21 August 2013

The Muse: Color-Blocked Print

 So this week's Trend Spin linkup was color blocking, and since I spent Tuesday (the day of the linkup) cleaning the basement where the washing machine overflowed, I wanted to just give it up. A word about me and color blocking: I just don't get it. At first I thought it meant prints like a Mondrian painting where there are literally blocks of color, and sometimes this is true. Other times it just means wearing a bunch of separate and distinct colors, ie: royal blue shirt, hot pink pants, yellow shoes. But frankly there just isn't a concrete enough definition for me. More importantly I struggle with the concept because it seems to focus on blocks of solid colors, which is not something I have a lot of in my wardrobe. I like prints, in case you couldn't tell. I can wear two totally different colored prints, and often do but that's a whole other trend. But if color blocking includes striped things, those are patterns. So is a Mondrian like block motif. SO I said screw it and just made up my own rules.
In this dress I'm taking a stand for the color blocked pattern. This dress looks like the inside of a LSD hallucination, with a mixture of Ed Hardy like motorcycle flames and tie-dye dreams, with a little Far Easter influence thrown in just for fun. But it does have very clear separate and distinct blocks of color. So does the purse, which has just about every color or pattern ever made in leather, some of which occur naturally in nature, others like the sparkly chartreuse, do not. So that's y story and I'm sticking to it, I don't care what anyone says, I color blocked with the best of them. Also as an interesting side note I think this dress and this purse represent the polar opposites of my closet, the dress being the cheapest item (at $0.99), and the purse being the most expensive( at $199). Leave it to fashion to bring them together on design's common ground.

Dress: NF thrifted via Savers
Necklace: not sure, possibly Kohl's???
Purse: DeDe via Anthropologie
Shoes: Not Rated, gift
Sunglasses: J. Marcel
Nail Polish: Ocean by Revlon Expess


pleated poppy

15 August 2013

The Muse: Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
 Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower; 
but only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay.
No you probably know that poem for one of two reasons, either you know that it was part of the collection of poems "New Hampshire" that won Robert Frost the 1924 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (along side other heavy hitters like "Fire and Ice" and "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening") or you know it because at some point you read S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders or more likely saw the Brat Pack film based on it.

This poem was Ponyboy's favorite, and becomes a metaphor for the unhappy plight of the Greasers, in particular the tragic figure of Johnny. Back in April for National Poetry Month we polled the teachers at my school on their favorite poems, and Frost came up again and again, this poem in particular. I discussed this with the head of the English department, saying I was surprised (Frost is not a particular favorite of mine)and he snorted in derision, dismissing this as a clear indicator of where people's taste in poetry is going, because "Frost is for babies, way too simplistic". To a certain degree I'm with him, but then again looking at the poem there is beauty in the simplicity, and yes, quite a bit of truth. You can't live in New England as Frost did, and I always have, without a deep reverence for the seasons and develop a certain cynicism about the fleeting nature of life. I think that there is a certain period of time when seasons, and the life and death that they bring with them coexist and they truly are fleeting. Those few days of spring when there are flowers bursting forth on bare winter branches with snow still on the ground. A tree that is dying and shedding golden and red leaves next to one that is still as green as the middle of summer. Anyway this dress reminded me of that, the transition between the vibrant greens of summer and the golden grasses and leaves of autumn. Its still summer here in New England but last night it went down to 49, and fall can't be too far off, which left me longing for longer sleeves and suede pumps. As for the Frost poem, having worked with students for many years now I have to confess that there is no book that I have ever seen students like as much as The Outsiders. In my district they read it in the 8th grade and have a big party where the kids get to dress up as either a Greaser or a Soc. It transcends gender, age, social groups. Its a timeless story, not too long, and written in a language that is easy for kids to understand. I have talked to kids years after they read it and they still have good things to say about ti, and many reread it. The teachers out there will tell you how rare that is. Perhaps it means that things that are gold actually do stay, in the rarest of cases.

Dress: vintage, no label, thrifted via Better Than New Consignment
Belt: vintage, no label, via Wright Square Antiques Mall
Necklace: J. Marcel
Headband: Anthropologie
Purse: vintage, Wright Square Antiques Mall
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, thrifted via Wheeler School Clothing Sale


14 August 2013

Change of Scenery

So I've been sitting on this news for a while, mainly because all the people who needed to know hadn't been told yet, but I've decided to make a pretty big career change and leave teaching in order to go back to school for fashion design. 

Hopefully you haven't gotten too attached to Rhode Island as a backdrop for my outfit photos because in order to do this, I'm moving to Georgia.

Starting next month I'll be leaving Rhode Island, and my job as a teacher, to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design.

I visited Savannah back in June and thought it was a really wonderful city, and I think I'll be very happy there. As of right now I anticipate having to live there for around two years while I'm attending school. I'll certainly be keeping my blog, just with a slightly different backdrop and I'll be a lot poorer while I do it!

The decision to leave teaching wasn't an easy one. I have been laid off several times, and jobs, at least here in the Northeast are not all that easy to come by. Teaching is never what I intended to do, however when I was in college, substitute teaching was much easier than working in retail or as a waitress. I sort of fell into the profession from there. And I was good at it. But I never really loved what I did, instead it  became my only option as a career. While I loved my students and the satisfaction I got from teaching, it wasn't my passion. I found myself pouring more time and effort into this blog, than into lesson planning and I never wanted to only do my job halfway. I also was afraid that I would wake up 40 years from now and find out I wasted my life doing something I didn't love because it was convenient. So I'm taking the plunge and chasing my passion. I may fall flat on my face, but at least now I'll know I've tried. I anticipate it being quite a ride, I hope you all will come along for it!

13 August 2013

The Muse: Classic Chameleon

 Black and white, you really can't say too much about black and white. It always works, there is no occasion that it isn't appropriate for and yet it never looks dated or predictable. There's also something about it that just begs for pattern mixing, lots and lots of pattern mixing. Sure there are other classic color combinations; red, white, and blue, for example, but there are certain connotations that go along with it. Not black and white, it is truly the chameleon of all occasions  yet yet it still plays well with all those other lovely colors in your closet. I confess I do have a hard time with black and white linkups however, because I feel like with such a simple color palate the details all need to be exceptional. In reality I'm just over thinking it. There's a reason this duo is classic, and you don't screw with classics.

Blouse: Kasper & Co. thrifted via The Bargain Box
Tank: Newport News (very old)
Trousers: vintage, no label, thrifted via Salvation Army Family Store
Aquarius Necklace: vintage, Crown Jewels (Santa Fe)
Purse: Daisy Fuentes for Kohl's, gift
Shoes: Fashion Bug, thrifted via Salvation Army Family Store
Sunglasses: J. Marcel 

Style Elixir

also linking up with Walking in High Heels in Memphis' Trend Spin Linkup: Black and White

12 August 2013

The Muse: Wedding Bell Blues

 My birthday was spent this year celebrating someone else's special day, when my co-worker Rebecca married her long time boy toy Tim. I've known Rebecca about three years and was very flattered that she would include me in her very special day, and it was great to have the DJ and cake ready made for birthday celebrations.  I'm not sure if there was a memo I missed regarding this but the color of the day was blue. Not just the wedding colors, though they were. There were blue invitations, and programs, flowers, accent lights, even blueberry cosmos for the signature drink and my theory is that looking at their invitations before getting dressed inspired a wave of blue to engulf the wedding attendees. From aqua, to periwinkle, to navy we had a serious case of the blues. I don't know if it was a subliminal thing or if there was something in the air. Personally I just wanted a dress to match my hat. I'm a big proponent of the wedding hat, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the occasion. Lets be honest there are few enough occasions to wear a hat out and about, why not embrace every opportunity. I've worn a hat the the past three weddings I've gone to, and plan to continue, its my signature thing. Besides especially at an outdoor wedding it keeps you cool and helps you see much more clearly when the bright blue sky and sun are causing a glare. I think that everyone else at the wedding was secretly envious because it seemed that almost every person I talked to wanted to talk about that hat is some form. Only a select few were allowed to play with it, that privilege was reserved for my dates, a pair of fellow single teachers.

Dress: Anthropologie
Earrings: vintage, gift from my grandmother
Hat: vintage, no label, via Broadway Costumes (now out of business)
Purse: vintage, Dover, via Hall's on Broadway
Shoes: A Touch of Nina via DSW
Nail polish: Gone Grey by Sally Hansen

Wedding Venue: The Villa at Ridder Country Club

"My date" Kristen tried on the hat with gusto

 My other "date" Lindsey strikes a pose (the hat even matched her outfit down to the rhinestones!)

Rebecca and he father, she looked truly stunning. He body just goes on forever, she looks as statuesque as a fashion model in her gown. I am not a huge fan of bridal wear for the most part. I don't like how the whole industry pushes a false princess ideal. I thought Rebecca's dress was lovely and perfect for her body type ( I especially like the scolloped neckline and the delicate bustle) but more importantly it fit her personal style. It wasn't Walt Disney's idea of how a bride should look, it was our same everyday Rebecca in white lace but still clearly recognizable. I you saw how vehemently critical I am when my mother forces me to watch "say Yes to the Dress" you would know what high praise this is.

I won the centerpiece because my birthday was the closest (duh it was the same day)

Teachers can get into a lot of trouble outside the classroom as Andrea and Kristen illustrated on the dance floor....