Saturday, June 28, 2014

l'art pour l'art

l'art pour l'art

l'art pour l'art by sarahmadeline featuring a crop top

Here's some outfit inspiration for a day trip in the city. I'm a big fan of the art trend popping up on the runways, especially the simple scrawls from Stella McCartney's PF 2014. Also featured in this collage are my current fetishes with good photography, writer's notebooks, nude rose lips, and perfume.  


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Announcement (plus a story, which is why this post is so long)

If anyone out there reads this blog regularly, you've probably noticed the dwindling number of posts I've been getting around to. Truth be told, my fashion blogging craze has begun to lose its sparkle and I've started drifting off towards other quote-on-quote "creative projects." Over the past week, I've been cooking up a short story, so I'll post the first few paragraphs at the end of this post to prove it to you. Hopefully, I'll be blending in more creative pieces into the typical fodder of le blog.

Start of untitled short story:

The golden sun, milky and pure, that poured into the road took me by surprise. And so did the skinny ribbon of cracked asphalt, and the wheat fields miles away from any shopping center or subdivision. Something raw and wild crept out from behind the landscape. From the rusty pick up trucks that spotted the curbs, to the creaking traffic lights that swung above the intersections, something was wedged between the cracks of it all that felt blissfully untouched. I couldn’t tell you how, but the world that lined route 463 felt perfectly removed from the rest of the universe that whirled beyond it. It was a beautiful anachronism, the idea of a two-lane road that stretched for miles like a quaint curving stripe. I sped along it with a goofy smile smeared on my face and music pumping through the speaker system, a study in smooth happiness.
Eventually, I reached the hills. They bubbled up and down making the road rise and fall and twist back over itself. I drove right past Mill Road, where I was supposed to turn right. I had to make a looping U-turn through a sparse neighborhood in order to get back to it. Driving on Mill Road was like riding a children’s roller coaster, one of those wooden Gemini Jr. ones that didn’t have any upside-down loops but had plenty of swooping turns and drops. I thought it was a sheer delight. And between the skinny skeletons of trees, when I rounded a bend, I could catch a glimpse of a huge basin of water beyond. It almost looked like a wide river if you didn’t know any better. The hills cradled it into a valley where it shimmered like dull silver.

I drove along Mill Road for 2.7 miles until it brought me to a mailbox labeled 1129. A long driveway stretched behind it leading to a house that couldn’t be seen. I pulled in slowly, rolling along the ashen pavement and passing a carved wooden sign that read “Fantasy Farm” in large, cartoonish letters. The house was made of dark panels of wood punctuated with black triangles for décor. Another big black triangle of a roof sloped casually over everything. It was a squat, horizontal house, only two floors high, and it sat like a solemn wooden dwarf in a forest clearing. The air around it had an evergreen tint, and the grass at its feet was a faded olive. It all felt a bit tired, as if the dwarf-house had been waiting for someone to arrive. But the moment people came, every crease of weariness melted into a warm welcome.


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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Snapshots No. 8 - Internet Roundup


Judging from my lack of updates, you have complete right to accuse me of lazy blogger syndrome these past few weeks. For some reason, I blog in a fashion similar to a cyclical weather climate. I shift from a manic storm of posts within two days, wind gusts at 40 mph, to light sprinkles scattered here and there, partly cloudy. Why can't I adopt the temperate weather of California or some other sunny state that's consistently 75 degrees and mostly sunny.

Anyway, enough of my rants to be a better blogger. I have here for you today the roundup of my latest adventures through the internet. Start off your weekend with some fresh inspiration and a dollop of good world-wide-web fodder:

MY TOP TEN INTERNET TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR TODAY

1. Are you the jet-setting, cultured type (or aspiring to be) and have nothing to do this fine Saturday? Check out the Monocle Weekend Agenda for some ideas, such as Parisian art and re-imagined London architecture.

2. Continuing with the Monocle theme, have a listen to the latest Urbanist broadcast about the value of a "third space" between work and home. You'll hear from Ray Oldenburg, the author of The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community

3. Thinking about joining the running cult? Have a look at what the world would be like if everyone ran via this bit from Refinery29.

4. For the creative artist in you, try this Brain Pickings article called "Tchaikovsky on Work Ethic vs. Inspiration."

5. And if you aren't sure if you're the creative type, read this widely popular piece from HuffPost on "18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently."

6. Fashionistas will appreciate Vogue's new My Life in Vogue project, featuring videos of regular people and their stylish lives.

7. Retail junkies or lovers of Creatures of Comfort should check out these two stores: Hare + Hart (sustainable leather fashion that would go great with your globally inspired look) and Maryam Nassir Zadeh (a bright, refreshing boutique featuring an exquisite array of lesser known designers to whip out, if you're into that kinda thing). While we're at it, have a look at my earlier post on Merci, an amazing concept store in France.

8. I love my indie magz. See what I'm reading on my Issuu profile.

9. Are you into design? Continue the hunt at habitusliving.com

10. And last but certainly not least, go visit Blouinartinfo.com if you haven't already. Such a classic for any culture nerds, art lovers, and high-fashion aficionados out there.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Style Notes: Fairyland

Valentino Spring 2014

For all those unapologetic scifi-fantasy nerds like myself, prepare for this season's epic trend. It's practically Game of Thrones gone haute-couture. Faeries and sprites glide down the runways. Dark witches and snow queens reign in all their glory. There are lush furs reminiscent of House Stark, and gossamer gowns that bring to mind Tolkien elves. Earthy, rich colors at Valentino come straight from the mosses of a forest kingdom, while the silky blues and creams at Alexander McQueen suggest a wintry palace of ice. It's all such a decadent treat and the perfect remedy for bland winter minimalism. And before you go ahead and indulge in the feudal-fantasy bliss below, have this fun tune set the scene for you :)

all images via Style.com


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Friday, January 31, 2014

Movie Musings - Masculin Féminin


Masculin Féminin is bursting with literary allegories, motifs, and themes. One could do a feminist interpretation of the way Madeleine constantly plays with her hair and touches up her makeup. One could psychoanalyze the scene where Catherine eats an apple. But I, for one, will spare you all that in lieu of a feverishly written fit of personal opinion...

Seeing this movie, I felt like a Parisian café dweller eavesdropping on a particular group of people as I watched the world go by. The dialogue was so natural and unvarnished, it could only be the fragments of an overheard conversation. Like an extension of the French custom of people-watching, this film celebrated those little details, plot lines, and tiny idiosyncrasies that you fill in about someone when you pass him or her on the streets. Skipping to the beat of France in the '60s, this movie presents a perfectly imperfect picture of life as a blithe adolescent in that time and place.

A personal note on a somewhat fascinating generational difference: the absence of the awkward phenomenon 50 years ago. There were many thoughtful pauses, deliberate pauses, glaring pauses, and lingering pauses throughout the dialogue, but not a single "awkward pause." Instead, everyone just seemed to say what they needed to say, ready to accept, or rather ignore, the consequences. Any silence that ensued was embraced, reveled in, and/or patiently accepted. As a result, the conversations they had were sweetly blunt and straightforward. No need for the frills and trimmings of forced wit and humor that's a necessary in small talk nowadays so as to avoid, dismiss, or acknowledge awkwardness.


What's more, this movie isn't like the idealistic, candy-coated rom-coms of today. And as a matter of fact, it isn't like most major flicks of today, the ones that glorify all of life's significant moments. Instead, Masculin Féminin focuses on the un-glorious moments, those common points in time that happen everyday. Pointless chat in a laundromat, trivial talks at dinner on a weekday night, standing up to buy popcorn at the movies. They all take place without atmospheric music or dramatic cinematography. Even the more dramatic moments (political vandalization, abrupt conversations on sex) play out without the typical glaze of Hollywood. Everything that happens just happens. It's like a study in mindfulness. This movie lives in the present and attempts to see the present how it is. I wish I could do the same. And interestingly enough, not glorifying those little things actually does glorify them, in a nostalgic, ironically aspirational way.

By giving as close a portrayal of teenage life in 1960's France as it could, albeit a delightfully artistic and subtle one, this movie is all the more effective in making its observations on people, society, etc. etc. plausible. And, as I've mentioned, a big factor that contributes to its true-to-life vibe is the script; it's so organic and unsentimentally observant. As proven by other French films I've seen (Jean de FloretteManon des sources, Entre les murs),  French cinema seems to have a knack at sharp, simplistically wise dialogue that illuminates one small, yet nevertheless important and universal, slice of human existence.


Alright, that concludes my philosophical rant for the day. Enjoy the trailer below:


P.S. I just discovered The Criterion Collection on Hulu. It's unbelievably fantastic. See their page on Masculin Féminin here.
img sources - 1 and 2


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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Posh

Posh

Rick Owens ribbed sweater / Boutique satin shorts / Stella McCartney Crystal-embellished velvet slippers / Mango handbag / Kate Spade bib statement necklace / Dolce Gabbana dolce gabbana lipstick

Excuse me as I indulge in a quick blitz of some pure, unadulterated fashion today. If I were to take a shot at the vintage-modern style paradox, I'd picture something of this sort. Chic, old-fashioned shoes, luxurious satin shorts, a trendy turtleneck and a classic handbag blend together for a perfect tension of eras. Accessorize that with a slightly art deco statement necklace and lush, noir-rouge lips and you'll be posh as a Ritz.

And here's a swanky little tune to serve as soundtrack:



P.S. As far as music on the blog goes, I've been dying to throw in some of my favorite globally sourced songs. I'm thinking of doing a World Café weekly special featuring all kinds of fun, eclectic things, so stay posted folks.


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snapshots No. 7 - Due to Inclement Weather...


Speaking from giddy experience, there's nothing more fantastic than a snow day except another completely unexpected snow day, announced just as your first one draws to a reluctant close. The phrase "due to inclement weather" is a beautiful thing indeed. I've been whiling away my sweet time reading a great book (Specialty Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, which, for those who might not know, is not in fact a discourse on colliding particles but a whirring fiction novel that sweeps one off his/her feet) and drinking Keurig's Single Cup Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa. If you're familiar with Blue van Meer, I'm starting to think my writing has subconsciously picked up a "Bluish" tint to it. As in, I feel like I'm talking like the character whose murder-mysterious, electrifying world I've currently fallen into..

To book lovers the world over, pick up this read for your next escapade. It's crackling with intelligence (there are more esoteric literary, political, and academic references in this novel than snow flakes on my front lawn),  brimming with one-of-a-kind analogies ("If Servo were in a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, he'd be the Painfully Tragic character, the one who wore bronze suits and alligator shoes"), full of marvelous observations ("The fluorescent lights made a soured halo around his hair so he looked like a hand-painted Jesus one finds hanging on clammy walls of churches that smell of Gruyère." And also, "Shutting down disturbances…was the only reason Ms. Hambone ever emerged from her office, where she allegedly spent her day shopping www.QVC.com for Easter Limited-Quantity Collectibles and Goddess Glamour Jewelry."), and populated by extremely three-dimensional, larger than life characters that threaten to step off the page and invite you to a cup of coffee, or, depending on who you're dealing with here, invite you to go camping only to leave you stranded in the forest.

There I go again, talking like the narrator of whatever book I'm reading at the time. It's a pesky habit I have.

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