all-silk outfit i've posted (see here) but i've noticed that the more i wear silk on silk, the more i like it, and all-silk outfits are becoming my favourites for summer. i think it's because of the easy luxury of wearing an outfit all made of the same breezy fabric, and in a loose cut, which feels a bit like wearing pyjamas.

the book in the photograph is from an initiative which has now reached my favourite cafe - you take a book as long as you vow to give it or another good book away after you are done reading it. many of the books were in french but i'm not that brave yet.

some thoughts about grooming

i have never really been a 'makeup person.' when i was about thirteen i started experimenting with fuschia winged eyeliner and lime green super-saturated shadow and my mom sighed to me that i looked like a clown, but i just wanted to be trendy. one day in a doctor's office i was flipping through a lifestyle magazine and there was an article showing before and after photos of several models in that season's makeup trends. my mom pointed out that the models looked more interesting in the before shots. 'they all look the same with the makeup on' she said. 'makeup makes everyone look pretty in the same way, but they're already pretty.' i saw her point.

after a long and embarrassing period where i believed that people who wore makeup were 'hiding their real faces' and looked fake, i realized that just like clothing, makeup is an expression of personality as well as aesthetic preferences. most of my friends in university didn't wear makeup, but i had a few who did and were obsessed with it. some of them admitted to wearing it to hide flaws and look more attractive (and thinking back, i don't know why i ever thought there was something wrong with that), but many of them said they were already pretty and wanted to change their looks to match their outfit, mood or self-image. when i asked 'what makeup look are you going for?' one of my friends recently said 'intimidating.' intimidating isn't bad, i thought - that's what i say when people ask me what i'm going for with my clothing.

still, i felt a bit left out. fashion is so closely tied to grooming but i never really got into makeup or styling my hair in highschool or early university. feeling a little left out of some crucial ritual of womanhood, i went on a spree and accumulated probably a hundred inexpensive products that i could use to find my makeup style. i wanted to finally go through the toilette ritual i had seen in so many films and read about in so many books. i had fun trying them out and i realized that i actually like makeup.

but not most of it.

there are products i love so much that they have become part of my signature look. i love darkening my already thick eyebrows, wearing bright and dewy cheek stains and red or purple lips (let me take this moment to plug the nyx extreme lip creams, which i am wearing above in absolute red - it is a moisturizing, beautifully pigmented and glossy colour which unfortunately doesn't stay in place very well, but it's worth it. i will probably review all of my nyx lip products on my tumblr sometime soon, because i love them so much).

i have become so attached to some products, like the US-only vincent longo gel stains and the now-discontinued sephora gel wine stains that the idea i have to find replacements is heartbreaking. i don't think these things make my face look different or typical. they don't hide or change my facial structure, just add colour and emphasis to certain features. i hope, maybe, my makeup even makes me look a little intimidating.

but there are certain products that i still don't, and can't, wear. i don't own any foundation, powder, concealer or tinted moisturizer. i have some bb cream samples but can't bring myself to put them on. i have an eyeshadow and an eyeliner and a mascara, but can barely remember the last time i've worn any of them. i think eye makeup makes me look ugly - or maybe just, as my mom pointed out almost a decade ago, not quite like myself.

more than anything, i am obsessed with texture and functionality, in makeup as well as in clothing. i think there is nothing more beautiful than the texture of human skin, with freckles, moles, scars and imperfections - even (gasp) pores. i don't understand the preoccupation with removing shine in humid weather or removing oils that keep the skin smooth. i always found dark undereyes charming and expressive looking, and would never cover mine. i can't stand putting anything on my face that i can't dance in, swim in, or go out into the heat in unselfconsciously. i want my makeup to evolve as i wear it. i hate the idea of constant reapplication, but sometimes i change my lipstick 5 times a day.

i still agree somewhat with people like my mom who think makeup is generally marketed to make everyone meet the same standard of attractiveness. there is no denying that some general goals exist - plump the lips, enlarge the eyes, lengthen the lashes, smooth the skin, shape things here and there for a slimmer looking nose or perfectly arched eyebrows. there is a ridiculous double-standard in many workplaces where women are expected to wear makeup to 'look professional.' but as with fashion, many women are using makeup to break the mold and express their individuality.

i started to think about makeup differently while (don't laugh) watching an anime about a female concubine-turned-politician in ancient (fictional) china. the heroine's mentor told her as she went into a charged diplomatic meeting that makeup is a woman's armour. i think that is a poignant statement in a world where a woman's physical being can be turned into both a vulnerability and a strength, and where her appearance is under constant scrutiny. whether or not i choose to put it on in the morning, the ritual of putting on makeup makes me feel a little less exposed, a little more in control of other people's perceptions, and a little more connected to the women who, for better or for worse, have used self-beautification as a weapon and a shield for centuries.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

how the fashion industry made me pretty

i first became interested in fashion at a time when i neither had any decent clothes nor any shred of attractiveness or self-confidence. it was at a time when i hated mirrors and got bullied for looking (and dressing) like a self-conscious boy that i started buying teen vogue and looking up editorials on the internet. i think the first runway show i saw and loved was marc by marc jacobs s/s 06 and i tried to copy the wispy windblown hair. after that i started clumsily emulating little aspects of what i saw in runway shows and getting around my lack of makeup with aquarelles, vaseline and glitter.

at the time i knew i didn't have the confidence or the clothes to dress well, let alone fashionably, but there was something comforting to me about the artistry behind fashion, the fantasy behind it. in school i learned that looking at fashion magazines should make me feel depressed and uncomfortable with my inability to live up to an unattainable image, but looking at models didn't make me sad. i finally saw weird looking girls and weird looking outfits in a context where it was assumed they were beautiful, where distinctiveness and originality was precious and aesthetically pleasing.

i was poor and went to public schools in good neighbourhoods, where everyone had the same suburban prairie style. i signed up for a fashion design class and tried to wear the things i made to school, together with my slowly accumulating collection of trendy clothes and my mom's awesome hand-me-downs. my former best friend made fun of me for losing weight, mocking me for 'wanting to look like a model.' at the time i never dreamed i could look like one and i hated her for the comment. eventually i gained a reputation for being fashionable, and people thought my clothes were expensive. in highschool i worked up the courage to stop plucking my eyebrows. i stopped straightening my hair and wearing makeup. following runway shows made me value creativity over conformity. there was something empowering about being daring. my mom called me a 'pig' about clothes, saying i would wear literally anything.

i felt a little vindicated when i was offered a contract by a good agency the day of prom, but at that point i was more invested in my education and losing interest in fashion. although one or two years earlier i had been desperate to model, i didn't have the confidence to try. once i'd gained the confidence, the prospect already seemed a little less appealing. i had started reading about terry richardson and ali michael's eating disorder. i had started to think it was weird that girls several years younger than me, at the peak of adolescent insecurity, were posing in images meant to be aspirational for mature women. i was starting to look up to people with hips, self-possession and achievements. i wanted to be a scientist.

then going to university turned out to be hell. i didn't have time for dressing well. i didn't have money. i wore the same sweatpants every day over my pyjamas and i hid my face behind my hair, hoping no one i knew would recognize me. i couldn't afford a winter coat for what turned out to be the coldest winter of my life - my mom gave me one for christmas, after the temperature started rising. i dressed up once a week to go to swing dance, and the rest of the time i stayed in bed, perpetually sick and studying. i had once looked down on people who said they didn't have the time or energy to dress well and i had become one of them. i felt sorry. it had all lost its importance.

when i started putting myself back together i realized that how i dressed had a significant effect on my mood and even my productivity. i started making an effort again and enjoying it. at mcgill i was surrounded by girls who wore 400 dollar rubber boots and lululemon leggings. trying to fake wealth would have been ridiculous. instead of aspiring to be an impossible girl in an editorial, i realized i was more interested in expressing myself through my style and less interested in fashion shows and fantasy. i hadn't picked up a fashion magazine in years, because they seemed to express a lifestyle i didn't want and couldn't identify with. and while fashion bloggers had held my attention for a few years, my favourite blogs were looking more and more like magazines and i couldn't identify with them anymore either.

this is all context. i made my tumblr blog knowing i don't have the most fashionable clothes or the most beautiful photographs, because i wanted to be more realistic about how someone like me could dress and where i get my inspiration. it was a style blog, not a fashion blog. i loved fashion but i also couldn't be fashionable, and i wanted to connect with other people like me. but recently i've started to deeply resent some of what i've been seeing in the world of fashion, and i would also like to start blogging about that, because i'm disappointed and angry. following fashion helped me gain self-esteem and feel comfortable expressing my individuality, which is why i can't ignore how passionately i feel about the more negative aspects of the industry now, including the attitudes of some of its top designers.

more on that later!

alley cat

dress, french connection via winners; shoes, old old zara; bracelets all gifts.

i don't have much to say about this simple outfit (although i could launch into a rant about The Bra Problem) because i'm saving all my energy for an actual diatribe about the fashion industry which i will be posting as soon as i can gather my thoughts. i've been spending a lot of time on fashion blogs and websites since getting back home, and it's made me unexpectedly angry rather than soothed as i used to be. but there's nothing fashion about this outfit so i'll save those insights for later.