Sunday, 14 January 2018

Exploring Elegance with a Vegas touch

I met photographer Deanna Flinn at Vancouver Fashion Week in September and she suggested we do a shoot together. Hm, let me think - OKAY! Last week, on a mild, semi-sunny day, our schedules aligned, so I loaded up my wheelie cart with clothes, and we hit downtown.

I call this series Exploring Elegance, after the fact, because we/I never had any plans, opting to roll with the mood. In the end, it was a matter of location location location. Big steps, even if they're going nowhere (like here, to locked doors), formidable sculptures of lions, and humongous ionic columns are universally-endorsed structural elegance.

My black ensemble and sparkles couldn't help but suck up some of that sophisticated going-nowhere-but-looking-imposing vibe as I paced vogued back and forth on the landing.

Yes, these were taken outside Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG, all caps, for short. On my Instagram, Anita of Look for the Woman noted the abundance of concrete. If it is concrete, it is elegant concrete to be sure, although my research indicates that this is marble, disguised as concrete. Those ionic columns sure look like concrete.

In fact, this building, constructed in 1906, is one of Vancouver's few large-scale National Heritage Sites. This designation should save it from demolition, which seems to be the tragic fate of so many of my city's older buildings. 

That's a fantastic shot of my head framed by the portico. 

Deanna does commercial and fashion photography all over the place, and she is the photographer for a local model agency. You can see her work on her website Free Admission and Instagram of the same name here.

After I got warmed up - and used to having a real live human behind the lens - I removed my oversized Oscar de la Renta men's wool/cashmere (possibly vintage) coat and did a few Quentin Tarantino moves, well, not quite, but at least moves interesting enough to keep the tour group in the plaza at the bottom of the stairs distracted and mildly entertained. It's the least I could do.

I wore my thigh high socks and thrifted Miu Miu crackle-leather boots. I love the diamond pattern on the socks stitched with silver lurex yarn. 

And I couldn't let that massive concrete (stone? marble? looks like concrete) at the top of the stairs go to waste. Those dots on the stairs are big bits of glitter confetti. There must have been a party or wedding celebration.

"Oh, dahling," sigh, "it's just too, too elegant." Especially with metallic silver frog closures on one's thighs atop diamond-lined slits on those massive palazzo pant legs. 

This is of course my Vegas jumpsuit, vintage, crepe wool, rear zip, which has been featured several times on Bag'n'B, worn with my super puffed-sleeved silk blouse bought retail in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo a vintage-age ago.

I called this the Vegas jumpsuit because it's always ready for a night of brat-packing, martinis, bubblegum cigarettes with sugar-puff smoke, and jackpotting, or faffing about downtown. Or for gardening, below, for the post, "What to wear for gardening," in March 2017. This photo I called "The Rake's Progress - In a Good Way," named after the opera, which ended badly for the rake.

And below, a photo taken by Vancouver Barbara at the Little Black Dress Gala in Vancouver in May 2017. See this post, "Trotting to a gala like a little pony." You know that if I'm instructed to wear black, I must include a colour breakout somewhere. Note the glitter black platform booties. Those floors are definitely marble.

I also styled it in December 2013 in my post, "I wore this for Mis Papelicos," who was having a linkup party. Below is an ultra-short video of the outfit. I still have the cape, which I still adore. Fake ermine, dahlings. Or some other speckled animal. And platform booties again.

Finally, I made a mini-me cutout with this jumpsuit on and put it in a cardboard box for my post "Thinking in the forest in the box," also December 2013. Check the link for a look.

This post is a bit photo-heavy, and I haven't even touched the other photos yet, which are more, shall I say, interesting, under the theme, Exploring my Femininity, for the next post.

One of Deanna's current projects involves taking portraits of strong women. If you would like to be a candidate, contact her through her social media, Free Admission. I not only had a great time with her easy-going (and professional) manner, I was very impressed with the results.

That's all for this week. I'll link up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, her Visible Monday, and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for her #iwillwearwhatilike. See you there!!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A vamp, an angel, and a couple of stools

Look, new props! So excited. Well, not new, but they are items I dragged into the stairwell to liven things up - my red stool and my step stool. Hurray! I'm sure you'll agree they add a certain je ne sais quoi to my photos.

Below, my casual starlet look, or, uh, maybe a bit older than a starlet. In scientific fact, an older, burned out star is called a white dwarf or a degenerate dwarf because it only has a stellar core remnant, which means my nuclears have stopped but I'm still hot. Okaaaay. That might work. Astronomy has the best words sometimes. Space wormhole, for example, is another favourite.

All I really wanted to say was I am looking glamorously mellow, "Oh, dahling, I'm tiiiired of all the fuss. My driver is waiting." Nothing says glamour quite like batwing eyeliner, although putting it on was like trying to draw on a deflating balloon.

There is definitely a natural ease conveyed when one kneels on a super-hard, gritty concrete step in tights, then leans over and drapes one's arms on a stool with insouciance and props one's camera on a fully extended tripod against a wall so it doesn't fall over and one has to contort one's body to see the preview screen. It's practically second nature to me.

And more photos with The Prop.

Why is it that men can sit open-legged and not worry about putting a hand or a sweater or something else in front of their groinal apex? That's just wrong. Ain't nothing wrong with my envelope! And yet I persist in hiding, dare I say, the flaps, like my mail is on the prohibited list and has a big red stamp across it: customs and duty are owed! (snort of disgust)

If I see a man sitting like this on the train, hogging all the seats, I think, pig, go aerate somewhere else so I can frigging sit down. But a woman sitting like this? She's not only rude for hogging the seats, but she's extending an invitation, if you know what I mean, wink. Pathetic!

I don't sit like this on the train, by the way. I seldom ride trains. I seldom sit like this at all, but I'm making a point here, after the fact. "Knees together, ladies!" she trills. Puh. A little rebellion for the new year is definitely in order. I encourage all of you to sit like this for your next photos too. Hahaha!!

I'm wearing my DIY Middle Aged Kitteh t-shirt with a skirt hoisted with Calvin and Hobbes suspenders, a great gift from Bella of Citizen Rosebud years ago. I didn't like the skirt hanging below the hem of my coat. Under the t-shirt is a cotton camisole and another 3/4-sleeve shirt. And my boots.

I wore this, with a shaggy coat on top, to go buy frozen corn. We were out. I love corn. It's one of my favourite vegetables, categorized as such because I buy "fresh" corn. Dried-up corn is a grain. You may ask, does that mean over-cooked fresh corn turns back into a grain? No. It's just compost. Popcorn is also considered a grain, which is preposterous. Popcorn is movie food, a category unto itself. (And I worried whether I would have anything to write about in this post.)

And below, yet another prop, my step stool, which I also hauled into the concrete studio. These props are horribly unwieldy. Banging, clattering, me gasping, doors shutting on chair legs, tripod legs, real legs, expletives in foreign languages (which don't count). Where's my assistant!? Thus, these props will remain a special photo treat (liberal use of the word) for me.

The next all white/ivory outfit was interesting. So many associations - dairymaid, something from The Handmaid's Tale or Tess of the d'Urbervilles, tired hurdy-gurdy or dancehall girl in a gold-rush town (maybe because I just watched Godless), novitiate, and more.

Again, the Calvin and Hobbes suspenders were used to hold up this strapless soft baby-corduroy dress. The white top is actually a longish cotton nightgown. I removed all the eyelet lace trim to make it less nightgowny, and I floofed it at the top so it's spilling out of the bodice.

Patterned leggings and patterned socks and my brown booties finish the look. And we can't forget my magic loupe, which goes everywhere with me. Made by O and now restocked in his Etsy store HERE. Go buy one now. Heh.

From my stellar core remnant to yours, I hope you have a cosmic week. Keep that hot core and planetary nebula stoked! Yeeeeah! Hot nebs, it's a new term, you read it here first. And probably last. Or it could be a snack food.

Finally, for over a year I've been wanting to share this short ad with you and kept forgetting. See? I have a great memory for remembering what I forgot, but not for putting what I was supposed to remember. ???  It's for Shiseido brand cosmetics. I love it. O found it for me. You have to watch the whole thing.

Of course, I'll be linking up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, her Visible Monday gang, and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb and her #iwillwearwhatilike. Till next time, kittehs!

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Year's Eve bash!

Laughter! Music! Dancing! Drinks and canapes! A swirl of glitterati! 

There was a huge New Year's Eve bash last night. A glamorous one. Somewhere. Not here

That didn't stop me from having my own mini gala in the concrete atelier. And I swanned around home for a little while speaking with drawn-out fake British/French/Russian/Spanish/Marlon-Brando accents, with a few Japanese words thrown in, wearing my Morticia Addams-on-Skittles dress.

In the above photo I think I look like the hood ornament of a big classic car, striking a pose front and centre above the grill, obstructing the driver's view, hair blowing wildly as I speed down a highway on the outskirts of Vegas perhaps. 

Yeah, it's a look I'd like to duplicate more often with or without the gown. To boldly go. If I were living in California in the 1920s, I think I would have enjoyed wing-walking.

Above I am doing Julia Roberts-as-Pretty-Woman opening the jewellery box from Richard Gere before flying off to the opera, scene is here. That movie HORRIFIED me!! The message was wrong, Wrong, WRONG!!! So I am doubly vexed when I find myself referencing it, like I am now.

I don't need expensive gems or clothes to make me happy. My magic loupe, custom-made by O, is priceless. He sells them in his Etsy store, here. And cool rings too. Those ones have a price but they are still priceless.

The dress is thrifted, purchased at Talize a couple of years ago on an expedition with Suzanne and Sue. When I posted on it before, here, I was concerned about the puddling hem, but, pffft, with these new platform shoes (posted here) there is less drag. Plus, this gown is machine-washable. Looking back, I don't know what the fuss was about. And my carpet is clean if you're not wearing reading glasses.

That's my index finger there, not my third finger, a "come thither" not a "feck off" gesture - although, now I look at it, my facial expression could be interpreted either way. Gaaa!!! Mixed signals like this could lead to disaster.

What this shot should be saying is, "Hey, 2018, c'mon, c'mon! I'm ready." In fact, for this photo, in my head I was asking the server to bring me another martini.

The vintage baby-pink ruched gloves were a gift from an estate. I made the purse from a wood matryoshka. O custom-made the hardware. I designed it as a teacup carrier, but it works just as well as a hand bag and it's perfect for this gown.

At the concrete-box party, they ran out of martinis, so when I got home I headed straight for the strong stuff. You got it: coffee with caffeine. Oo-wee, now we're living! With butter-pecan-flavoured creamer!!!

The dress features an off-the-shoulder design, but on me, for some reason, it kept slipping into off-off-the shoulder territory. I should have used my suspenders. There was no real danger of a wardrobe malfunction because I was wearing an undergarment contraption, although that kept slipping too.

And that last shot shows you the tulip skirt at the bottom, the Morticia Addams pose. It's really quite a divine dress. I have a sequin mini dress that I had intended to wear to the party, but decided to save it for another special occasion.

So 2018. Hmm. Not sure what to make of it yet. So far, so good. I hope you all have a stellar new year ahead. It can't be worse than 2017, right? RIGHT!?!!! 

Cheers. Hugs all around. Thank you for reading.

I'll link this up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Visible Monday. And with Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb, #iwillwearwhatilike.

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