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Balenciaga and Spain: the tome that accompanies the exhibition is the closest one can get to the real thing (if the real thing is impossible). Indeed, for many a lazy afternoon, this book has been to me: part exhibit, part history lesson, and a total immersion in a culture foreign. The sartorial aspect was the inherent guiding force, as the main subject being studied was none other than the legendary designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895–1972).
What fascinated me most in my perusals was the context-sensitive aspect of fashion explored. Here, the influence of country, culture, custom, and art, were all carefully curated to form an irresistible invasion of the designer’s genius.
Inspiring images, ranging a wide and complex gamut, form most of the content: at times, richly textured with life, at others, almost monastic in a strict embodiment of style and chic. But throughout, the theme is constant: that of Spain, for this is a country “stamped indelibly on the souls of its children.” As evidenced indeed, in the life and work of its visionary, Balenciaga.
Balenciaga believed ‘in the unquestionable elegance of black and white, in the color of the Spanish earth and rocks and olive trees, in the red of the bull ring, in the effective accent of turquoise, in the Goya combination of black with beige, gray with black, and in yellow.’
This Spanish house abides by the great rule that elimination is the secret of chic.
Goya, whether Balenciaga is aware of it or not, is always looking over his shoulder. He believes in lace and ribbon bows – never used in a fussy way but rather with true Spanish dignity.
For Balenciaga, designing clothes was more than a craft, more than art: it had the characteristics of a religious vocation.
…the warp-printed carnations seem, on their pale ground, like the flowers scattered on the clear yellow sand of a bullring in the blazing heat.
Black, in all its tones, was a motif of Balenciaga’s work…So, too, were the brilliant yellow and red of the Spanish flag. This is a color combination so inherent in the Spanish identity…
If a woman came in a Balenciaga dress, no other woman existed.
All images (except the first) are taken from the book. Composites were created by myself.
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My favorite (one and lonely) wristwatch here was a birthday present from my dad *thanksdad!* I’ve had it for almost two years now, and I still don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. It’s become my #1 accessory! So, I figured that it deserves a blog-post/rave/national holiday of its own…
The best thing about it is the color: I just love that fresh shade of mint-green! (Rather rare too, I know *snob*) Plus, it being solar-powered makes it green in just about every sense of the word *eco-snob* Wearing it everyday makes for a nice, sporty accent that pretty much clashes with everything. Here’s to color-pops and all that! ♥
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Qui-Gon Jinn:…Obi-Wan, you’re sure there isn’t anything of value left on board?
Obi-Wan Kenobi: A few containers of supplies, the Queen’s wardrobe, maybe.
―excerpt from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Although Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out almost 12 years ago, I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed by the costumes. Natalie Portman as science-fantasy-fiction royalty with gorgeous costume changes in nearly every scene? That’s some prime re-watching value there. I’ve been even more smitten since re-discovering photos of said costumes featured in a Vogue US May 1999 issue. Shot by Irving Penn in all their lavish glory, the regal gowns glow with an otherworldly elegance. Designed by Trisha Biggar, each costume cost more than $60,000 each. Something “of value” indeed, Obi-Wan.
Anywho, just trying to justify my geekiness here: I made Polyvores of ’em. Yes. I. Did. Just being weirdly out-of-sync with the rest-of-the-world’s-time-line, making irrelevant sartorial tributes to yesterday’s geekdom in my own little corner of the bloggy universe ^_^ Or you can think of it as making yesterday’s geekdom relevant to the rest-of-the-world via totally-in-sync sartorial tributes. Whatever rocks your boat.
♥ Edit: I’ve made a sequel! Clicky here for Natalie Portman in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones ♥
Apologies for missing last week’s post. I’m back in Penang for the holidays and didn’t bring my laptop for the ride. With everyone (including my geeky, Unix-obsessed dad WHO I KNOW IS READING THIS) at home for Christmas, there wasn’t a computer to spare for my little bloggy habit. That is, not one that could sustain my love of Photoshopping sorcery. *magicalsparkles* Anyways, I finally got my grabby hands on one unattended machine, so here’s a picture-heavy post to make up for all that.
The above photos were taken last weekend. I’d spent a lazy afternoon with my sister at the flea market held at Straits Quay. It’s one of my favourite places in Penang. There, I was weirdly fascinated by a stall that was COMPLETELY OWL-THEMED (as if I needed to bold that.) According to the stall-owner, she’d sourced them from all over the world. Cue the jaw drop of awe. She was also a darling about graciously ignoring my whole camera-snapping thing :D
Anyways, scroll down for more hyperglycaemia-inducing eye-candy. Mouse-over any photos for my completely unnecessary commentary and all that.
Hope you wonderful people had a MERRY CHRISTMAS! ^_^
PS: I’ll be doing an extra out-of-routine post on New Year’s. Here’s to 366 days of a brand new 2012! *confetti*
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Previously, I’d noted my problem with khaki shirts: they make me look like a wildlife documentary host! Some lovely readers then suggested a few possible solutions. Inspired, I ventured to explore the styling options of a khaki shirt via Polyvore. The result? A few solutions to avoiding the Steve Irwin-ian look ^_^ (However, none of said solutions exist in my own wardrobe -_-)
Enjoy my Polyvore suggestions and Instylesque commentary! :D
Hope you enjoyed my Polyvore efforts ^_^
Please let me know which one is your favorite and why! (It’s for my own personal shopping-research purposes ;)
***Special thanks to lovely reader Levisque for the fun “Girl Scout” idea + helpful tulip skirt tip!! :D***
Confession/Attribution of Inspiration: This was inspired by a post from one of my favorite bloggers, Maja Piraja. She, with the help of the lovely Maria, did a gorgeous Polyvore post about “How to wear a beige skirt”. Unfortunately, I didn’t (and still don’t) own a beige skirt. I do remember comment-complaining about how I had a lot of khaki in my wardrobe though. Hence, the conception of inspiration – and a post was born :D
Hope you don’t mind, Maja >.<
It does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.
At least, that’s what Confucius said. (Tumblr users ought to be familiar with this ;) Self-identification and all that.
Some people tell me I don’t update often enough. Truth. However, I’m shooting for consistency: 1 post a week, 4 posts a month. My previous goal was twice that many. But that didn’t work out.
What changed? Well, let’s just say there was a shift in the wind blowing inside my dark cold id that made me all grouchy and restless. Or perhaps I’m just riding a different drift: priorities be a-changing, and a post a week feels exactly right for that.
Excuses, excuses: There’s a part of me that agrees – I could do better than this. But would I?
To me, blogging is an art – and art is all about expressing yourself for the sake of expressing yourself. Right now I’m working towards the point where it becomes a part of my schedule, and thus a part of who I am, as opposed to merely what I do. Corniness aside, this bloggy pace feels exactly right for me now.
But then again, that may change with time ^_^
(Regarding the photo: I bought me a new trinket. Guess the answer to the riddle and you’ll know what’s inside that locket. Impatient? Just highlight the rest of my words: the answer is Time – hence the pocket watch ;)
(PS: Who else is looking forward to the movie version of The Hobbit?)