Monday, October 15, 2018

Packing 15/30 Challenge: Final Thoughts


I'm such a bad blogger. I had this whole series detailing my 15/30 packing challenge planned on my Instagram feed and a few blog posts lined up.  Then life got in the way and I forgot. Summer feels like months ago and I still haven't written my follow up to that 15/30 packing challenge.

You poor souls have probably been waiting on baited breath to hear what I thought. To know how you too can take on your own 15/30 challenge as a way to pack or pare down your wardrobe and live minimally and I've let you down.

I'm joking, of course. You know I'm joking, right? I'm taking the absolute piss out of myself. Thank you to those random few who are still reading blogs and are taking your time to read mine. I appreciate you.

Okay, big takeaways...

First, I don't like this blue floral dress on me. Enough said. I tried quite a few times to wear it and the neckline is too open, making it hard for me to wear. It got put on the giveaway/sell pile. Also, the dresses were the least worn garments. I packed two. I'd definitely pack separates only next time or maybe just one dress.

Actually,  what surprised me was how easy it was to get dressed when I had only 15 (okay 16) pieces to choose from. Waking up knowing I only had a handful of options meant I could think about an outfit more quickly. Granted, it was summer holiday, so I didn't have any elaborate occasions to dress for. That made it easy, too.

Another thing I learned was I had to be more creative with how I styled certain garments. A blouse could easily double as a light jacket/kimono and so on. I also found myself finding that it doesn't take much to make a garment feel different. Here are two ways I wore the kimono (a piece I picked up along the way) and the black and white blouse (scroll up).

Finally, I discovered in a very real and practical sense that accessories shouldn't be afterthoughts. I often throw jewellery, scarves and sunglasses on right at the end when walking out the door, while not really considering how they can really pull an outfit together. They can also be the focal point of an outfit. I have to remember that.

So there you have it, my ramblings about having a capsule wardrobe. I kept it going despite coming home ahead of schedule because it made life easy, especially when hosting my parents for a month and not having easy access to the rest of my wardrobe. I was glad to get it back...but I've been paring down what I own in a major way.

I'm hosting the Hand Me Down Collective this weekend. Details here. Hong Kongers come along!

Friday, September 28, 2018

An Easy Weekend Uniform

Hong Kong is still stinking hot. Actually, I lie. In the evenings, just in this last week and a half, the weather has been lovely. Perfect for a rooftop wine session, which is just great news given that Fall break starts TODAY!

I'll be revisiting this outfit en masse over the next week. An easy week off look that can be mixed and matched with the various kimonos, crop top/swim tops and denim cutoffs I have in my closet. The kimono helps me feel a bit more stylish than just a t-shirt and shorts, and there's of course the fun of adding the sunglasses, too.

And with the beginnings of our Hong Kong fall breezes, the kimono actually feels functional, too.

These accessories are also go to pieces for me. Lately, I've been really digging these long bohemian necklaces, especially the ones I have from Zoko Jewelery. If you haven't already, make sure to click over and shop their Instagram profile here

The designs are beautifully bohemian and beachy and perfect for embracing your free spirited self. I love that the stones are carefully picked and have special healing meanings and the pieces can dress up or dress down whatever you're wearing. In the heat of Hong Kong, they've been just the thing when I don't feel like wearing my vintage costume jewelery.

I'll be reaching for a combination of these key pieces all week.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mother Nature Speaks: Give Plastic the Boot

Last week Hong Kong was hit with the largest typhoon since records have been kept. The government called off school for an unprecedented two days without a signal 8 warning. No part of Hong Kong was left unscathed by downed trees, broken glass and more.

Perhaps the larger impact of the typhoon wreckage is how much garbage has been washed ashore. A reminder of just how much we humans consume and then discard. Beaches are strewn with plastic bottles, styrofoam and more. It's disgusting, like Mother Nature has said I've had eough of this shit, now you deal with it.

And I feel like Hong Kongers are beginning to...

But, then we still have those who walk around in oblivion of what's around them, blind to their own consumption of single use plastic, not even paying attention to how they dispose of it. They step over the debris from the storm like it's any old typhoon and don't even think to make a change. It's a thought that is keeping me awake sometimes. Are we too late? Have we wrecked our world for our children?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound so depressing, but those are my honest to goodness thoughts. In our house, we're working hard to rid ourselves of our dependence on plastic and packaging to try to minimize our waste. Just take a peek on my stories at the #ecofamily highlight. You'll see all the things we're cutting out as a family and ways we're changing our habits to teach our children about making healthier choices for the planet.

Watching A Plastic Ocean changed us.

We've always recycled, but we decided we needed to do more.
Here are just some of the changes we've made:

No more ziplock bags (we reuse the big ones we have and have bought Stasher bags for kids lunches)
We have reusable cloth produce bags
We use cloth napkins
We use bar soap
We use cloth hankies
We use beeswax wraps instead of saran wrap
We make sure to buy things in paper or cans where we can
We buy in bulk to eliminate our plastic consumption
We buy package free when we can (Live Zero HK)
We refuse straws and plastic utensils
We bring our own containers for take away
Everyone in the family has a reusable bag they take whenever they go out (just in case)
I've gone zero waste for my periods and I'm teaching the big girl, too (more on this in another post)
I use washable cotton facial pads (no more cotton wool pads)
We're learning to make natural cleaners (vinegar & water)

And the list goes on...

Some days, I feel like I'm on a mission. What unnecessary plastic use can we eliminate next? Other days I feel defeated by the lack of plastic free options forcing us to get things in plastic.

It's an uphill battle, but definitely one that our family is determined to win. And we plan to bring our community along with us on this journey.

Friday, September 14, 2018

What's in a hashtag, anyway? (Links a la Mode, Sept 20th)

I usually don't care about hashtags. Or likes. Or followers. Or whatever. I mean when I first started my blog, I did.  I took each lost follower personally and tried to figure out what I'd done wrong, but that was because it was all new to me.

These days, I've got more of a give no shits attitude about it. I mean, it's not my livelihood, so I don't have to worry about lost business opportunities. I don't have to hustle in the same way that other social media influencers do. I admire the work that those bloggers do and how creative and driven they are to inspire the rest of us. That said, though, I do want to have an audience. I enjoy writing my blog and being creative. I love engaging with like-minded people and working on collaborations.

I do have a voice and opinions about the sustainability of fashion, the love of the secondhand garment, the hunt for vintage and thrifted fashion and even my experiences with motherhood. And, because I'm writing about these things, I'd like people to actually connect with and read these thoughts. Lately, my blog content has become much more editorial in nature rather than simply cataloging my daily outfits.

There's only so much to say about what I wear, but there's definitely more to say about those other subjects, don't you think? And I do hope my blog content leaves people thinking.

I've also focused a bit more on expressing these thoughts on Instagram, too. And here is where my frustration comes. I'm not going to bark on about the challenges of the algorithm, though it is challenging. I'm not going to bark on about notifications, stories, shoppable Instagram posts or sponsored content. No. Cause, you know, whatever.

Instead, I'm going to just say this. Why does it always have to change? Why is it okay one day to use certain hashtags or to place them in the main post, but the next day we need to limit our hashtags to nine and place them in a comment? Why are some hashtags shadow banned or broken? WHY AM I SPENDING SO MUCH TIME THINKING ABOUT THIS???

Ugh. I'm annoyed because I actually don't care and then I find myself getting caught up thinking about it. I'm annoyed because in the last two weeks I've noticed a significant drop in my Instagram engagement. I allowed myself to give into the tips about how to hashtag and I changed how I post. And now, my posts are not getting the same engagement. I already know that more people look at my Instagram instead of my blog and I'm also annoyed about that. Cause I write, and I want those thoughts to have an audience.

And when I started out with Instagram, I treated hashtags in an almost satirical way. They were humorous afterthoughts about my post. I love when I read other people's tongue-in-cheek hashtags.

So yeah, I'm working hard at maintaining my give no shits attitude. And let me tell you, the struggle is real.

Links à la Mode, Sept. 20th, 2018
Loeffler Randall, Trademark Bags, Alexis Clothing, Apparis, Chloe Gosselin, Khaite, Designer Skirts, Jewel Tone Clothing, Rigid Denim, Men's Michael Kors,

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Redress Design Award: Getting to Know Grand Finalist Ganit Goldstein

The Redress Design Award presents it's Grand Final tonight and I cannot wait to see the collections the designers have created this year (click here for a behind the scenes look at the finalists' fashion shoot). I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the finalists, Ganit Goldstein from Israel, whose designs and use of secondhand garments inspired me. I wish her luck this evening.

Can you share a little about your background? When did your interest in fashion begin and why?

I graduated this July from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel.  My field of research is in innovation in fashion and textiles. I am inspired and driven by the idea of creating new garments by combining traditional crafts and new technology together. These paradoxical tools and mentalities break all the rules, and allow me to explore never-before-explored territories.

My love and passion for the arts, crafts and design started at a very young age. For as long as I can remember, my designs were led by curiosity.  My design process begins with me touching the material, then playing, cutting, and pinning together to see what happens. During my studies, I have established a very strong connection to materials, traditional craft techniques, and 3D design software and printing. This diverse tool box, that I picked up from a very young age, has helped me to develop my individual thinking process and designs.  At the same time,  the values I have absorbed growing up in Israel, continue to lead my way.

Knowing what we do about the impact of fashion on our environment, as a designer how will you contribute to the future of the fashion industry? 

In recent years, fashion has opened up towards different technologies and different design disciplines, such as 3D printing, combination of Industrial design software for developing new methods of textile, and incorporating the use of special materials. This provides a designer with a much more diverse tool-box: a computer mouse, parametric design and 3D designing software.  As well as pencils, fabrics, and strings etc.

Those values in this diverse tool box, alongside textile development in the field of fashion, enhances my creativity and enables me to go beyond with my imagination. This creates new ideas through feelings and experimental processes. During my studies I was interested in fash-tech and smart textile field of design. I developed unique processes for 3D scanning (collaboration with Intel RealSense technology) and 3D printing. 

What changes would you like to see?

I believe that the fashion industry will change along side the developments of cutting edge technology, especially 3D scanning that will allow designers to fit, to measure, and to tailor fashion using 3D printing based on the subject’s body scan.

There are many pros for growing the use of 3D printing. Some of the main benefits of 3D printing in fashion are the reduction of manufacturing costs, the rise in efficiency, and the minimization of pollution. I believe that creating a unique look for each person is the future of fashion and will provide the personalization of clothes. I believe that this is a ground-breaking approach in our age.
The 3D scan is a power multiplier. It gives us the ability to better exploit the technology for the benefit of custom made clothing in a quick and easy way. 3D scans allow the creator to work directly on the model, rendering the need for pattern making unnecessary. This way you can design far more interesting, special, and different garments, in a shorter time, without being bound to the traditional pattern making process.

In my final collection at Bezalel Academy I picked up many techniques for 3D body scan and 3D printing that can contribute to change of the fashion industry, bringing cutting edge technology to our lives.

What was your inspiration as you developed your collection? 

My collection is about reconstructing and rebuilding fabrics, inspired by the process of IKAT weaving. Last year, I was lucky to be selected in an exchange student program in Tokyo, Japan. There, I specialized in the technique of Ikat weaving, which is achieved by dying the strings before the weaving process.  When putting it together, the pattern appears a bit blurry (because of the movement of the strings).  My collection is about applying these traditional concepts, and weaving colored strings in a manner that is in line with my interpretations.

My collection focuses on developing new textile methods. Using shredding machines that shred the clothes to pieces, I turn it into a raw material that can be put together again in order to make new cloth from old fabrics.  I want to bring life into something that is no longer in use. I am using different pieces of textiles to provide a large variety of colors. Mixing these colors enables me to create and design new, special patterns that remind me of the IKAT technique.

 I love thrift shopping and secondhand clothing and I live to find vintage gems. Why did you decide to use secondhand garments?

All of of my clothes are bought from secondhand shops, so it has always been a part of my life to search for these unique and hidden pieces.  I know that second hand garments retain a beautiful quality and colors that I wanted to reuse in my textiles.  I believe that the world already has produced enough garments, and that we do not need to make more. It makes the search more personal to find a unique item that fits to your individual personality.

Describe your Redress Design Award experience so far...

My experience in Redress Design award so far is very exciting and I’m learning incredible new things. I feel honored have been chosen to be a part this learning opportunity. First of all – we are a very connected group, and I feel that we have a lot of similarities in the way we think, our values and our way of designing. It is very inspiring to be in such a great group and the Redress team is doing such a professional work.

We have had different challenges along our stay in HK. One of them was to design a shirt in groups of 3-4 for The R Collective. As a part of this process, we visited the TAL factory in Shenzhen, China. I have never been in such a large scale factory so for me it was outstanding experience to see how it works. 

Thanks Ganit for taking time to answer these questions when I know you've been busy. I hope to catch up with you at the end of the show.

A LIVE feed of the show can be accessed here. The show will begin at 6:30 pm Hong Kong time.

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