Monday, November 23, 2015

A hat for every occasion

When I'm not a wearer of scarves, I'm a wearer of hats.

It's no secret; I'm a fan of head adornments.  Mostly I stick to the vintage scarf.  They're good for any season.  Lately, with the cooler breezes and autumn weather making it's appearance, I'm finally pulling out all my hats, too.

Hats and scarves have been my friend this last month since I've been so busy, I could barely find time to get a haircut.  You'll notice that my undercut had grown all the way out and looks much shaggier in these pictures. It's almost like having two hair styles. Thankfully, right after these photos were taken, I made an appointment and I've got a fresh new do.

The busyness comes from being a different kind of wearer of hats. Mother, wife, teacher, blogger, event planner. Rooftop concert season has started and we're about to roll into our birthday season (well planned parenting haha!)

Last week, I wore yet another hat: dance director.  I had a lovely five days away in Shanghai chaperoning ten students at a Dance Festival. We took part in workshops, created new choreography in fusion groups and my students performed their school ensemble. It was a great experience and I even caught up with a lovely friend from another school, but now I'm glad to be home.

Time to stick with these other hats for a while.

Outfit details: Vintage dress from Pre-Loved Pop Up (and the lovely Rachel), vintage curvette from Main Street Estate Sales, vintage cardigan from Get Redressed Pop Up, vintage and modern jewellery, Louella Odie Skyline Bag, Moheda Swedish Clogs from Square Street

Thanks Kremb de la Kremb for the photos.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Casually formal: the art of juxtaposition

 I'm so glad I don't work in an environment where I have to adhere to a dress code. I just don't know what I'd do. For me getting dressed is such an expression of who I am, how I feel, and what I love.

I know if I had ever thought about a different career path for myself, it would have to be artsy and creative.  Something where I didn't need to wear a power suit, or wear conventional clothing (whatever that is). Maybe I'd write for a magazine, or work with a designer or try my hand at professional styling, etc. Who knows?!? No stuffy office job for me. 

There is so much to love about artistic expression with personal style.  I'm often described as having an eclectic style, which I take as a huge compliment.  I like to think I'm unique and unpredictable.  Take this outfit for example, when I acquired this new-to-me Monki jacket (still with tags on!) I loved it for it's elegance and sophistication. 

 But, I knew that I would style it with something totally unexpected. The first time I styled it by wearing my DIY vintage Guess distressed jeans,  a cropped T and booties. In the afternoon, I threw on my Baendit Eyewear for a totally casual look. I figured the ripped jeans worked nicely to offset the elegance and formality of the jacket.

Since wearing it this first time, I've styled it up a few different ways (with a dress, with slacks) always thinking of juxtaposition. I'm so glad that cooler Fall weather has arrived because I will have this jacket in regular rotation (check my Instagram to see).

While I'm on the topic of this Monki jacket, let me take a moment to share where I got it.  This year, I have the pleasure of mentoring a student, Tora, with her senior project on sustainable fashion. She created an Instagram account @shop.north to sell off some of her clothes and she will upcycle clothes that don't sell into new clothes.  We've been going to events together (the Eco Chic Design Award Alumni Network Launch and Wednesday's HK Green Drinks talk with Christina Dean, Founder of Redress NGO) and I'm super excited about what she has planned and inspired by her enthusiasm for the topic (we're kindred spirits in this regard).  Stay tuned, I intend on sharing her progress here. 

Thanks Kremb de la Kremb for the pics.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eco Chic Design Award Alumni Network Launch

I can't help but be excited by all the things Redress stands behind. In support of the Eco Chic Design Award, they launched an Alumni Network last month at Miele in Causeway Bay.

The Eco Chic Alumni Network was set up by Redress to connect designers with industry opportunities who can in turn support these designers' budding growth and impact in the fashion industry. Designers in this network are all alumni of the Eco Chic Design Awards and are in various stages of their careers - collaborating with brands, developing their own brand, etc.

In addition to a panel discussion with some industry insiders about on the topic of 'Is the future of fashion ready for positive change?' the event also showcased some of the designs from a select group of alumni.  Among the many there, I was particularly taken by these two designers' pieces.

Clementine Sandner's designs were comfy, casual and colorful with the use of discarded fabrics upcycled into new designs. She continues to develop her line while teaching in Osaka.

Alex Law's designs used zero waste, upcycling and end-of-roll textiles to create a classy, minimalist line known as Alex Leau. Like I have said before, more and more I'm being drawn to minimalist designs like these.

I was able to catch up with Tiffany Pattinson, whose designs I styled for a winter shoot with Ecozine using some of my vintage accessories. I caught up once again with Kevin Germanier, the 2014/15 winner of the Eco Chic Design Grand Final, who is in Hong Kong working on developing a line for Shanghai Tang. I can't wait to see what he comes up with. I also hope to bring you an interview with him prior to the launch of his line.

Probably the highlight of the evening was bringing along my student Tora who I'm mentoring this year with her project on sustainable fashion.  I really enjoyed introducing her to Redress staff, designers, bloggers, etc, and helping her to find more inspiration for her project. It was a fun way for the two sides of me - fashion and teaching - to coincide.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Fall look from Spring

Does that title confuse you?  Let me explain.  

Last week, I discovered a new online destination offering fashionable clothing and lifestyle items called Spring. This online destination offers brands inspired by those you'd see on Spring Street in Soho. I've always loved browsing the stylish boutiques in Soho when I visit my sisters in NYC, so I was inspired to create my own Fall look.

Brands:  Cosmic Sparkle Jumpsuit - French Connection, Blake Open Trench Vest - Modern Citizen, Selma Bolero hat - OTTE, Clutch - Geometry Handbags

My look started with this sequined jumpsuit that caught my eye.  I have been digging minimal looks lately (see my post here), and I think the sequins on the jumpsuit make the minimal look a little more fun. The hat, clutch and sleeveless trench make it a good look for day (I'd wear booties), but it easily transitions to night with some strappy sandals.  I really like the sleeveless trench for Fall, it's an updated take on a vintage classic.
I'll be looking at jazzing up some of my vintage jumpsuits like this.  The sparkle makes it a perfect piece for the holidays, too.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Links a La Mode, November 5th

This week's Links a la Mode round up included posts on being fashionable on the go and some amazing vintage trends: the turban and the stole.  I'm super pleased to be included in this kind of company. Thank you Independent Fashion Bloggers for selecting my previous post on clothing swaps to be included with these bloggers.

Be sure to check out some of these other fab posts below.

Links à la Mode, November 5
SPONSOR: Shopbop Splits59, Cynthia Rowley Dresses, Citizens of Humanity Jeans, BEX nyc, Misha, Kobi Halperin, Tunic Sweaters, Wide Leg Pants, Saddle Bags, Men's Begg & Co.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Clothing swaps: a different kind of shopping

Shopping with girlfriends. Sounds fun, right?

Well, of course! Especially when you're shopping with girlfriends who know your style and whose opinions you trust.  That's key.  No fake oh yeah, that looks great! and then you get home and wonder what the heck you were thinking. For me, that was always the challenge of going shopping with girlfriends when I was younger.  No one wanted to hurt anyone else's feelings, so we didn't really tell the truth.

I can't actually remember the last time I went shopping with girlfriends like that. But I'll tell you I've discovered something even more fun - a clothing swap with friends. And it's so much easier on the purse strings, too!

A few weekends ago, some girlfriends and I met at First Wife Studios to enjoy an afternoon of catching up and trying on each others' clothes. With wine, of course. Each of us brought along some gently used (or sometimes not used at all) items to swap and hangers. Sabrina provided the racks, we set up shop and by the end of the afternoon, we all walked away with something new-to-us. I picked up this fun little black dress (among other things).

We had so much fun and so much to swap, that we decided to share these pre-loved goodies with you lucky Hong Kong peeps. We're busy planning for our pop up event this Friday and I think you Hong Kong ladies will enjoy it. Hosts of this event are Jasmine of Dress Me Blog Me, Sabrina of First Wife Studios, Vanessa of VSLawson, Maria of What the Frock, Jamie of Polkadot Boutique, Jennifer of Glam-it by Jennglamco, and me. Come check us out!

Pre-Loved POP UP
@The Hive, Kennedy Town 
(Kennedy Town MTR, Exit A)
Friday, November 6th
12 to 8 pm

Link to Facebook event

Host your own clothing swap:
  Not in Hong Kong? Don't worry! You can host a clothing swap with friends yourself. It's easy! Just choose a date, invite between 7-10 girlfriends over and ask everyone to bring around ten items to swap. Items can include hardly worn, gently used, or even unwanted gifts.  It can be clothing, jewellery, accessories, beauty products, etc. You decide! Get some clothing racks (IKEA stocks them), ask girlfriends to bring clothing on hangers.  Arrange by clothing type (tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes), set out a mirror and you're good! Snacks, beverages and music are a nice touch, too.  That way you feel like you're in a cute little boutique.

Have fun!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Trending on Halloween: Vintage and DIY

  To me, the best kind of costume is the one you make yourself.

Over the last few years at Halloween, my vintage clothing has come to the rescue for some very easy costume assembly.  Sometimes, its been so easy that I wasn't actually dressed up for the holiday, but I got complimented for having a costume, anyhow. See my Rosie the Riveter look? Not planned.

Last year, I was Wednesday Addams.  Easy. I wore this gorgeous floral dress from Vintspiration on Etsy. I'd like to revisit this costume another time, maybe this time adding some sort of peter pan collar.

This year I dressed up as Frida Kahlo, who is such a style inpiration for me anyhow.  I wrote about how she had great style on the blog before.  I hope I did her justice.  It was scary how quickly I could put her look together.  The unibrow was hilarious, too.  My littlest girl kept looking at me and telling me that I looked angry. Haha!

We use the same DIY idea to create the kiddos costumes, too. It really forces you to think creatively. And its fun to see a costume come together. This year we had Rorschach, a little devil and a vampire queen. Despite not looking thrilled, they were stoked about how they looked.

My last look of Halloween was Bride of Frankenstein to go to a Obsolete Sciences themed party.  Here again, my vintage clothing came to the rescue.  My faux beehive (with a plastic cup underneath my own teased hair) was a hit with locals on the train. 

Can you tell how much I love Halloween? And let's not think about the fact that these are my real clothes.  Aside from the hairdos, these looks are not far off how I normally dress!

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