Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays!

The wings looked magnificent. I stopped in my walk to take a better look. From closer inspection, they showed a grayish discoloration. I walked into the store to ask for the price. I was told that they were not for sale.

The large wings reminded me of the swan I saw last winter. Later, one of my favorite fairy tales from my childhood would come to mind, "The Wild Swans", by Hans Christian Andersen. In the story, eleven brothers are turned into swans by their evil stepmother. What saves them at the end is craft, namely weaving, done by their sister. Her task is to make each a nettle shirt to break the spell. She weaves relentlessly by night. She has to face adversary while being accused of witchcraft. She is threatened to be burned. Sounds like one hell of a craft project. What saves her brothers though is not simply her weaving skill, but rather her endurance and sacrifice.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Carpet Footwear

If I will ever be invited to a red carpet event, that's the pair of shoes I'd like to wear. These shoes are light and were made for carpet walking. As an additional feature, they keep the feet warm. I call them Yin and Yang respectively. Being size L, Yang is the bigger one. They were the last pair at the store. The costumer before me had picked up a mismatched pair leaving me with the dilemma of "take it or leave it". I hesitated. And then I saw those yellow button eyes fixed on me and I couldn't resist them. So, here I am thinking about wearing them at a red carpet event I have yet to be invited to.

I will wear a scarlet maxi gown with my Rottweiler slippers for the event. One can always hope.

Friday, December 7, 2012

White Boots

I don't own white shoes, but I really like these lace-up boots. They look costume made and seem to follow the natural shape of the foot. They have the perfect heel height for walking and must be comfortable to wear. It's funny that the flip-flops in the background seemingly have bigger sole height than the heel height of the boots.  

I took this picture in September on an unusually warm and sunny day. The streets are covered with a thin layer of snow now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanks, Tom!

I had the most hilarious dream last week. Tom Cruise came to my place to ask me to marry him. He came in a big black rented car with two bodyguards. The bodyguards stayed outside and took up position by each side of the main entrance while my neighbors stood behind their windows peeking through their curtains. Tom knocked on the door. As I opened it, he posed for a moment and said, "Hi Maria! Can I come in?" 
"Sure," I said. I was so confused that I forgot to say HI. He stepped in, then he paused again for a few seconds looking straight into my eyes. I just stared at him dumbstruck. He looked humble. With his trademark smile and piercing blue eyes set on me, he said that I was a great person, and that he wanted to marry me. "What is going on? He doesn't even know me," I thought. I was sure he had never seen me before. Naturally, I knew him from his movies, but that was all. I didn't know what to say. Finally, I stated one simple fact that I thought would save the situation, "I am sorry Tom, but I am taken." Still looking intensely at me, he clasped my hands and said, "Thank you for your time." And then he left.

If I met him for real, I would tell him about this dream. The first person I told about it couldn't help laughing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Theatrical Costumes

These costumes were displayed at an exhibition tent of a local theater.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"The Cotton Film : Dirty White Gold"

Cotton is my favorite choice of fabric. It's soft and breathable. It doesn't irritate the skin, and it's easy to wear. The majority of summer garments in my closet are made of cotton as well as my blue jeans and socks. Where does all the cotton in my closet come from? Most likely from all of the three largest producers in the world, China, India, and The US.

India has a rich history of making cotton that dates back thousands of years. "Indian Cotton History" is a short article written by Connie Krochmal, an award winning author. 

"Dirty White Gold" is a documentary by Leah Borromeo, journalist and filmmaker. The story is about the dark side of cotton farming in today's India.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thrift Store Find

After reading the label, I realized why the little dress was put on the leftover sales rack with a 50% off sticker on it. The strange symbol on the care label indicated that it was dry clean only. 

I thought I would give it a try anyway. I washed it in cold water and nothing bad happened.
It didn't shrink or fade. I ironed it gently when still damp on low temperature. 

According to the label it's 55% polyester and 45% viscose. I prefer natural fibers to synthetic, but I love the color, and it cost next to nothing.  

Dress, Gina Benotti

Earrings, Handmade by me


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is a Halloween themed movie from 1993 directed by Kenny Ortega starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. It's listed as a family movie, but I think it's more for adults than children. What I really like about it is the makeup and costume design. For close-ups of the witch makeups see a set of images here

More than a dozen people worked in the costume department with costume designer Mary E. Vogt to help bring the characters to life. The central theme is how to regain youth; the age-old problem of witches.

Photo courtesy by Jason at hollywoodmoviecostumesandprops

I like Sarah Jessica Parker's dress the best. It makes her look like a princess witch. A character that is too beautiful for a witch, yet too wicked for a princess. She looks wampy with her golden tresses, low cleavage and smoky eye-makeup. Bette Midler's costume is for a queen witch that comes with rabbit teeth dentures, nails that are literally electrifying, and period hair. Kathy Najimy sports a cone-shaped updo and spidery eyelashes.

Jason's site is a treasure box for any fan of beautiful movie costumes. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Monster Claws

The huge wire bin was placed strategically right by the entrance of the tiny store with a giant heap of assorted accessories piled up in it. I couldn't resist checking it out. It was calling for me. Enthusiastically rummaging through the bin, I spotted the claw ring, pulled it out of the bottom of the pile, tried it on, admired it for a few seconds, and bought it on the spot. Ten minutes later, when I tried to remove it from my ring finger, it felt like the claws had a tight grip on me. I had to turn the ring around a few times until I could get it off.  

Shown here is the monster ring gripping Carol's ring finger:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Claw Ring

I'd borrowed a telescope from a nearby observatory and hauled it home. After installing it in my kitchen, I took a few shots of my new ring hovering in the foreground of the far left corner of our galaxy. Here is the result:

Fine. I admit it. It took me sixty-three shots to get that result. That is just a messy dinner plate with some greasy residue on the surface. For me, however, it looks like a spitting image of a tiny fracture of the Milky Way.   

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Accessory Accidents - The Missing Earring

Note to Self: Fish out missing earring of the vacuum cleaner dust bag. Take tweezers and try to reach down to the bottom of the bag to pick up earring. Drop tweezers. Sweat. Try to reach for tweezers by hand. Get stuck in the opening of the bag. Sweat. Wriggle your wrist out of the opening. Get a fridge magnet to fish out both tweezers and earring. Congratulate yourself.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Faux Fur Boots

The trimming looks just like the real thing, yet no furry animals were harmed in making these boots.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bad Hair Day

I woke up this morning very early. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror with half-closed eyes. What I saw scared me. It was someone with an Elvis-like hairdo, sans the sideburns, staring back at me. After a few seconds, I realized that it was me. I screamed, grabbed some hair gel, rubbed it on my hair, and with a few swipes with the palm of my hand I more or less restored it to its natural state. Satisfied, I went back to sleep. An hour later I woke up again, went back to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and what I saw was the same stranger with the same Elvis-like hairdo I had seen an hour before. The only difference was a thick layer of hair gel on the hair gleaming in the morning light. I screamed again. And then I remembered going to bed with wet hair the previous night. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Double the Fun

Talented dancers performing at last week fashion show. They were dressed in a half black half white costume.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hear Me

Fashion shows are primarily for the eye. However, when background music is too loud, it's necessary to protect the ear. For me, any music that is far too loud to enjoy is not music but noise. Noise can be damaging depending on intensity and time of exposure. Prolonged exposure may result in immediate or gradual hearing loss that is either temporary or permanent. NIHL stands for Noise Induced Hearing Loss. 

Hair cells in the inner ear are one of the key players in the hearing process converting sounds to electrical signals. That's what healthy hair cells in the inner ear look like. 

Damaged hair cells can't function normally so they don't perform the conversion.

To protect the ear, there are various types of hearing protection devices available. My present earplugs are from the pharmacy. They are not fancy, but they work just fine. It's very important to insert them properly. I use them on a regular basis. Rather than in need of a hearing aid, I think it's much better to keep my biological hearing system intact.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

In My Eyes

I went to the mall to see a fashion show. I liked it, but the music was close to unbearable thanks to the volume. It was so loud that I felt the floor vibrate under my feet. Usually I have a pair of earplugs in my bag for such an emergency, but this time I couldn't find it. Taken into account that I'd already missed the first fifteen minutes, I decided to stay.

I still don't understand why the technicians set the volume so high. They had heavy equipment fit for a huge stadium. It was as if they wanted to attack us with sound bombs and blast our ears off. First I tried to cover my ears with my hands. And then I desperately stuffed some kleenex in them. It wasn't a very bright idea, but it was more than nothing. My ears kept throbbing long after the show.

When music is close to deafening, I find it hard to concentrate. I wish I could have asked the sound technicians if I really needed any other sense organs beyond the eye for viewing their fashion show! If I did have a chance to ask them, I am sure they couldn't have heard my question.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Sartorialist

I had a dream last night. I was in a helicopter with three others chatting with the pilot just before take off in a small hilly town somewhere in Italy. Actually, we were passing around a glass of cognac, the pilot included, for encouragement. Being fully awake and thinking about it, it beats me why the best pilot in town would need any encouragement before take off, especially in the form of an alcoholic beverage. He would be fired for that right on the spot even in a dream. What's more, I do not drink cognac or anything like it. Anyway, it seems to me now that we also needed some encouragement because we wanted to meet The Sartorialist. We had been told earlier that he was hard to catch on location hence we hired the best and only pilot in town. Note: “the best and only” is a scary combination. “Only the best” would have been a better one. Luckily for us, the problem of how to pay for the ride or for the pilot did not present itself in that particular dream.

We were chatting happily, when suddenly a group of masked men burst into the helicopter, grabbed our pilot by the shoulder and dragged him away. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was just sitting there frozen. Note: Something is always frozen in my dreams. It's usually my movements. That group must have been hired by a rival group also wanting to meet The Sartorialist or they just simply wanted to ruin our plan. At that point we realized that our plan was indeed ruined. We climbed out of the helicopter and started to walk up on a street. Soon we reached a hillside and climbed up to a lookout point to enjoy the view.

Looking around, we noticed a narrow opening in the rock wall. There were some stone steps carved into the rock leading to a tunnel. We climbed the steps and found ourselves in a beautifully lit underground restaurant. There were just a few guests scattered around sitting by old-fashioned tables each with only two seats. They wouldn't care less about us. We approached a table and as soon as we sat down, a couple of waiters rushed out to great us. I told them that we were in trouble and could not pay. And then the headwaiter came out smiling and said that our dinner was ready and it was on the house. That's when I woke up. As it happens in dreams, I didn't get to eat anything. So I made myself a hearty breakfast and wolfed it down.

Update: I've just learnt that there is a place called  El Meson de la Cava in Dominica. I wish I could go there one day! It looks so much like the place I'd visited in my dream.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Folk dancers on a brake wearing newly made traditional style costumes. The gathered skirt is worn with petticoats adding even more volume to the hip while emphasizing the bell-shaped silhouette.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hair by Flora


Love the great hairstyles in fashion shows? Some are the result of two or three professionals working as a team in a frenzy on the models' natural hair just before the show kicks off. Some are high quality custom wigs provided for the models by designers like Flora Shepelsky. In either case, what you see is masterfully styled natural hair.

Flora is a wig designer based in New Jersey. All her wigs are made of natural hair.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Corset by D. Konsanszky, a contemporary Hungarian fashion designer. She has the most amazing corset collection. It's too bad she hasn't been designing corsets lately.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Detail

The belt. It's a macrame string belt embellished with some fake stones. 

The little black dress. It's a beaded string dress.

I spent a lot of time thrifting to hunt for a few pieces. Thrifting is just so much fun that it was all worth it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thrift Store Finds

These are the newest finds from last week except for the shell necklace.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

White Tee, Blue Jeans, and a Book or Two

Not only is she beautiful, but she likes to read a lot, too. A white tee with jeans is a classic down-to-Earth outfit. A book is a great accessory. She is reading:

A) How to Maneuver a Hypersonic Vehicle by Maria K. Smith, the yet to be world-renowned author of this blog, an expert wanna-be on any the topic. 

B) Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Writing as much he did, he rose to world fame more than 150 years ago. Did he ever sleep, I wonder?

C) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, yet just another compulsive world famous writer. He became really famous about 60 years ago. I can't say "philologist" without breaking my tongue.

What a competition! It's always great to compete with the great ones and lose with dignity.   

Friday, June 29, 2012

Greetings, Swiss Visitors!

Hi Guys, I hope you'd found the bath and could go swimming as you hoped for! It's nice to know that you held on to the little scrap of paper and actually could read my scribbles.

Greetings to all visitors, great and small, too!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I can't believe it. It's the middle of the night and I woke up to put a missing word in my previous entry. I am turning into a Lisa Simpson. Seriously. A message came for my subconscious mind that my syntax was messy. And this is a style blog people. Let me sleep.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blue Jeans and Faded Shirt

I was about to step out of the subway car at my station along with a dozen other passengers when a man appeared in the middle of the open door stepping in halting the flow. He had an odd expression on his face. He was unfocused. “F^ck you.” He addressed nobody in particular in a loud and angry voice. He was a big man pushing himself forward forcing everyone else around him to give way. I looked back to see his face. He looked ahead as if he saw no one. He wore blue jeans and a faded shirt. I think he was lonely.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Hard Day at Work

And she still manages to smile. She wears a Turkish headscarf. She is one of the proprietors of a small family-run eatery called Antalya. They work hard and are open 7/24. The business is expanding. I saw her face once as she was stepping out of the kitchen to start her shift. She looked really tired that day. As soon as she reached the counter, she put on her usual smile and greeted her first costumer in a cheerful voice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Plastic Perfection

The perfect proportions to observe. Let's see. Very strong, almost masculine shoulders. Breasts like Hershey's Kisses. Unnatural upper body. Look at the upper arms, especially the armpit area! She has tennis elbows. The lower arms are unproportionally large for a lean female body. Perfect abs. This gal has never been to the gym. She stays the same forever. How likely is it to happen to any of us? And her pals in the window look exactly the same.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Last Piece of Chocolate Cake

What is a piece of chocolate cake on a messy plate, on a saucer that is, doing in a style blog? Take a closer look and see it for yourself. When making your favorite chocolate cake recipe, you want to use good quality chocolate for such a result. It doesn't have to be the most expensive brand name you buy. If you use 70% dark chocolate, your cake will be heavy and luscious. It will keep for weeks in the fridge.

This is a failed attempt to take a lizard's eye view shot. It's turned out to be more like a lizard's eye level shot.

I wanted to take one last look. I did. And then, I wanted to take one last bite. I did that, too. It's gone now.

Guárdame un pedazo de pastel, por favor. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The top is thrifted. The red thing is a handmade choker. It's made from scrap fabric found in my sewing box. Buddy almost choked on a piece of walnut cake this morning. No, he wasn't wearing my choker.

Here is the culprit:

I was inspired by reading A. Christie: "The Sittaford Mystery" to make a coffee cake. Mrs. Christie did not supply a recipe, but I'd found one here: sour cream coffee cake.

This is actually a perfectly harmless coffee cake.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My First Outfit on Dummy

This is my first outfit. Shirt, StreetOne, thrifted. Skirt, No Label, thrifted.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Dummy

Modigliani: Nudo in Piedi

Welcome to my blog. I'm Maria. This is my dummy. I'd purchased it from my favorite store that's just closed. She used to be in the window wearing stunning outfits. Now, she covers for me.