Lavender Dreams

When purchasing a peasant top – or any top, actually – I ask the most important question, exemplified in the flowchart below.

IMG_8760.PNG

 

You’d think a flow chart is a bit redundant, but it’s not. I like flowcharts and any top I purchase must pass Ani’s Ultimate Spiderweb Jenny Test (patent pending).

Luckily, the new lavender peasant top from Pinup Girl Clothing perfectly matched the spiderweb jenny!

The lavender peasant top is the newly redesigned version of the fan-favorite top. My two lovely friends over at The Hepburn Movement wrote an amazing blogpost featuring the one and only peasant top. You’ll notice in their reviews and a few of my previous posts, the peasant tops were cut with a lower bust and a straight line underneath.

IMG_8717.JPG

The new peasant top features a very flattering curve below the bust and more room for bustier gals, resulting in a much more modest neckline. As much as I love my old peasant tops and will continue wearing them, I am extremely happy with this new look. It’s so flattering and I feel much more comfortable stepping out of the house. Also, it’s now work appropriate, which is always a plus!

 

IMG_8696.JPG

Once I paired it with the spiderweb Jenny, I immediately thought of Damien Hirst’s Butterfly paintings and prints.

Side note: This now makes me want the Pinup Girl Butterfly Dress in Moth Print even more than I’ve ever wanted.

Another side note: You’ll have to excuse my thought process lately –  for this blog I prefer to write my train of thoughts and now my mind’s running a mile a minute and I am pulling myself (and now you, fellow readers) in a million directions. Bear with me!

Damien Hirst is a British artist, whose fascination with life, death, and taxidermy is so relatable. He is considering one of the wealthiest living artists and is well known for his diamond-encrusted platinum skull, For the Love of God.

damien_hirst_damien_hirst_for_the_love_of_god_2_960x640.jpg

Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007.

 

He is also well known for his use of animal carcasses, butterfly paintings and prints. What more can a girl ask for?!

The lavender of the peasant top really reminded me of the lavender Hirst used in The Souls IV

larger.jpg

Damien Hirst, The Souls IV – Oriental Gold – Gunmetal – Silver Gloss, 2010.

While it took me a while to get used to butterflies (they were my least favorite insect), thanks to Insect Diva and cute yellow butterflies that always fly around my front porch, I started appreciating them.

In addition to the redesign, the thing that keeps me going back to peasant tops is the fact that it comes in such a great variety of colors. I probably have about 10 or more! I can easily say that the lavender is definitely in my top favorite colors I own. Whether it’s because it is so similar to the lavender used in Damien Hirst’s piece above, or I’m totally swayed by the new bust, I can’t tell. All I know is I can’t wait to see all the new beautiful peasant tops with this cut!

IMG_8708.JPG

To go with the spooky theme of the skirt, I also wore one of my favorite vintage brooches – a witch and a little ghost on a broomstick. I feel so lucky I came across this piece. I love vintage brooches so I’m so glad I was able to add it to my collection.

IMG_8710.JPG

I also wore my BAIT shoes and matched it with a Pinup Couture purse which I got for free at the previous yardsale (score!)

Also, since I had my hair done the day before by the amazing Missy Firestone, all I had to do was my makeup. Seriously, you guys – check her out! Her updos last for days and I am ALWAYS satisfied with my haircuts and colors!

IMG_8723.JPG

Outfit Details:
Peasant Top, Skirt, Purse: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: BAIT Footwear
Brooch: Vintage

 

Miracle Mile

Question: How many candy striped items can a girl have?
Answer:tumblr_m8z1jigDLv1r5pqmto1_500.gif

I wanted to blog about the Candy Striped harley dress the day I got in the mail but I thought I should wait a little so we avoid stripes overload. I realize I have a problem, but I just can’t help myself – I love stripes!

FullSizeRender_2.jpg

The moment I saw the Harley dress I immediately though of Robert Irwin’s Miracle Mile on display at LACMA. The shades and sequence of colors are very similar of Miracle Mile are almost identical to the shades of the new candy striped harley dress.

EX7995_1.jpg

Robert Irwin, Miracle Mile, 2013-ongoing

Robert Irwin is a contemporary installation and light works artist known for his site-specific works, whose first exhibition of paintings was in LACMA in 1957. In Miracle Mile, Irwin has used 66 fluorescent tubes covered in colorful gels varying in shades. A single photograph cannot actually capture what Miracle Mile does to a viewer’s perception in person.

The artwork is situated in a hallway that connects Richard Serra’s Band and Chris Burden’s Metropolis II. On the opposing end is a large panoramic window right along Wilshire Blvd. (yes, Miracle Mile faces Miracle Mile). The artwork’s complexity stems from its relationship to its surroundings. However, without human and natural intervention, Miracle Mile would cease to exist. The artwork evolves every second of the day, just as shadows and lighting shift outside on Wilshire Blvd. The piece can never look the same because so many elements factor into the existence of the piece. In addition, the viewer’s perception and individual experience with the artwork deepens the complexity of the piece. Where the viewer stands, how they look, and what they choose to notice in the piece creates an experience that can never be duplicated.

DW-L38-P4-1-2-ISLA.jpg

Miracle Mile Sign on Wilshire Blvd, circa 1940 

Not only can you view Miracle Mile when you’re in the gallery, you can also view it outside as you’re walking across the street, which completely changes the definition of how to view art in museums. Irwin’s choice to position his piece in a way that museum goers and the public can view also gets me to question standard definitions of museums. As a museum professional, my goal is to bring people to the museum. A visitors physical presence in the museum is significant because they chose to walk through those doors and view art. But Irwin’s choice of offering Miracle Mile a dual existence allows art to trickle into people’s peripheral vision, whether they are in the museum with the intention of viewing his piece or not.

FullSizeRender_5.jpg

Pinup Girl Clothing’s [sort of] new candy striped Harley dress similarly plays with a viewer’s perception. The dress has beautifully vivid red, green, blue stripes of varying thicknesses. Initially, I thought they were on a white background, but upon further inspection, I noticed they’re actually a very soft shade of pink. The dress is stunning because just like Irwin’s Miracle Mile, the Harley dress changes according to the lighting and the viewer’s perception. As you can seen in the various images, the colors of the dress shift according to the lighting and where I’m standing.

IMG_4687.JPG

The dress comes with a red belt which is perfect, because I love wearing red. I put in a simple hair flower I got from the H&M in Lebanon and one of my favorite Bettie Page shoes. Bettie Page shoes are so stylish and comfortable, and the best part is there are frequent Zulily sales where you can find them for very cheap.

FullSizeRender_8.jpg

I was initially hesitant about the bodice because I was worried it wouldn’t look good on my shoulders. I was definitely wrong! It’s super flattering and very comfortable to wear. Because you can’t wear a regular bra with the dress, the best option is strapless. I prefer to wear a longline strapless because I find it more comfortable than regular strapless bras, and I’m less anxious about going out in them.

 

FullSizeRender_6.jpg

I’m also glad that all the new PUG dresses and skirts have pockets! It’s perfect for the modern girl who has a vintage heart.

Outfit Details:
Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Bettie Page Shoes
Hair Accessory: H&M
Petticoat: Malco Modes

 

Still Life with Oranges

Life’s been a bit tough lately, so I decided to pause and just dedicate a whole entire day to having fun. I had a “fake birthday,” or, a “unbirthday.” It was an absolute thrill. I had the opportunity to enjoy the day with the same silly enthusiasm that I would if it were my birthday.

I decided to wear a cheerful outfit, so I opted for the oranges Jenny skirt and the dark green voodoo vixen top from Pinup Girl Clothing. I was particularly influenced by Paul Gauguin’s painting, Still Life with Oranges from 1881.

IMG_6451.JPG

Paul Gauguin was primarily known for his stunning use of color and as a key member of Symbolism and Synthesism. He’s also known for his paintings during his years in Tahiti and short period of time in Martinique. His style moved away from Impressionism, but in many of his early works were displayed in Impressionist exhibitions.

still-life-with-oranges-1881.jpg!Large.jpg

Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Oranges, 1881. Oil on canvas.

Impressionism was a break the academic form of painting, and a rejection of lines, contours, and painting in the studio. Impressionists primarily painted en plein air, with visible brush strokes and brightly contrasting colors. While it is highly unlikely that Still Life with Oranges was painted outside of a studio, the visible strokes and the bright contrasting colors are elements of Impressionism and Guaguin’s early works. Impressionists looked at life in a completely different light, choosing to depict the candid moments, the immediacy, and colors of daily life. In a sense, I needed that Impressionist mentality on my “unbirthday.” I wanted to concentrate on the candid moments of life; I wanted to live in the immediacy of life, soak in all the fun and just let go.

In still life paintings, the aesthetic qualities of a painting take precedence over anything else, putting more attention on the details of items that usually are in the background of larger compositions with human subjects. Still life paintings, particularly from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, usually held religious or symbolic meanings and depicted fruits, vegetables, game, and manmade objects.

IMG_6403.JPG

Like many others, I missed out on purchasing this skirt the first time around so I waited patiently impatiently for its release…with pockets! Because of the orange border, I did not hem this skirt so I won’t ruin the print. I paired it with my white Cosette petticoat from Malco Modes for a little bit of volume. Since it’s so hot in Los Angeles currently, the Cosette is perfect as it is light and breathable, but still provides 2 layers of fullness.

IMG_6413.JPG

The skirt has a rich shade of green, bright orange, and a beautiful yellow. Strangely enough, I noticed that in photos the skirt’s colors look brighter than they are in person – almost neon. It must be the way that the camera picks up the colors, or the way that they lok on the pure white background of the skirt. I wanted my top to match the green leaves of the skirt (until PUG comes out with an orange colored peasant top), so I wore the dark green voodoo vixen top. I have this top in both a small and a medium. Medium is definitely a bit larger, but I wear it when I want to cross the straps from the front. When I want the straps crossed in the back, I go for my small VV tops.

IMG_6405.JPG

I also wore my favorite brooch which has an emerald green background and a gold cicada. Since the green almost perfectly matched the top, the gold cicada was more prominent, which was done intentionally.

IMG_6420.JPG

I matched with my soft pink wicker purse from Pinup Couture, which is possibly one of my favorite purses now. It is so spacious inside and the closure tab makes sure that the purse stays shut. It’s cute, compact, and very stylish. Although there isn’t any pink in my outfit to match my purse, I thought it was a good color to help break away from making my whole outfit too color coordinated.

IMG_6445.JPG

I also wore my vintage gold earrings from Armenia, white I estimate dates back to the 1960s. I usually don’t like the 2 chambered heart (I prefer anatomical hearts), but these earrings are  so beautiful and unique. I’m also glad I have such a special piece in my vintage collection, gifted to me by my grandmother.

IMG_6404.JPG

I’m glad I took the day and celebrated my “unbirthday,” particularly with this beautiful skirt. It was so necessary!

Outfit Details:
Shoes: Chelsea Crew from ModCloth
Earrings: VIntage
Literally everything else: Pinup Girl Clothing

Swimsuit Season!

It’s always fun in the sun until someone gets burned, right? Well unfortunately that someone was me on my recent trip to Palm Springs. I haven’t been sunburned in years so I didn’t realize that  it feels like my skin is covered by a layer of clay and is slowly cracking. Regardless, being in the sun and wearing swimsuits is still one of my favorite things.

This is a special blog post dedicated to my favorite category of clothing – swimwear! I have a constantly growing collection of vintage and reproduction swimwear. I can’t get enough.

For this trip, I decided to take 5 of my favorite swimsuits with me – 3 by Vintage Suits by Mary, one by Pinup Girl Clothing, and one by Esther Williams. I really wanted to take a couple of my vintage suits as well, but I thought I’ll just stick to reproduction pieces since I’ll be in the water most of the time.

I ended up wearing 4 out of the 5 swimsuits I took with me because I didn’t end up going in the pool on the last day of our mini vacation. Although I didn’t wear my bikini, I don’t have anything against bikinis – I love them! However, I just ended up gravitating more towards my one piece suits this trip.

summer-fashions-photo-by-nina-leen-april-1950.jpg

Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950

Any time I’m in a swimsuit, I always think of vintage photographs of fabulous girls relaxing at the beach, especially like Nina Leen’s beach fashion photographs for Life Magazine. Nina Leen is one of my favorite photographers and a pretty badass woman. She had a wonderful eye for fashion but also photographed circus life and animals. One of her goals was to publish a book about bats. She is definitely one of my favorite women in the history of art.

#1

The first suit I wore is one of my favorites because I got it on sale from the Pinup Girl website. I’ve had my eye on it forever but never bought it. Finally, it was on sale and although it was out of stock in my size, I took the risk and sized down. It still fit perfectly although it’s a bit tighter than I’d like it to be. Regardless, I’m so glad I finally have it in my possession. I absolutely love spiders and spiderwebs so this was the perfect suit for me!

I love a good mix of vintage, gothic, and swimwear and this piece has all that. It’s inspired by the 1960s Cole of California Scandal suit that had a mesh midriff.

Scandalous, indeed, but modest for us, millennials.

To match my swimsuit I wore my brand new 1922 Blood Red lipstick from Besame cosmetics. It is such a rich shade of red and I was so excited to wear it out.

#2

My second swimsuit is the one and only Queen of all swimwear, the Marilyn swimsuit by Pinup Girl Clothing.

It’s the most glamorous swimsuit I’ve ever owned in a luxurious burgundy color. The slight sparkle, gathered style, and cut makes the piece as glamorous as its namesake. It did come with detachable rhinestone brooches for the swimsuit straps but I honestly forgot to take them with me.

This was my first time wearing it in the water and not just to look fabulous. It looks just as gorgeous wet as it does dry. Naturally, it’s a lot darker when it’s wet.  It does take a long time to dry but that’s because there’s so much material. Mine took almost a full day to completely dry, but that’s why I was prepared with 5 swimsuits!

Just a random note: Pinup Girl Clothing even reposted my picture. Day. Made. 

My lipstick was American Doll Liquid Lipstick by Anastasia Beverly Hills. Its a true red lipstick that applies smoothly and stays on forever without bleeding. It’s her perfect for the pool or hot summer days when you’re too lazy to reapply lipstick!

#3 

The ultimate 1940s inspired swimsuit! I couldn’t get pictures of this by the pool, so I just have a couple of me wearing it before we headed out to the pool. It’s another swimsuit by Vintage Suits by Mary. For this, I stuck to my regular size small and it was perfect – almost as if t was designed specifically for my body. I absolutely love it!

I absolutely love this suit and it got a lot of attention from the other ladies at the pool. I had a couple of girls ask me where I got it from. Kristen Dunst was actually sitting next to me at the pool when I had this piece on – so now I have a very special memory attached to this piece too! After I complimented her swimsuit, she complimented mine. Major achievement unlocked! I just wish I wasn’t so shy to tell her how much I love her work.

The swimsuit is gathered in the center with a little triangular cutout and a little tie bust. It’s pretty much the Renee dress of swimwear.

I wanted to go for my signature color, red, but it was sold out in my size. I never thought I’d wear this swimsuit color so I was hesitant about buying it. However, I thought I needed to add some color to my collection, and I am so glad I did. The back of this swimsuit gives me a lot of anxiety because it shows off so much of my back. If you remember in my last post, I mentioned I have a birthmark on my back that I’m really self conscious about. I had to overcome my fear and go out in it. Although I’m still not fully comfortable,  a couple of drinks helped calm my nerves.

IMG_6067.JPG

My lipstick of the day was Victory Red by Besame Cosmetics. It’s inspired by a 1940s shade of red so it’s perfect for my 1940s inspired swimsuit!

#4

Now, last, but definitely not the least (well…in regards to coverage it’s the least! 😉), I present to you the Scandalous suit by Vintage Suits by Mary. It is inspired by the Cole of California Scandal suit. It has a plunging V neckline with a mesh insert and a completely open back.

I fell in love with this look because of Yvonne Craig’s picture of her Scandal suit. Isn’t she just perfect?!


Seriously, this girl is #goals.

I sized down in this piece per recommendations and it fit perfectly. I was really worried about coverage because I’ve never worn something like this before. However it’s so comfortable and form fitting you can confidently strut your stuff without worrying about….accidents…if you know what I mean! The back, similar to the previous swimsuit, is completely open and it was a challenge for me because I had my hair tied up on top of an open back.


But ladies at the pool were fascinated by the piece itself and no one commented on my back. Which was a serious relief for me!


I wore a hair flower by Nancy’s Fancy Fruits because I didn’t want an empty pony tail.

I also wore my Leading Lady Red lipstick by Charlotte Olympia for Mac Cosmetics. The lipstick is a beautiful shade of red that stays on forever. I’m not kidding. FOR. EV. ER.


This was definitely one of my favorite vacations because I got to wear so many of my favorite swimsuits. I had to struggle and come to terms with my insecurities.

At the end of the day, I noticed insecurities are natural – especially around the pool. We all have insecurities that we try so hard to hide, even if we’re the only ones that are aware of our flaws. If we can confidently enjoy ourselves, it wouldn’t matter what others think of us – or our imperfections.

698785d0a0df3a2e745d19d79ce86e94.jpg

Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950

Outfit Details:
Suit 1: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 2: Pinup Girl Clothing
Suit 3: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 4: Vintage Suits by Mary

Lipsticks:
Besame Cosmetics 1922 Blood Red
Anastasia Beverly Hills American Doll Liquid Lipstick
Besame Cosmetics 1941 Victory Red
Mac Cosmetics Charlotte Olympia Leading Lady Red

Accessories:
Hair Flower: Nancy’s Fancy Fruits from Audrey K Boutique
Sunglasses: Ted Baker
Flip Flops: Target

 

I Dream of a Haunted Circus

So since my last post, the strangest things happened to me… my computer’s hard drive failed on me, which led me into a downwards spiral of stress and sadness. I lost so many important files, including childhood photos, undergraduate essays, among others.

Then, during a spontaneous trip to Disneyland, I had a sudden nerve pain even before I sat on a ride. I couldn’t sit or stand so now I’m constantly just trying to find the most comfortable position until I see a doctor.

I planned on writing a few posts but alas, I let my grief overcome me. Also, please ignore the bad quality photos this time around – I couldn’t stand and pose for too long. Regardless, here I am! Hi!

Pinup Girl Clothing came out with their new print peasant tops last week. I immediately ordered the pink and white striped because there was one specific outfit I wanted to try out. If you can’t tell yet, I love stripes! [3 out of my 4 blog posts so far feature stripes, I have a problem!]

IMG_4757.JPG

As usual with Pinup Girl Clothing, I received my peasant top the next business day. Their customer service is simply amazing!

The stripes on this peasant top are so perfect, and they remind me of Jo Ann Callis’ artwork, Untitled. Her work is absolutely beautiful, and I particularly appreciate the way she frames her subjects, highlighting the surrealism and seductiveness of her subjects. I came across the following photograph by Callis while perusing LACMA’s artwork database. The print is surrounded by a pink and white striped fabric mat, very similar to Pinup Girl’s new peasant top.

ma-51642624-WEB.jpg

Jo Ann Callis, Untitled, 1995. Photograph (LACMA)

 

I got home on Friday and I was overjoyed to see the FedEx package on my doorstep! I’m not even kidding – I did not waste a single second. I immediately put it on and paired it with my spiderweb jenny! I wanted to try juxtaposing the darkness of the spiderweb jenny with the softness of the pink and white stripes. I was inspired by the idea of the way vintage circuses are usually depicted in contemporary culture and art. Circuses are meant to be magical and happy, but the depiction of circuses reveal the darkness behind the scenes.

IMG_4792.JPG

The shade of pink peasant top is drastically different than the bubblegum pink voodoo vixen top and the new run of the pink peasant top. This shade is pink is a bit like Crayola’s Tickle Me Pink, in my opinion. However, you’ll notice that in the photos of me wearing it outdoors, it looks drastically lighter because of the sunlight (these photos are unedited).

FullSizeRender_5.jpg

I ordered my usual size small, and I found it to be a little loose, especially in the waist. I should have probably waited to exchange it, but in my excitement I didn’t think about it. I guess if necessary, I can always alter it to fit my waist, although it’s not much of a problem.

IMG_4750.JPG

I’m not used to mixing prints. I usually wear a single print, either as a skirt or a dress. Initially, I was unsure of the combination, but I was reassured by some lovely friends that it works.

FullSizeRender_4.jpg

And voila, my dream became a reality! I love the combination of the delicacy of the peasant top with the darkness of the spiderweb jenny. I also wore my soft pink Jennifer petticoat from Malco Modes for the extra poof!

I wore it out last Friday night to the wedding florist’s office and Ladies and Gents Night at Magnolia Park. But since my post-work hair was a mess and I was just so exhausted, I didn’t have the chance to take decent photos, but I did get this amazing photo in front of the florist’s bookshelf. It was organized by color and surrounded the entire space. Perfection! Even though I was not prepared at all, I just had to take advantage of the opportunity.

IMG_4473

To be honest, there wasn’t a specific artwork or artist that inspired this outfit. It was a combination of vintage circus photos and paintings, Melvin Sokolovsky, Mary Ellen Park, and others. I stopped by Pinup Girl Boutique for Ladies and Gents Night, and Doris  Mayday even commented on how my outfit looked like a creepy circus. Outfit achievement: UNLOCKED!

il_fullxfull-401548918_64w5
For the photos, I added one of my favorite hair accessories, two skeleton hand hair clips I got from Halloween Town in Burbank. I also wore black heels that I got on sale from Sidecca. Sidecca carries great pinup style clothing and shoes for a decent price. I especially LOVE their shoe selection. As someone who orders online more frequently than I should, it’s great that I can try on all my favorite brands at Sidecca and just make purchases at the store.

IMG_4779.JPG

So regardless of my exhaustion, laziness, and all other problems – my outfit ended up making me so happy. So happy, in fact, I recreated it to take decent pictures for this blog post!

So here’s to a brighter, more energetic future, more art, and more fashion!

[and one last pic because I love this so much 😉 ]

FullSizeRender_3.jpg

Outfit Details:
Peasant top, skirt, and belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Sidecca
Hair Clips: Halloween Town
Liquid Lipstick: Anastasia Bevery Hills Sarafine

 

Candy Stripes Galore!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!

Yesterday was by far one of the hottest day in Los Angeles. As much as Angelenos like to brag about our clear skies and heat, sometimes it does get unbearable for us too. But just like every Angeleno, it was the perfect opportunity to go to the beach for a lovely relaxing afternoon.

So of course, my friend and I went to Redondo Beach to hang out and take some fun photos.

IMG_4030

It was the perfect opportunity to debut my vintage 1940s candy striped playsuit I’ve had waiting for a hot day like this! I absolutely love candy stripes, and this has got to be one of my favorite color combinations. The combination of red, green, and ivory reminded me of two of Josef Albers’ paintings from his Homage to the Square series. 

The two paintings that immediately come to mind are Emeraude (1965) and 
il_fullxfull.794437601_d7qy

Vintage beach wear is so beautiful, and if I had the money, I’d buy them all! The details are stunning and the cut is so flattering yet comfortable. It’s really difficult to match shades of red and green without making it look like a rejected Christmas outfit, and I really appreciated the way that these shades of red and green in the playsuit worked together. That’s also why I immediately thought of Joseph Albers’ Homage to the Square series and his intricate study of color theory.

IMG_3913.JPG

Bottom line: I had to get this playsuit!

I paired the playsuit with soft green Chelsea Crew sandals and my white Ted Baker glasses I came across in a sale bin at Nordstrom Rack. I’m not a fan of hats, but I did take a floppy woven hat with me anyway – and I must say, it was a serious struggle. I guess this is something I’ll just try to get used to because I love how they look on everyone else.

FullSizeRender_2

I also wore my What Katie Did maitresse bullet bra. It’s one of my favorite and most comfortable bras I own. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s also breathable. The vintage cut of the bra is [of course] perfect for the cut of the crop top.
FullSizeRender_1

Now, confession time: I hate my arms and my back. I’ve always been self conscious of showing my arms and back. Even with crop tops, I’m always worried about that tiny part of my back showing. As you can see in the image about, my arms are scarred. Though you can’t see in these photos, I have a birthmark on my back. So when people would see my arms or back, they’d ask about it out of curiosity and proceed to give me “expert medical advice” or holistic ways to clear my skin. I only stopped caring once I began shopping at Pinup Girl Clothing. If Ani from two years traveled in time and saw current Ani in this playsuit, she’d be horrified. Not only did I wear a set with a cropped top, but I posed for a photo that shows the scars on my arm…and now I’m sharing it. That’s a pretty big deal for me.

 

IMG_4258

Of course, no trip to Redondo beach would be complete without a stop at Old Tony’s for the best Mai Tai ever. Plus, you get to take home a free souvenir glass with every Mai Tai purchase. It’s almost like they’re giving you an incentive to drink, if getting drunk isn’t a good enough incentive.

FullSizeRender

Outfit details:

Playsuit: Birthday Life Vintage
Bra: What Katie Did
Shoes: Chelsea Crew from Modcloth
Hat: Francesca’s
Lipstick: Starlet Scarlett, Charlotte Olympia for MAC

 

The Art of a Picnic

Last week, my good friend George and I decided to go to Griffith Park for a picnic photoshoot. The sun was out, the sky was blue, there wasn’t a cloud to spoil the view (if you read that in Buddy Holly’s voice, we’ll be great friends). I picked up an adorable wine bottle from my most recent wine club shipment from Sort This Out Cellars (the greatest winery in the whole world!), a couple of pies, and a basket of fruit and we headed out to Griffith Park. I wanted to make sure I included very typical elements for a sweet summer picnic.

It was a bit strange at first, since people kept staring at us as we took photos, but after a while, I completely forgot anyone else was watching and just had so much fun.

Initially I wanted something reminiscent of typical pinup picnics, since I was primarily thinking of Gil Elvgren’s work. Then I started thinking about the depictions of picnic scenes in the history of art. I immediately thought Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Fete galantes and Edouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass. 

There must be a reason why picnic scenes with women as the primary subject have always been so popular…

antoine_watteau_-_the_feast_of_love_-_google_art_project

Jean Antoine Watteau, The Pleasures of Love, 1718-1719. Oil on canvas.

Watteau was known for his contributions to Rococo art, a softer painterly style with delicate and pastel colors and rounded, soft curves. Fete galantes were a style popularized by Watteau as charming and idyllic scenes of the patrons enjoying life, almost as if merging traditionally mythological scenes with imagery of his commissioners. This blend resulted in paintings such as The Pleasures of Love (1718-1719). We, as the audience, are viewing the figures even though their backs are turned to us. We’re unwelcomed visitors watching their lovely picnic. The women in the painting are in dialogue with the men, with their body language suggesting a sense of carefree flirtatiousness.  Sarah Cohen, in “Watteau’s Fete Galantes and the Artful Body,” said:

As in a painting such as The Pleasures of Love, the explorations of what elegantly clothed bodies could do, and what they could do with one another, provided ample interest to sustain the attention of early eighteenth-century audiences.

the-luncheon-on-the-grass

Edouard Manet, Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe, 1862/1863. Oil on canvas.

Fast forward to the mid 1800s, and you have Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe, possibly one of the most controversial and intensely studied paintings in art history and gender studies. Two dressed men are in conversation as a fully nude woman turns her gaze directly towards the viewer – aware of her nudity, aware of our gaze. For Watteau, the female picnickers were simply bodies to admire. In Manet’s painting, the nude woman is either accepting and returning our gaze or challenging it – we are left unsure of her motives. Regardless of her nudity and vulnerability to the male gaze, by returning the gaze she is acknowledging and owning her unclothed, vulnerable body, causing much controversy for nineteenth century audiences.

In my photoshoot, I was not unclothed and I did not feel like Watteau’s wealthy patron stuck in a mythological scene. However, I felt as if the way I chose to position my body, and the gaze I was very comfortably and fearlessly returning to the audience, were heavily influenced by scenes of leisure I’ve studied in art history.

While I had analyzed these female subjects in textbooks before, for the first time, I realized I have become that female subject of my analysis. A very strange feeling, indeed.


For my first outfit, I chose the Trixie top and skirt in BBQ print by Bernie Dexter. It just screams pinup picnic, don’t you think? To avoid gingham overload, I primarily posed standing or sitting on the grass. I wanted the outfit to speak for itself, so I kept props very minimal as well.

DSC_5105.JPG

People recommended that I size up when I ordered the outfit, which I did. Unfortunately, I should have just purchased my true size. Since I was too lazy to go through the exchange process, I had to alter my skirt to fit properly. The Trixie skirt is also shorter than many other dresses and skirts I own, so I bought a shorter petticoat from Malco Modes in order to give it some fullness. While the Jennifer petticoat would have worked, it was just too full for my taste – especially for a picnic photoshoot on such a hot day.

DSC_5069.JPG

For my second outfit, I chose the red bustier top by Pinup Girl Clothing and a pair of high waisted navy blue shorts I got off the sale rack at Urban Outfitters 3 or 4 ago.

Fun fact: If I’m not mistaken, it was my first pinup-y piece of clothing. Plus, they were $7! I was the real winner that day.

DSC_5680.JPG

The shade of red that Pinup Girl Clothing uses is such a true red it matches perfectly with almost everything. I love wearing red clothing, and I find that PUG red is the most flattering. The bustier top has a few large buttons on the back and no zipper, so it is a bit difficult trying to get it on. Imagine how tough I had it, as I was trying to button it up in a park bathroom stall! The easiest way for me was to button it in the front and then move it to the back. Even though getting it on is a pain, it’s definitely worth the effort since it looks so beautiful!

DSC_5681.JPG

The shoot ended when I spilled wine all over the blanket. However, we did have two delicious pies to enjoy afterwards. What a wonderful reward for a day of hard work! 😉

All photography: GeorgeK Photography

Outfit #1 Details:
Top and skirt: Bernie Dexter
Shoes: Pinup Girl Clothing
Petticoat: Malco Modes
Stockings: What Katie Did
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics

Outfit #2 Details:
Bustier Top: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shorts: Urban Outfitters
Hair Flower: Nancy’s Fancy Fruits

Elephants…Elephants Everywhere!

Oh well, here’s my first blog post!

I thought I should do a dress review of one of my favorite pieces in my closet, the Mary Blair Circus Elephant Print Lydia dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. Considering how much I talked about the dress before it was even released, it’s only fitting I talk about it first on my blog too.

I absolutely love elephants, I even have a pair of elephant menagerie that was passed down to me from my great-grandmother. Fun fact: elephants can swim and they use their trunks like a snorkel underwater to breathe. Isn’t that just one of the most adorable things you’ve ever read? Elephants are just…so special to me.

When I think of elephants, I think of Dumbo and Dali. The former depresses me, even though it’s one of my favorite movies, and the latter excites me because I’m a bit huge Art History nerd. So one of my inspirations behind this purchase was Dali’s…wait for it… Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.

work_059.jpg

Salvador Dali, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening, 1944. Oil on wood.

 

The light, airy quality of the painting, as well as the the fact that tigers are also a circus animal, slightly alludes to the circus print dress.

(Note: For the sake of all our sanity and keeping this blog post short and sweet, I’ll avoid the Freudian interpretation of this painting)

As a result, I patiently impatiently waited for the release of the print. With the help of the lovely girls on the Facebook Pinup Girl Customer Lounge (sidenote: you should definitely join if you haven’t yet), I decided to purchase the Lydia dress as opposed to the Jenny skirt. I have not tried yet, but apparently the Lydia is one of the easiest dress to convert into a skirt. So anytime I get bored of wearing it as a dress, I can easily pair it with a blouse and wear it as a skirt!

FullSizeRender.jpg

The Lydia dress has about the same fullness as a Jenny skirt. I paired it with my soft pink Jennifer petticoat from Malco Modes since recieving this dress was a momentous occasion for me. For a more casual look, I prefer the Malco Modes Cosette petticoat with my fuller skirts.

I don’t usually wear much jewelry, as you can tell, so I only wore my beautiful gold hoops. The neckline of the Lydia dress is so flattering, I felt that wearing a brooch or a necklace would be a distraction. I know some people find the bust to be a little too revealing, but I actually don’t mind it at all. The adjustable straps in the back are also helpful to make sure that the straps sit comfortably.

Photo Jun 04, 5 00 35 PM (1).jpg

I paired the dress with my pink heels from Chelsea Crew. When I was taking these photos, I actually had a sprained ankle, and I was worried that I’d aggravate the pain by wearing heels. Chelsea Crew shoes are so comfortable that it actually didn’t do the damage I expected. So if a clumsy girl with a sprained ankle can wear these shoes comfortably, then you can too! It is definitely one of my favorite shoe brands.

Coincidentally, I had a hair appointment with Missy on the day that I received my dress! As Missy said, I had Natasha Fatale hair. Comparing hair to cartoons has got to be one of the most flattering compliments in the world. So yes, ladies and gents, Missy is a magician when it comes to hair.

IMG_2990.JPG

On this one Saturday, everything fell perfectly into place. My hair was freshly dyed and styled, my dress came in the mail, and I was rather proud of the makeup I did. To say the least, it was a good day.

Oh, and one last thing…IT HAS POCKETS!

Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing
Petticoat: Malco Modes
Shoes: Modcloth
Lipstick: Besamé Cosmetics
Hair: Missy Firestone