In winter, when the days are short, the nights are chilly, and everything is too cold to the touch, I am less of an innovator and more of a reluctant worker. I don't really think about how to dress, but rather of the quickest, most painless, and most socially acceptable way for me to get from my warm bed to the closet and from my closet to class (including everything in-between). Thus I stick to a formula, and sometimes not so much of a formula as it is the same exact thing.
I am sad to say that blogspot might be lowering the quality of my photos. Anyways, this was another photo taken on October 8th of Chidinma's lovely outfit, and it took me more than a month to post it.
The past few months have been a frenzy of applications and research with a little bit of classwork on the side, it feels like. Now that all of my applications are completed, I've been trying to tone down my neuroses and keep looking ahead with hope. I'll let you know how that turns out.
It seems that throughout the three odd years I've been here and the two odd years I've been working on this blog, the quality of dress has risen among my Vanderbilt peers. It used to be that I had to scope out subjects intentionally. Nowadays, I'll be walking to class, and I'll spot five people along the way that make me think: "Oh! I wish I had brought my camera today." Well-dressed students just jump out at me now, an almost overwhelming of the senses. It certainly inspires me to photograph more people more often. On Mondays and Tuesdays, though, I'll be in class or research from morning to night, and it makes me feel like a mole rat living under the tunnels of Stevenson.
I love Chidinma's outfit. It was one of those that just "jumped" out at me. The pattern on those pants is insane! I also commend the way she paired a solid white top and a bright orange cardigan. The pants are still the focal point but the orange color adds cheer and ties everything together.
And my state of mind lately has been heaps of laziness mixed with feelings of being overwhelmed. A vicious cycle. This picture was taken on... October 8th? Whenever Arctic Monkeys came to town. It is now November 17th. I am just getting around to updating this. *smacks self.*
At least Teddy's outfit is still applicable, what with all this fluctuating weather. I've loathed 20 degree days in October and have celebrated 70 degree days just this past weekend. It's as if the wintry spirits are working only part time this year, which I have no complaints about. Anyways, if I could dress half as nice as this guy (on a regular Tuesday, nonetheless) I would be a lot happier with myself day by day. Love the sports jacket elbow patches and the trousers. Who wears trousers anymore? This needs to happen more often. I'm tired of the frat short/jeans dichotomy.
As I write this now, my application sits unfinished, collecting all sorts of figurative dust: The dust of warped memories, of unfounded fears... I digress. Luckily, only the school list remains, and I'll submit it tomorrow; I swear, I swear. But summer is now and it shines so brightly that it hurts. It's fading fast, though; solstice has come and past with nary any notice from me. Even as long as the days are, I fear that they are excruciatingly fleeting. How will I ever endure the winter? Street style is sparse and outfit posts slightly less so.
What has summer been? Well, I keep busy spurning the future's advances; I flee within my own head. I stir up clouds of debris just to watch and wait for it to settle. I nurse new endeavors and drop them for the next great adventure. I spend a lot of time cooking. Then, I don't cook for weeks. I'm saving up for Austin and paying off my debts. I'm a guinea pig, clicking buttons, making small decisions that I always double back on. I am roasted on a stick. Sometimes, rarely, I feel quite alive, while most of the times I am just terribly exhausted. I'm a bug on a rock, all skittering exoskeleton and delicate insides. Even at this age, I don't know how to take care of myself, so busy am I reaching upwards that I have forgotten to secure a foundation. Normal, normal, normal. I'm a bundle of opposites, gearing to explode.
Michael took these of me (pretty good for his first time with the camera) in the heat of the afternoon a midst the jeers of drunk porch barbarians. Despite my inclination to resort to violence, I went and got a gyro afterwards.
DIY Flower Crown
Maxi skirt that I've had for at least 10 years... from Kohl's
It's been approximately two years since my mother gathered her things, cut off her business ties, and booked it to China. No, not really, it's not that dramatic. I also don't think she actually cut off any business ties. But for the past two years, she's been working a two to three year job at a Chinese architecture firm. That means she gets to work on designing multi-story hotels, office buildings, and in general far more grandiose fare than she created here. I don't blame her, because the stagnating housing market in America (five years ago) looked like child's play when compared to the booming industry in China.
Though I miss her and I really haven't spent any meaningful time with her since... freshman summer, or even before starting college, I'm incredibly proud of her for chasing her dreams and working so hard to achieve her goals. For anybody in the work force who is a bit older than the fresh-faced new graduates and young workers, keeping up with the standard pace is a noteworthy struggle. Cheers to my mother for her immense mental strength and work ethic, who goes into work on the weekends, and has a will as resilient as steel.
She is also quite a fashionable lady. I went digging through old photo albums and found two representative photos from her college days:
No wonder I am often tempted to steal things from her closet. Hm... wonder what happened to that royal blue coat...
From her, I inherited a love for style, art, composition, and also looking at beautiful architecture pictures on tumblr. She calibrated my moral compass; she keeps me in check, she forgives, and is endlessly giving and inspiring. Love you so much.
When does going home ever start to feel like coming home? Is it when you open the door to your childhood house after a long absence? Is it when you see old friends, visit old haunts, do all the things that you once did before? Only now, you're older, and life has churned and shifted into a new suspension... Or can you never recapture that feeling, the settled, quiescent placation in your head that you are, indeed, where you should be? But then again, do you need such feelings at all?
Those are some questions I've been asking myself now that I've been immersed in the strange ten-day haze that is my proper summer vacation. Over the past week (and for the next three days), I've seen old friends with sometimes unrecognizable new lives, done a few things I did back in high school but... like, anachronistically (gone movie-hopping in our theatre in the middle of noon on a monday, bubble tea in the middle of the night, Starbucks and just driving around with Catherine.. but we're old, and feeding bad shopping habits in a ghost town shopping mall).
Is May the month where homecoming college kids quietly take over the town, re-immersing themselves into a suburbia that knocks the wind right out of their sails? By June, we're on to greener pastures.
Babbling aside, there's a bridge down the street from where I live that connects our neighborhood to a "sister" neighborhood. I call it a bridge because fences flanked the passageway, and technically it crossed over a huge cylindrical sewer pipe containing a little creek. Both sides of the bridge used to be swathed in trees and in my middle school days, I'd jump the wobbly plastic fence and venture down through the woods to visit the little creek and breathe in the smell of... well, sewage. It was pretty gross, actually. During my last year of high school, the huge pipe broke and the road caved in. For a while there was a huge sinkhole, but this time when I came back, they rebuilt everything and removed all the trees surrounding the creek, leaving this picturesque little clearing. Perfect to take pictures in!
I got a little bit of street style (or, um, off-road style HAHAHAHA) with Catherine. I really loved her top, the lace detailing was incredibly intricate and I thought the see-through lace was flirty and mysterious. But it wasn't cheap boring lace patterns like I've sometimes seen (and quickly discarded). Really awesome patterns. She also had these awesome, thrifted kitten heels that kind of kept sinking into the dirt, so that was bad, though the heels themselves were cute and otherwise practical. We took a few photos and ran before the mosquitoes could come out in full force and feast upon our flesh.
To orient you, this is Catherine mid-twirl. LOOK AT THAT LACE DETAILING.
I didn't notice until I edited these photos, but Catherine is really pale (not a bad thing! most Asians consider this a compliment...=_=) Add to that the fact that these photos were a little bit over-exposed, she was practically glowing. In a pulsating light from within kind of way.
Here, we have Catherine in her natural habitat. As we can tell, she is rather unperturbed by the camera's presence. She seems to be freaking a leaf.
I don't know if you have noticed, but we'rreeeeee back! At least for now. I remember embarking on my Junior Year with the idealistic optimism of a can-do attitude. I told myself, I can do it all! I can ace all my classes and the MCAT and do research and other necessary things all the while maintaining a street style blog AND a social life; aren't I just the best? Well, spoiler alert, didn't happen, but you already knew that. So I make no promises for Senior year. Secretly I was hoping to take a breather this year but I've had many grad students warn me (they love to burst any and all bubbles that I may be sporting) that it doesn't get easier, and in fact may get even more difficult. I believe them... :c. I love this blog though. I've forgotten many of its birthdays and anniversaries and other miscellaneous milestones (i.e. actually making posts) but it is in my heart every day.
On to the post. Shift dresses are so interesting. I don't think they've got the most flattering silhouettes, mostly because every time you move, the dress "shifts" with you, and for some reason all the "lines" you've got under it just become pronounced. At the same time there's something lovely about the straight cut, almost like a trapezoidal sack that you hang from your shoulders. That sounds un-lovely but what I mean to say is that it's rather a simple affair: unassuming and somewhat humble, a casual ease. It's kind of boyish or androgynous and so reminiscent of Twiggy. However, I don't weigh under 100 lbs, and my legs are a bit more branchy than twiggy so it doesn't have that same striking effect. Also, I can't do eye make up worth shit. Thank god I had these huge white sunnies to hide behind.
I really do love the shift dress + white socks + wingtip oxfords look, though, straight stole it from Suzie in Moonrise Kingdom. I tried to stay true to the mod look but my hair wasn't really having it, as it is often wont to do.
I look like I'm on the cover of a Murakami novel here and I LOVE IT.
Readers, Something interesting to think about today. We all might be guilty of thinking of fashion blogs as "useless to society," or pointless, fickle and trivially twee. Sometimes I am guilty of that exact thought myself. But fashion is simultaneously an extension and reflection of the cultural milieu: the things we wear have gravity, speak to an age (as long as it's not just influenced by rabid consumerism but rather by prominent artistic or cultural tropes). Anyways, the article below by Greta Christina offers a refreshing perspective on it. But we shouldn't forget Men's fashion. “Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.”
--Fashion is a Feminist Issue: Greta Christina
As for me, I'm too defeated by school right now to even do any or post any actual photography. There's nothing that will rip out your soul and mercilessly crush it in its grip like Physical Chemistry lab. And Biochemistry. So I've got some things to think about on that front, that I've been putting off too long.
Well, actually my test date is April 4th, 2013. Whether I like it or not, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, the time is imminent. Two weeks from today, and counting. I feel like a prisoner who's developed Stockholm Syndrome--honestly, I don't want it to end. I always tell myself there are more things I could have done, more things I could be doing. I should have taken this amount of practice tests, studied this amount of content, etc. But I'm beginning to feel excitement for the post-experience. Back to blogging! Yay!
It's hard to dress well when you're in a living hell. As it were, I'm wearing boots and sweatpants, all under a huge waistcoat. It looks, frankly, ridiculous.