It is just a regular Saturday in my neck of the woods, but can I just say how much I dislike seeing this picture below, in pretty much every single fashion magazine this month? Yes, yes, the way I see it tells an awful lot about me, but I am just going to take my chances on that one. I think this picture is degrading. The facial expression, the positioning of the legs, the flap covering her private bits... I don't know whether this model being 28 years old and a mother of three makes it better or worse for me. The last time I have been as annoyed at a fashion image was when I came across this double-page picture in US Vogue last December. (For whatever reason I couldn't seem to allign the two photos side by side, but you get the idea.) Nice little all-fours pose there... with the guy sneaking up behind.
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Friday, 26 February 2010
The adorable Milla wrote about the future of vintage in a very thought-provoking post this Tuesday. Since thrift shops are drowning in cheap lycra and horrid acrylics already, it makes one ask what we can expect to happen within the next, say, 30-40 years. When the treasures of our thrifting generation are passed on to our children and grandchildren, they are pretty much antiques. Milla asks what is the legacy that our generation leaves behind from the perspective of style choices. Fake-leather shoes, cheap jersey, and some supposedly high-quality designer pieces in the mix? Whatever the answer is, the sheer amount of stuff is going to be overwhelming.
This got me thinking about the contents of my wardrobe. There is a lot of second hand stuff in there, but also quite a few items that I have bought when they were brand new. I have never had trouble admitting that I have done my share of binge-shopping at H&M, and I keep hoping that I can hold onto my promise to never do it again, for both environmental and stylistic reasons. Considering that I do have "new" stuff in my closet, I took a long and hard look at the clothes I have, and tried to think which ones would qualify as vintage treasures of the future. I was pretty shocked. I kept finding great items, only to realize that I had bought them second hand. I tried to come up with an outfit using only clothes that I had bought new in order to prove to myself that I had made some good choices. (I couldn't. The pea-green cardigan is second hand.)
My criteria for future treasures were as follows: 1) the material would have to survive wear and tear, 2) the style would have to be somewhat timeless, and 3) they would have to be well made (no threads hanging loose, no serged seams; in general, good craftmanship or tailoring). The few non-second hand items that would qualify included a black Sportmax pencil skirt, a couple of pairs of Acne and Diesel trousers, an age-old jeans jacket, and a few outdoor coats. That's it. I did, luckily, find several pairs of shoes and two handbags that would qualify, but unfortunately I also found many that did not. It also hit me that a lot of these future treasures were items that I had got access to because of my previous job and staff discounts at a good-quality clothing retailer.
Living in the US has awoken me to some harsh realities regarding consumerism. What I have seen in Finland (13-year-olds getting their weekly fix at H&M and Zara) is nothing compared to driving past Wal-Mart on a Saturday and realizing that shopping is a past-time here for entire families. Shopping is about buying. You want it, you buy it. If you don't have the money, you put it on credit. Houses here are huge because otherwise you can't fill them with stuff. (Just an example: our "small" town-house would be considered a residence for a family of four in Finland). I have seen adverts for a tv-programme called Hoarders that tackles people's houses so full of stuff they can't even move in them. It features people who are literally sick with consumption, but the consumption in question is quite different from the one a hundred years ago (tuberculosis).
What are you leaving behind for the future generations? Do the clothes in your wardrobe qualify as future treasures for thrifters in 30 years?
Thursday, 25 February 2010
When I started this blog over two years ago (wholy Moses, has it been that long?), I wore mostly pale pastels and grays. There were occasional pops of colour here and there, but for the most part it was all about the soft and the muted colours. I don't know what has happened to me over the past year, but I wake up every morning craving for colour. And not just colour, but random mixes of colours, and mixes of colourful prints. The pale stuff haunts me every time I open my wardrobe. There is an awful lot of gray in there, and I keep wanting to wear the few really colourful and patterned things I have, over and over again. Today I tried to come up with something new with mixing two different florals with plaid and stripes, and even though I liked the patterns together, the tailored jacket just didn't feel right to me.
Knowing that I seem to be into brights these days, Chris got me some superbly colourful flowers yesterday. They certainly brightened up my day. We are surrounded by a blizzard, and spring seems to be awfully far away.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
I wrote my first-ever opinion piece about reckless people operating their jet-skis on a lake. It was June, and there were little ducklings everywhere. I was twelve years old, and I was angry. My piece was published in the local newspaper, and I felt better, even proud. I have always been opinionated, but after my teenage years I started to struggle with finding an outlet for my opinions. With strong views come people who don't agree with you, and being able to deal with confrontation has never been one of my virtues.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Beret: second hand / flea market
Friday, 19 February 2010
I have said this quite recently, but here it goes again: the best thing about blogging is belonging to a community. We come from the far corners of the world, live our own lives and come together, sometimes daily, to have a look into each other's lives, thoughts and wardrobes. Angel passed on this blog award to yours truly. Thank you, Angel!
P.S. What a strange coincidence! Andrea of a cat of impossible colour just featured me as her Woman of the Week. It's almost as if we were exchanging awards, but I tell you, it is not what it looks like! Thank you, Andrea!
Thursday, 18 February 2010
When Chris came into my life, it soon turned out that he was very much of a cat person himself - he had five. There were the two older kitties Blue and Cassiopeia (probably around 10 years of age), and three sisters, Audrey, Willow and Lyric (all 5 years). When things with Chris and myself got serious it took us about two seconds to decide that no kitty was to be left behind in this whole ordeal of us making our lives beat in sync. Last August we packed up my flat in Finland, and with us came Masa and Illusia, on the plane, all the way to the United States. (Traveling with the cats, may I add, was by far the most stressful experience ever, but well worth it.)
Before long it was obvious that our seven cats did not get along. We pretty much expected it, but hoped for the best anyway. We thought that with time, they would settle all accounts and would at least learn to tolerate each other. As it turns out, they did not. After six weeks of hissing, running, yelping, bunches of fur flying in the air, and the older cats getting seriously stressed out, we decided that it was time to think of an alternative solution. In came the door separating up- and downstairs, and the two kitty-zones were successfully established. Ever since, we have had a very peaceful house of cats. Every once in a while we leave the door open (under our watchful eye, of course), and occasionally some Finnish cats rub noses with the Americans in a friendly manner. Other times fighting resumes. This, by the way, is Willow, by far the most easy-going, affectionate kitty I have ever met:
Willow has truly become my lap kitty. Whenever I have a free lap, she makes a mental note of it and fills the empty spot in no time. Willow's belly is all shaved up right now, because she had a little lump in her stomach that had to be checked out. Luckily the vet wasn't worried and said that most likely it was a deposit of fat (hmm, we do feed our kitties). Audrey, as usual, has that look on her face that means trouble:
Our poor over-eating Blue has lost a little bit of weight, but she still resembles (and is often called) the Battleship Potemkin.
The only kitty not presented here is Lyric, who is, sadly, still very timid and scared of me. Unfortunately she refused to be photographed for the purpose of this post. She tends to hang out in the basement during the days, and only comes out when I am nowhere to be seen. During the past couple of weeks she has finally started coming up to me in the evenings, which is certainly better than nothing.