segunda-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2009

Thought it was the end of it? Ha! A woman's work is never done...

I am going to spare you the other little big details, like the search for a perfect rings, scarves, purses.
The funniest thing is that at times after all this careful planning the day before, you wake up the next day & feel that your mood has changed and you have to change your outfit, too.

Oh well. No problem. We are not easily scared: give us more choice, and we'll make more intelligent decisions!
P.S. 2 questions to think about - do women dress for themselves or to impress the others, particularily men? And do men care?
And would you care to know what I think?

And the winner is: Instinct!

From the very beginning I had a feeling that these 3 items would look great together. I knew this would be it, but I decided to document my 'search' & rationalize throughout the whole process that normally takes me 5 min. max to complete but this time it took much longer. It's also impressive how if you have the fashion sense you know immediately what goes with what & why, you make up your mind fast & easy but when you dissect your formula into its components & micro-components it's amazing (and scary) to see how much thought goes into all of it.
Thought & planning. And to think that I am not a fashion crazy. I just believe 100% that we can & should show what we are by what we wear, not only what we eat...

So, here are the winners: another kind of a silky shirt and a triangle-shaped, very difficult to get into (I always get it wrong the first 2 attempts) sweater or vest.

Step 7: take a deep breath, relax your elegance, wear cashmere?

Practice what you preach: after talking about 'casual elegance', showing how relaxed and un-glamorous you are, I had to go all the way the other way and downplay my clothing items. This sweater, however, looked pale, too casual, 'without salt', as they'd say in Brazil.
Didn't make your mouth water. Not a head-turning outfit. Out.

Step 6: It's not all chic that shines

Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact (and keep this in mind for when you find out who the winner is!)
I am paying so much attention to little details right now, that I forgot to mention something that is more important than all of the above. You have to listen to yourself & understand what impression you want to give. Now, it's not about being overly interested or dependant on what the others think of you, but in my mind it's ultimately about your psychological health. Yes, you heard it right: when/if it happened to me to be wearing something I didn't want to wear on a particular occasion, I felt almost sick. If you want to wear a skirt and you wind up wearing pants it makes you feel bad about your body. Your head sends indignant signals to your body. Mine does for sure.

So, in order to avoid precisely that, I had to include some other components into my 'dress for Tues night' formula.
The first part - weather - you've already seen. The second part - 'audience & ambience' was also briefly mentioned when I talked about how a girl's best friend is originality.
Going to a 5 star place with a 10 star person (oh yes, they do exist!) doesn't mean that you have to wear shiny stuff, especially if it's not the finest silks. The more you try to look expensive, the less you will succeed. But what works for me is turning the thing/situation on its head, putting on my slighly rebelious elegant air, mixing cheap & expensive, old & new & coming accross as what I am.

Weather (practical factor) = pants + Audience & Ambience (mix of practical & emotional)= relaxed sophisticated, casual with a twist

Step 5: vintage derailed (almost)

Let's give vintage another chance - after all, I do have some less demanding shirts. This one was discrete enough. I liked the overall effect & I got particularily excited about how well it looked with the brown pants (I am wearing tall brown leather boots that will be almost invisible though, covered by long pants), but then...booom, I remembered that I specially bought a nice little black purse and that would look wrong with the brown pants.
So off they went - both the pants and the vintage shirt. One moment I thought I was almost there, and then...I had to carry on with my search!

Step 4: could it be off-white vintage, yellowish with time?

I am 31 years old but I already smell of moth - at least according to my mother who just can't stand the smell of some of my prized vintage possessions brought from Buenos Aires.
I love the looks of it, though, so I am prepared to combat the smell with perfume.
Now, there's something that I discovered yesterday - it might be that one of my shirts actually needs to be worn the other way around. Label on the back/front made me think of it. But then of course you need a partner or a maid to button you up on the back. Tough one. Like trying to put on a bracelet if you are single (if you are single & you ever bought bracelets, you'll know what I mean!)

Ok, so here's one vintage shirt. It has it all, and that's precisely the problem: with its delicate lacework it's very feminine, pretty... but it's too much, it overshadows my necklace. Not this time, thank you, I'd 'save' it for something less 'bulky' that would actually let the shirt shine, too.

Step 3: it's not all black or white

When I was a little girl my dad would see me dressed up and if he disapproved he'd just say: "Are you going to wear that?" It was quite a 'that'... He also used to think (and say) that white was not my color. It probably isn't, but at times it's ok.
Black is everybody's color but mine. At least it was true until not so long ago, but now I use it once in a while, for it does, indeed, allow you to make some things stand out.
So just in case I tried some B&W combinations here.
Black sweater made the necklace look harsh, white sweater was quite nice - elegant, classy. By the end of this marathon it actually came as my number 2 choice.

Step 2: Weather conditions

Weather forecast for the time of my London date tomorrow: cold. Getting down to -!1C (ha! i like that exclamation mark before the temperature, let's keep it!) in the evening. And since I spent the last 1,5 year in Brazil & am no longer used to negative temperatures (were I ever???), I'd rather avoid freezing.
Tomorrow I will be warm with good feelings and extra-warm by leaving the skirts behind.
So - I am definitely wearing pants.
Here's a first sample of tops. The white top is out right away because my meeting is in the evening & white is wrong for that time of the day. Then we have a sample pairing of a top of matching color with pants & a necklace.
That's not it - the lace on the top is distracting the attention from the necklace.
So let's move on to something better, more 'clean'.

domingo, 13 de dezembro de 2009

Step 1: Building what you wear around a piece of jewelry

Remember my rule #1? In order to let your accessories shine, plan what you wear accordingly, so that it doesn't overshadow your main 'pride piece'.

In today's case I knew exactly what necklace I wanted to wear, so at least Step 1/Building block #1 came easy (also quite a coincidence, since the necklace in question is entirely made up of arches).

And as I opened my wardrobe, the rainbow appeared in the sky. Good omen! (not really - rainbows are frequent in this part of the country!)

...a girl's best friend

A side note before I start with my heroic dressing endeavor: following the path of least resistance is not something that I like to do, so having this spectacular piece ready to wear for tomorrow meant that I was going to disregard it completely and go in search of something new.
One more thing needs to be said: if you are going out with someone who is very rich and you are going to be in a place that routinely sees lots of gold & diamonds, do something different. Not outrageously rebelious or uselessly provoking, but....(demonstration to follow).
After all, diamonds & pearls are not our best friends, but originality is.

7 undeadly sins, or what some call 'vanity', i call 'professionalism'

I know that everything makes more sense in context, especially jewelry like mine. Still, I was a bit surprised to hear from my own father that he, too, preferred the photos with me wearing my creations (a sincere remark, I believe, for in these photos you normally don't see my face, so it's not that my dad likes it for any other reason than 'art').
So I decided to take advantage of the fact that I have a long-awaited 'date' coming up this Tuesday (tomorrow, ha!) & document my decision-making process with regard to what to wear.
Fully aware of my sins, failures & shortcomings I nevertheless set out happiliy to accomplish my mission.
Here's a short (but still long-ish) version of the step-by-step.

P.S. the photo is of a 7 sins brooch (Giotto)

quinta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2009

Anything goes, as long as you know what you are doing

In the previous post I talked about (and showed) exaggeration rule, run wild. Now I wanted to show one of the more discrete pieces that plays with 2 of my obssessions: hands (I worked my way up from the 'feet fetish' to hands) and fishing for pearls. As well as my desire to make 'warm' pieces asking to be touched & caressed. Without forgetting even for a second (boy, it's getting tougher and tougher!) my maniac obssession with getting the color combinations just right...

Hands courtesy by Durer. Take a close look at what they 'say'.
So, yes, exaggerating is fun when you set out to achieve precisely that effect, when you want to be up in someone's face, provocative. And going about designing in a quieter, more sublte way, is excellent, too: after all, our personality is like a patchwork & every new day requires a change of accessories according to our mood.

When life gives you pearls, go all the way!

And so I went!
What started as a joke ended up being an eccentric, but still quite wearable necklace.
And thanks to my 'elephant-like' memory I can tell where every single pearl comes from.

So just by looking at this piece you can see why my wardrobe's color scheme had to change completely: patterns are unwelcome, only sober, pure colors are allowed in, making my creations shine.

When I talk about people with relation to jewelry they wear, I like to say that for the majority jewelry comes as an afterthought, meaning that they get dressed first and then 'throw' something on top. For the jewelry lovers like me, it's the other way around: you build what you wear around the accessories you have in mind for the day. Build it carefully, so that your central (master)piece could shine brighter.

Here's some vintage pearly bling-bling. Exaggerating in good taste, I hope.

Not even monkeys like fishing for pearls

Fishing for compliments never interested me too much, for I have no problems with my self-esteem, but looking for pearls (while continuing to say that I dislike them) has become an obssession of sorts.
In a way it's justified, though, for the final result is far removed from the boring & perfectly white, round pearl in an 'unproblematic' setting.
Featured above: Goya+Durer's monkey+ vintage pearl from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

quarta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2009

Free falling: dreading it, loving it

I've already mentioned how exciting and scary every first attempt at designing a piece is. All because there are so many ways of going about it that even if you try to test just a few things, it still takes a lot of... time? Well, time is not that important, it is the idea of endless possibilities and knowing that you can always do it better & better, that makes you feel like you are about to fall.
So you have to be used to jumping. Fast, without thinking, pondering too much. That's what I am less good at. Hopefully with time (so, after all, time is important!)
Creativity and perfectionism. How does that pairing work?

Besides showing the ladder & some angels free-falling, the photo above is a good case in point: not content with perfectly fine materials (when/if taken one by one, the silk cord & 2 lace variations give a very sophisticated finish), I tried to combine the 3 of them together and... so off I went to test this 3 in 1 cord on various images I was using.
No wonder sleepless nights abound around here. But that's precisely what I like - yes for falling, no for sleeping!

Time flies and I am still creating chaos (among other things)

Long time no posts. All because I got some exciting news, couldn't sleep, kept on working & churned out some nice things.
In order to do anything, of course, I have to create a big mess...