Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blogger of the week on Lulu Letty!

Lulu Letty Blogger of the Week!

A big thanks to the very lovely and talented Maria for featuring me! I'm very flattered!

9.23.2009 Mid-Century Victorian

9.23.2009 Mid-Century Victorian

Dress: Isaac Mizrahi for Target, cream top: Net, earrings: Night market stall, necklace: Totus Mel on Etsy, bag: Earth Tree (地球樹), a fair trade store in Taipei, shoes: Green Pine from Sogo

This is definitely one for my "backdrops that looked better in real life than in the photo" file. Whoops! I do like, however, that the white chain link fence kind of echoes my cream blouse... which is actually not a blouse, but a bolero I purchased on impulse from Net, Taiwan's version of Forever 21 and H&M, and that honestly looks better layered under something else instead of over. I think I got the black eyelet dress just before I moved here. The bodice is really weird... it seems like it was designed for someone who is not only very busty, but also has very well-developed shoulder muscles. Does anyone else have that fit problem with Target dresses? I took in the straps a bit but still wasn't happy with how wide the neckline was or the idea of having to do alterations on a lined dress... until I figured, why not just shove a another piece of clothing underneath it and call it a jumper? Haha! If only all life's little problems were that easy to solve.


My favorite part of this outfit is definitely my Totus Mel Vive La Reine tatted necklace. Her stuff is really amazing! I taught myself how to tat in high school by following instructions in a book and it took me FOREVER to figure out how to do the little "pop" for each knot (if only YouTube had existed back then!). In my opinion, tatting is one of the coolest needlecrafts out there and I am amazed at the amount of work that went into my necklace. My earrings are little wooden discs with flowers lasercut into them that I purchased from the night market.

In between all the lace and the silhouette of the dress, I think my outfit is kind of a mash up between 1950s sundresses and Victorian style flourishes. A bit random, but I'm happy with it -- especially since I pulled it together from a couple things that were being neglected in my closet!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Fudge it

One of my biggest weaknesses is Japanese fashion magazines. I find that quite a few of them have the kind of vintage/girly aesthetic that I go weak in the knees for, and that is hard to find in English-language fashion magazines (aside from Lula and Frankie). I know that I am not alone in my love for Fudge magazine. Clever Nettle recently posted some scans from the August 2009 Fudge, but had trouble finding the current issue. I totally feel the hard-to-find international magazine pain. There are a ton of publications I can't find in Taipei -- Bust, Frankie, The New Yorker style issues -- but for some reason the distribution companies manage to import every gossip mag ever published in Britain and the United States. Seriously!?! Does anyone in Taiwan care about the Gosselins or hold their breath every week for the latest Life & Style... a Life & Style that costs the equivalent of US$7?

Anyway, here are some of my favorite looks from the latest Fudge.

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

Fudge Magazine, Sept. 2009

I really love the second from last photo. The more I look at the outfit, the more interesting it seems. I'm taken with the juxtaposition of the furry, bulky, slightly rough-looking sweater and the summery dress. The second image is from a spread on how to style all-black outfits and the first is almost the same as the cover image. I love how Fudge throws disparate influences together: the 1940s, the circus, Japanese pop art, Commes des Garcons, etc.

Another great Japanese publication is So-En, one of the country's oldest style magazines. So-En's aesthetic is a bit more contemporary than Fudge's, but a lot of spreads still derive their inspiration from vintage clothing and styling. I'll be sure to share some of my favorite looks from So-En!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vintage dresses live and in color!

8mm found film from roxanne on Vimeo.

I love this 8mm film from the early 1960s (I'm guessing) I found on Persephassa's Vimeo. It looks like a church gathering or some other springtime social event; everyone is dressed in lovely sun dresses and suits. It gives you a good sense of what ordinary women were wearing for dress-up days back then. I'm sure most of you have seen Persephassa's contributions to the wardrobe_remix pool, but if you haven't, be sure to take a look at her outfits. They are amazing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Edie Sedgwick at her wedding

A new comment on my Flickr feed reminded me that I have a few screen grabs of Edie Sedgwick at her wedding to Michael Post. These were taken from Ciao Manhattan, of course. Didn't she look so beautiful and so different from the Girl On Fire everyone knows?

Edie at her wedding

Edie in her mantilla veil

Michael and Edie from the back

Edie Sedgwick and Michael Post

I love her dress and that amazing bouquet.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9.4.2009 Behold! A Brain.


Dress: Vintage via eBay, belt: JCrew outlet, shoes: Sogo Zhongxiao, bag: Earth Tree fair trade store in Taipei, brain necklace: F-ck Barbie

I wore this outfit about one and a half weeks ago when I sent my desktop computer to get fixed (I've been having really bad luck with computers lately). Since I needed all the brains I could get, I wore my special noggin pendant. I bought it from a Taipei-based indie design team called F-ck Barbie (minus the hyphen... I'm not against swearing but I don't want weirdos landing at this blog through search results!).


I love the print on the dress. You can see that there are birds all over the fabric, and a border with teeny little people. I bought this dress off of eBay right before I left the US a couple years ago. I have no idea why, since it doesn't really fit in with the rest of my closet, but I like it. Regardless, I've noticed that my wardrobe tends to fall into two categories: retro girly and boho. It is a bit random. I wonder if my clothing choices represents two sides of my personality -- the one that tries to be ladylike all the time and the one that is a little bit more free-spirited (but not THAT free-spirited, ha!).

我覺得這件洋裝有點嘻皮的風味. 我自己的腦子逃走了。

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9.12.2009 One Legume of the Week

Photo from

I've been very bad at posting Legumes of the Week for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully I'll be back up to speed soon, but before I am... here is one post so awesome, so amazing, so breathtaking and so mouthwatering that it will completely redefine the way you look at food. Behold, Luxirare's bento box!

For more bento goodness, check out this recent New York Times article and this eye-popping Flickr pool. I love bento boxes but working from home makes any kind of packed lunch kind of redundant for me, so I just enjoy looking at photos of other people's food on the Internet.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I left my heart in...

San Francisco, but then I took it back to Taipei with me!

These are the engagement photos that Ron and I took right before our wedding in May. We'd been engaged since December 2006 and took Taiwanese engagement photos (which were quite a cultural experience, by the way, and deserve their own post), but we wanted more "American-style" pics, too. Our wedding photographer, Cooper Carras, offered a complimentary engagement photo session, so of course we jumped at the opportunity.

I wore a vintage 1950s dress and we chose locations around San Francisco that were featured in the film "Vertigo." I love that dress, but it's so fragile I can only take it out for special occasions. One of the things that I like about it is that it has a peony print; peonies are a frequent motif in Chinese and Taiwanese art and fabrics. My pumps are from one of those clearance shoe outlet stores and I've had them since college. I bought them even though they were the worst shoes for running around campus because I like the mid-century retro flair they have to them. My husband doesn't have any vintage on him, but I think he looks very handsome, nonetheless.

SF engagement photos

SF engagement photos

SF engagement photos

SF engagement photos

SF engagement photos


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Pretty: Japanese sugar candy


I bought some Japanese sugar candy from a store in Ximending, which an area known as Taipei's answer to Harajuku. Lots of teenagers and college students hang out there on the weekends.


The candy that looks like little stars is konpeito, a traditional Japanese confection that has its roots in Portugal and is handmade over the course of several days.


The rock candy often has miniatures of flowers, fruits or popular cartoon characters in the middle. Doesn't the rainbow one on the bottom right look like the Mac spinning marble of doom? Looking at it gave me dry heaves (remember, I just had a laptop break down on me for the second time in half a year) until I popped it into my mouth and ate it. Take that, marble of doom!


The little pearls are light, crunchy and powdery, and taste a little bit like fruitier Sweet Tarts. I think they would be so cute on cupcakes.


I hope you've enjoyed this trip through candyland! I love candy; it might show up again on The Renegade Bean :-)!


8.31.2009 The Vaguely Retro Blues

Dress: The Gap, belt: Accessorize, bag: Earth Tree, a fair trade store in Taipei, shoes: Aldos, necklace: Romantic Roses by Anirtak

I bought this dress while I was still living in New York City, so it is about three years old or so. I like it a lot because it has a vaguely late 1930s/early 1940s look about it, due to its puffy sleeves and the bias cut fabric. It probably looks like I am obsessed with that Accessorize belt -- and I kind of am! It's made of black elastic, so it comfortable to wear in hot and humid weather. My bag is a hand-tooled leather purse from India that I purchased from a fair trade store in Taipei. I didn't get a good detail shot of it, but it's a lovely satchel shape, has some beautiful details and was very reasonably priced. I have a hard time finding handbags in Taipei that aren't too trendy, overloaded with beading, braids, tassels and other doohickies, or ridiculously expensive. If anyone has Taipei purse-shopping tips, please let me know!

On a slightly related note, I (like so many other style bloggers) cannot wait for cooler weather to begin. For one thing, it will help alleviate my weather-related migraines (woohoo!). And as much as I love being able to skip out of the house in a sundress, sandals and ponytail, I am looking forward to taking out my fall items and layering to my little heart's content. To me, style is a non-verbal language and clothing is its vocabulary -- and it'll be nice to express more complex sartorial ideas! For example, I can't wait to be able to throw on a felt fascinator from Giant Dwarf, a jaunty scarf, tights and maybe some gloves with this dress.

Then again, I bet in six months time I'll be whining about how I am so sick of having to put on tights, slips, scarves, hats and coats so I don't freeze outside. Taiwan is considered a subtropical/tropical island, but it gets downright chilly in the winter and the humidity means that the cold cuts right through you. Oh, joy. Fall and spring are definitely my favorite seasons, in the US or Taiwan.