Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rambling: Fat and Bones and Heels

It's been three weeks since I last posted. That means that it's time for one of those "write something!" posts.

I really should have had something to say, because we went to Feast in Portland. And ate things. Many things. At Feast and at restaurants.

Marrow bones at Little Bird. Deep-fried fish bones at Raven & Rose. Roasted goat neck from the girl of The Girl and The Goat, guest-cooking at Nostrana. A lot of cupcakes from St. Cupcake. A magnificent sandwich from Expatriate. General food glory from Beast. Thin-sliced fried okra from Bollywood Cafe. And more and more. "Mint leaves with sea urchins meringues" (!) ice cream from Salt & Straw. Khao Man Gai and fried chicken skin from Nong's. Why didn't anyone tell me that they sell fried chicken skin? I really need to read menu boards more carefully.

I am fatter.

It was worth it.

I also tried to  pursue that Fashion Thing, with less success, in part because of that fatness factor. Preestablished fatness, not the newly acquired padding. I was hoping that Portland would offer more clothing choices for the pudgy, but without much luck. I did get a bra fitting, having been convinced of the value of doing so by watching all those What Not to Wear episodes, and bought some bras that, well, fit. And stocked up on hose and tights. At Avalon Antiques I bought a vintage brooch that looks rather like Cthulhu if he'd gone on a supermodel sort of diet.

And I wore heels to brunch. Girl clothes. That was interesting.

That is all.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

NAYY: Photographs of Frippery, or, Purchases That Didn't Come In Bottles

I've made a dangerous discovery: There's this thing called jewelry. And you can buy some of it for a price similar to the price of a bottle of perfume. Not the kind made with really alarmingly expensive materials, but artistry doesn't require diamonds or platinum.

Over the past few months, I've bought some. And as part of documenting my quest for Style Or Something Like That, I wanted to blog about it.

Which leads to a side trip to explain the NAYY. I rarely talk about brands of anything but perfume on this blog, so when I do, I want to make it clear that no one is paying me, in money or swag or chicken wings, to talk about the stuff, and that I'm not affiliated with the companies in question. I do like the companies mentioned in this post, both the makers of the jewelry and the shops where I found the jewelry. While I'm not under any illusion that my blog has enough influence to result in a flurry of purchases, or even one purchase, from these companies, I'd be pleased if that did happen. So I'm going to go all linky.

I was inspired to write this post as I was gloating over my new earrings, made by Dori Csengeri and ordered from Prize in Ashland, Oregon. Since my ears aren't pierced, the nice ladies at Prize kindly arranged to get me this pair as clip-ons. Are they not gorgeous? They're what Dorothy should be wearing as she walks out of the Wash and Brush Up Co in the Emerald City. They're a combination of textiles and metal and crystals, which I find delightfully freaky.

I wandered over to the Csengeri website, a dangerous thing because I saw bigger pieces that are well beyond the price of a normal bottle of perfume. This necklace, for example. Or this pin. Or yowza! Look at this. Yum. And they're weird, they're different, they have, for me, that old-tangled-with-modern vibe that makes me also love steampunk.

I'm suddenly inspired to pair a perfume with each item of jewelry, rather like a wine pairing. Despite being the Best Green, Chanel No. 19 is a little too stern to be a match for these whimsical earrings. Balmain Vent Vert, the fierce vintage version, should also be a mismatch, but somehow I can see it as not just a predator, but a jewel-dripping king of the forest. So that's my choice.

The jewelry indulgence before that was at Jeweliette. In Vancouver. The owner reminds me of Nazrin at The Perfume Shoppe (also Vancouver) in the way that she can pull you into her bubble of knowledge, impart some of it, and send you away with a purchase that you're going to love.

She sells beautiful glittery things, including vintage-inspired jewelry made by (if I have my facts straight) Elsa Corsi, who (if I have my other facts straight) is her daughter. I find it somehow reassuring that gorgeous vintage-style glitter is still being made, and I don't have to worry about it (like vintage perfume) slowly fading away from the world. I don't actually know where I'll wear that bracelet, but I find it falling-down beautiful. I'd pair it with a perfume that's also modern but vintage-inspired, Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss.

At the same time, I got a bracelet of clear crystals on black leather. It sounds sort of goth, doesn't it? And it looks sort of goth, and it's out of character for me, and I've worn it at least three times, so apparently it is "me" whether that seems intuitive or not. It would like me to buy something in black leather to wear with it, but it's been settling for less dramatic clothing. I'd tell you who made it, but I didn't make a note. You can see them on Jeweliette's website and I'm sure they'll tell you. But what to pair with it, to get the sparkle and the playful darkness? I'm thinking Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle.

Before that I visited One Of a Few, also Vancouver. It's a shop with interesting clothing, none of which fits me. But it still wasn't one of those shops where you feel as if you should measure yourself (like a suitcase in one of those measurers at the airport?) to see if you're thin enough to enter. There were cool shoes, always a nice compensation for the nothing-in-my-size situation. And the owner was very nice. And I fell for this necklace, by Catherine Hartley. It's both a little odd and utterly wearable, a combination that I like. And the perfume that fits that description for me is Bvlgari Black.

That is all.

Edited to add: No, come to think of it, that isn't all. What are your jewelry tendencies? Whose jewelry do you like? Do perfumista sorts also like jewelry, or do most of you feel that smelling good is adornment enough? Let's talk glitter!

First image: Wikimedia Commons.
Other images: Mine.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fashion: Blogs and Stuff

I've been reading fashion blogs. My reading started, characteristically for me, with a controversial article. From a year ago. (I didn't claim to be timely.) On a site called IFB, or Independent Fashion Bloggers. As far as I can make out, the seed of said controversy is the fact that fashion bloggers who can be identified as "white, slim and pretty" tend to be more successful than those who don't fulfill all three of these descriptions. The article was interpreted as saying that this was because the fashion bloggers who didn't fulfill the magic criteria had lower quality content, and that they should step up and improve.


This resulted in a fascinating stream of comments, and responses on lots of blogs. I seem to have already chosen sides in this year-old conflict, because rather than linking to the original article, I'm linking to one of those responses, "IFB: When Good Sites Go Bad". It links to the original article and to other responses.

I'm enjoying the discussion. And the debate. And the blogs. What some apparently refer to as IFB-gate appears to be my gateway into the online fashion world. Lots of blogs with fashion'y photos of people that look like someone I could see out in the real world. Most of them even look like they eat food.

I'm still struggling to actually comprehend the clothes. It's a different culture from perfume blogs. And I'm trying to get used to information conveyed by photograph rather than primarily by the written word.  I seem to be in the position of a perfume-blog-reader who not only doesn't know what a chypre is, but doesn't know what they don't know, because the references to chypres, or oakmoss, or heart notes, are in photographic form.

But it's entertaining.

That is all.