Monday, March 7, 2011

State of ephemera


Since I was little, I've always been obsessed with how fleeting time is -- every second is just another second away from becoming a shadowy memory, or forgotten completely. It's bittersweet and I always struggle to be in the moment while trying to etch every single impression into my mind.

I'm also obsessed with paper. Combine the two things and you get... yet another obsession with ephemera! I love searching for ephemera packs on Etsy. The coolest things turn up. I recently ordered a pack from Paper Aeroplanes. It was amazing, stuffed with treasures like vintage rail tickets, playing cards and stamps from Australia, US, Spain (I think) and England. I love having a glimpse into the daily life in the (not too distant) past of faraway places. I have another pack on its way to me from Ashworths Art in North Carolina, which I plan to use in collages or my scrapbook.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Unlikely Sources of Inspiration: Jeremy Bentham's Auto-Icon as... Fashion Icon

Jeremy Benthan inspiration

One of my favorite philosophers is Jeremy Bentham, a man who was both eminently sensible (his interest in social reform was sparked as a young boy when he observed the inequality between women and men) and very, very kooky. He stipulated in his will that after he died, he wanted his body preserved, dressed and left as an "auto-icon." It now hangs out in the University College of London, occasionally attending meetings as "present, not voting."

As I stared at this photo of Bentham's auto-icon, I found myself thinking: "Wow, his outfit is both practical and attractive! Just perfect for a late 18th century to early 19th century utilitarianist!" Thus inspired, I made a collage of items I think Bentham would have approved of. Everything is in simple neutral hues, in silhouette that are both basic but have just enough details to make them special, like the cutaway hem on the cardigan, the studs on the black brogues and the little bows on the gloves (though Bentham's gloves are apparently there because his auto-icon's preservation didn't go that well).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Outfit: The Catting Hour

2.16.2011 A Rainbow Too Far
Dress: Oasis, cardigan: Macy's, leggings: American Apparel, shoes: Aldo, bracelet: Blah Blah Blah, hat: Earth Tree (地球樹)

It's been about eight months since my last outfit post! I've pretty much spent the entire time in sweatpants encrusted with tears. I'm kidding. To be honest, working from home doesn't really inspire a lot of sartorial creativity, even though I get annoyed with myself for just putting on jersey tops and leggings every day (unless I have an interview, in which I do make an effort). Last summer was also extremely hot and humid, even by Taiwan standards, and I wore nothing but long, batik-print skirts (NT$300 each from the night market!) and black T-shirts. How I dress does affect my mood, however, and I'm trying to make more of an effort on a daily basis.

My dress is from Oasis, which used to have a shop in Taipei 101. When they closed, I screamed (though I believe they still have a location in Ximending). The prices were way higher than the Oasis stores in the UK, but it was one of the few stores here where I didn't encounter obnoxious saleswomen who acted as if my butt is so big that it single-handedly changed weather patterns in Taiwan (well, we are having an unusually chilly winter). My shoes are just Aldo heels I got on sale, but the leather detailing caught my eye. My magical bracelet is from Blah Blah Blah, one of my favorite indie Taiwanese brands (I recently interviewed their owner). I love how it riffs off of Marian iconography. When I wear it, there's nothing I love better than making my husband ask me what time it is so I can yank my sleeve back and scream "it's the catting hour!" Being easily amused is fun!

(My photos for this post were organized with a template by the awesome Pugly Pixel.)