Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Växtglädje. Illustration on a gift wrap bought at Ikea in 2013. I wish I knew who the illustrator is. This is one great dress in my favorite color. I love the three-quarter sleeve and the length that seemingly goes on-and-on forever. It is definitely evening wear. A floating maxi dress can be very flattering. However, it could be problematic to wear for a regular city dweller. Look how beautifully the skirt drapes. I can only see it draping like this when it floats in the air.


If this magical dress was meant to be worn by elves on a swing at Christmas time in an enchanted forest, then let it be. I bought the gift wrap for the illustration. Speaking of forest, I hardly wrap anything except for Christmas presents. I carefully unwrap presents to save and reuse paper. I recycle what I can't reuse. I can't help but think of the life of a tree and the number of years or decades required for it to grow old enough to be harvested and processed to make paper. And then comes the fleeting moment for a gift wrap to be admired then ripped off and discarded. 


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thrift Store Find

The black skirt in this post is the same item that appears HERE in a previous post as a black top. It is a sleeveless top which comes with a diagonal strap to hold it in place, but I find it more comfortable to wear it as a skirt. It could be a bit risky to wear a top as a skirt if it wasn't designed that way. You might need a belt to prevent your 'skirt' from slipping in case it doesn't fit well. The black top is a leftover sales item. Both items are from a thrift store.

Black top that serves as a skirt, Repeat

Beige top, J. Taylor

Monday, December 14, 2015

Almost Perfect

As a native speaker of the English language, some of you might wonder how I can write complex structures and still make some basic mistakes. That's easy. When I go on auto pilot and just jolt something down thinking 'Wow, it's so darned easy, it must be this way.' it's usually not. I started to write this blog to hang onto my English and, at one point, I stopped worrying too much about it. That was the final push for me to write. My verbal skills are good, but I am not perfectMy real strength is in creative writing. I am my own editor. If I really start wrestle with a topic, it seems that my English catches up and gets better.

I have the skills to do some wizardry with grammar and yet, I can't help making mistakes. There are times when I can't see them so they stay to hunt me. It's a never-ending battle. And it's fun. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I understand now that I will never be perfect -- no matter how good I am or how hard I try. If I don't practice, I loose my grasp and get worse. I just try to push on. I try to achieve clarity and consistency and stay grammatically correct as much as possible. I can get pretty good at that, but it is time consuming and not easy.

There are times, when what I write is good as is and I might think that there is something still wrong with it. While other times, I just can't see the obvious. It always depends on the particular text. It's like ghost hunting. I might see a ghost where there is none or can't see one when it's right in front of me.

When it comes to writing this blog, I see myself as a street performer. It serves me as an inspiration. My visitors are passerby. Some will stop and listen and might enjoy my performance.

Note to self: write in complex structures

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Black Top

I hope you all had a happy Halloween. I found the black top in the attic of an abandoned thrift store last night.
According to various historical sources, none of which can be trusted, the original owner of the top was born in the year of 666. It's in great condition. The visible dust on it must come from our century. I managed to take a few shots while leaving the dust intact. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Next Black

A film about the Future of Clothing. (2014) I watched the video HERE over the weekend. It can be viewed in segments. I listed the starting time for each segment.
Directed by David Dworsky and Victor Koehler
Chapter 1: Merging Fashion & Tech
Chapter 2: Smart Clothes (starting at 8 minutes)
Chapter 3: Brewing Sustainable Fabrics (at 13.30 min)
Chapter 4: Fast Fashion (at 24 min)
Chapter 5: Dyeing Without Water (at 30 min)
Chapter 6: Fixing Things (at 35 min)

On Chapter 2
Let's get smart on clothes. I'd like to see a wearable malignancy detector built in a garment so it could warn me about potential danger; both verbal and physical. It should indicate when to stay calm or fight or flee. I wish I had one. But then an evil opponent could always use malice shielding devices like smooth talk and a fake smile that looks just like the real one fooling my built-in detector. I really need a reliable fake smile gauge as well. And if it malfunctions or tampered with, I still could fall back on instinct or real-life experience.

On Chapter 3
Brewing fabrics sounds interesting to me. I can't wait till it happens. I envision myself standing in the kitchen in the morning making a a yummy looking smoothie for breakfast and a colorful mash for a new cocktail dress fabric. I put both smoothie and mash in the fridge in separate glasses. Buddy comes in and opens the fridge. He picks up the glass that is the more colorful of the two and gulps up my cocktail dress fabric mash. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pattern Overload

This outfit stopped me at my tracks. I just couldn't take my eyes off of it. It took me some time to understand that I wasn't seeing an avalanche of patterns but mostly the same one. There is nothing wrong with leopard print per se, as long as it comes with neutral base colors. I do like the long sleeve top, but I would leave out the frilly turtleneck. The frills make the pattern disappear, and add heavy texture to the shirt. Why add texture to such a busy print? And then comes a cavalcade of base colors along with a stylized version of the same pattern repeated on the belt and on the pants as well. All of which matched with the denim makes the head spin. In my humble opinion, that's a well-planned visual attack.

Why add accessories? The pattern on the long sleeve shirt, the most pleasing one if left alone, practically swallows up the black pearl necklace and gets the eyes tired before they can catch the details on the denim.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Make a Fish Mad

Have you've ever tried to make a fish mad? How about five or the full population of a fish tank? I never thought I could, but somehow I did while waiting in a dental office last Friday. I don't really know what happened. It might have to do something with me touching the glass at eye-level. 
I locked eyes with the big velvety black fish, the biggest and most spectacular one in the tank. It looked harmless enough, but at one point it went mad. When it started to swim in circles shaking its fins feverishly, the rest of the fish -- much smaller and way too modest in appearance -- got nervous, too. They shot out of the corner of the tank and switched into synchronized swimming mode in a random zig-zag pattern. 

I wore a black top that day. Did the the velvety black fish see me as a potential threat?

Too bad I was looking at the fish to calm my nerves. What a relief it was when finally they called my name and I walked into the exam room. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Floppy Summer Straw Hat

Yesterday was market day. I woke up early heading for the market in my new straw hat. New it was, yet weather beaten thanks to a storm that happened a week ago. It lost its shape as the rim got limp hanging too low. Funny how it looks now.

The best time to go to the market is Saturday. Early morning hours are quite. The earlier it is, the greater the selection of fresh produce and the less people are around meaning no long lines. If you manage to get there really early on a regular basis, the vendors will recognize you.

As I was leaving the market I passed a man who, upon seeing me, spontaneously burst into a little song about a hat. I looked at him laughing. He laughed as well as he finished his song. It was such a happy little song that I kept humming it and when I got home I decided to keep the good-for-nothing hat.

Note to self: the adjective good-for-nothing describes a person.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wrap Top

C. is wearing a black wrap top, a beige tee and dark green jeans. I've had trouble with how to spell blue jeans before. It confused me that, while the majority would spell it as two words some folks would spell it as one word. I made a compromise and came up with the ingenious idea that it must be hyphenated -- the worst variation ever. And then came enlightenment thanks to the outfit presented by C. If bluejeans is one word, how would I spell green jeans?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Misty White Dress

I've been doing a big cleanup and sorting of clothes. It's like a spring cleaning. It's refreshing. I know it's June, but it could be spring just as well for a procrastinator. And do I love spring!
The white dress is a thrift store find. The edge of the skirt is a bit frayed, but still looks OK. What concerns me more is the forest in the background. It was damaged by a hail storm last winter. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Aiming for the Stars

A long time ago, I had this dream to go to the Moon and walk around there (more like float a short distance) and take a good look at the Earth and like real astronauts do -- marvel at its beauty. But now I know that for me the whole idea of going to the Moon just to look around makes no sense. Even if I could wear a bulky spacesuit and survived in it, I couldn't justify my presence up there as a mere Earth watcher.

Did I have tonnes of money and a real chance to burn it on a space trip, I still would want to stay down here. How about if I just look upon the sky at night to marvel at the Moon and see the stars shine? And in the meantime, I can walk around in my pajamas and take a deep breath with no need to wear protective gear. And I can do that again and again as many times as I want to. How lucky is that?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Dancer

The dancer first presented the outfit and then did some dance moves. As his hand reached the ground and his legs flew up high, the podium started to tilt. At the same time, all but one of the audience members started to lean to one side. Unfazed, a guy in a black leather jacket crossed his arms over his chest and braced himself to keep his balance. 
Seriously, I just wanted to have the background be blurred and the dancer frozen in motion. Instead of trying to get a proper exposure, I was wondering how comfortable it is to dance in jeans and a bottom-up shirt. How much freedom of movement does such an outfit give a dancer? All the freedom they want if shirt and jeans are a loose fit.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Copenhagen Fashion Festival

Copenhagen -- Part Eleven

If you asked me how a self-activating lightsaber made it into the picture (seen in the previous entry), I had no answer for that. I definitely can't remember a jedi standing right behind me while taking the shot.

Having just learned about Copenhagen Fashion Week on the spot last summer, I tried my best as I pleaded with a host for letting me in to see a grand show with no ticket or invitation. As an alternative to The Show, I was kindly informed to see an exhibition of dummies, of all things, adorned with the design work of some new talents. 

I decided against it and headed for the streets to check out the festivities. I saw long lines for free hair and makeup which I skipped and went to see the guy at the TONI&GUY tent working on a model. I took some candid warm-up shots while simultaneously asked him for permission to take some real ones. He grinned and nodded and I took it as a "yes". So I proceeded with the real shots. As I took the shots, he kept grinning all the way through. Well, warm-up or not, none of the shots turned out good.

Note: The truth is that generally all of my shots ARE warm-up shots regardless of the situation. And I think that the guy from TONI&GUY knew that. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wall of Shoes

Copenhagen -- Part Ten

This is just a side note for an earlier post about the Wall of Shoes. It took Jacob 8 hours to build the shoe wall. There were around 300 shoes on the wall, and he collected 75 pairs for the homeless in Copenhagen.

What a great project!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jeans Statue

Copenhagen -- Part Nine

Jeans on a facade of building worn by an invisible model. The popularity of denims raises the question: If they went out of fashion tomorrow, what would a great chunk of the population wear? Click When and How Jeans Became Popular, a fun article on the history of these beloved pants. My oldest pair is close to ten years old. In jeans years, that is past retirement age. Needless to say, I do not wear them anymore. 

That pair on the wall was made water-resistant and placed on a piece of plywood as a base that is secured to the wall by screws. See that little dark speck up on the right-hand side at crotch level for one of the screws.  

Note to self: Jeans are plural. Always. Even when it's a pair. Jeez.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shoes in Shades

 Copenhagen -- Part Eight

The other employee from the same boutique. He was dressed impeccably in new jeans and a white shirt. I wish I could have engaged in the eloquent conversation he had with my friend about his job. It looks like his shoes are two different shades. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Model of Shoes

Copenhagen -- Part Seven

My friendly shoe model, an employee at a downtown boutique. Curious about the ongoing conversation, he walked out to the front of the store. I got that big smile. Watching in surprise, my friend couldn't help but giggle to learn about my interest that seemed a bit odd to her. I got two seconds to take the shot.

And hygge, all around again: an atmosphere; not feeling like a stranger but being at ease; open conversations -- not just simply being nice and friendly. A dance party on the street stretching into the night. New dads pushing strollers. Waves and waves of bikers with kids and dogs. A conversation with a stranger as if you were old friends. A young family on roller skates, with the father explaining to me how proud he is to be a Dane. And how contempt content he is to be able to live for his dreams. A girl on a boat with a whistle in her mouth, dancing and waving to everyone who'd care to notice.

Note to self: Ooh you lousy phonetics! I just wrote contempt for content. There is a teeny-weeny difference there in meaning. D'ohh! Don't mind that the Danes are the happiest people in Europe.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wall of Shoes -- Din sko, din historie, ny start

Copenhagen -- Part Six

"Your shoes, your story, my start" -- It's hard to walk in downtown Copenhagen without noticing the Wall of Shoes, an art installation by Jacob Amsgaard, a local artist. According to the description:
All shoes have a story along with their owner, but not everybody has shoes. Do you have a pair of shoes with a story you would like to share? And give a new start? The installation on this wall was created on Saturday the 12th of July 2014.  During 8 hours shoes were collected in order to unite creativity and the possibility to help other people. All excess shoes and donations have been given to GRACE KBH.

I wanted to know just how many pairs were collected. As it happened, while checking out the gravity-obeying shoelaces and some of the high heels, I lost count of the shoes.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Copenhagen Flowers

Copenhagen -- Part Five

Our visit to Copenhagen last summer coincided with Copenhagen Fashion Week. The picture of a pastry shop window seen above was taken in the heart of downtown. I like the hanger that appears to be hanging in thin air.

A dome-shaped cake decorated with marzipan flowers was also on display. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a decent shot of the cake. And I couldn't take a decent bite of the cake, either. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Elves in a Box

Copenhagen -- Part Four

First came a series of strange high-pitched sounds -- a rapid sequence of squeaks as if coming from the hinges on a rusty gate. Now imagine if this rusty gate started to squabble in a squeaky voice. And from time to time, the squabble was interrupted with a hearty giggle. In the distance, a small gathering started to form. I glimpsed an odd formation -- a platform as high as a table with three holes on top of which three heads stuck out.

The three heads moved in harmony while the one in the middle talked. He produced those alien sounds, a total gibberish, with such confidence as to make us believe that we just heard an intelligible and yet undiscovered language. 'Don't you guys get it, I am TELLING you.' I was dying to know what he was saying. I thought that if only I could listen carefully or long enough everything would make sense. So I waited and just kept my eyes on him. What did the others do? Some took up seats on a nearby bench and made themselves comfortable and the rest stood around with dropped jaws in great anticipation.