And we’re back with another ReFashion 2015! I am not much of a jeans kind of a girl, or a t-shirt kind of a girl, so this is my take on jeans and a t-shirt! This ReFashion is another Upsize! When I bought these cute bongo jeans from KMart, years ago, I knew it was a tight fit and the fact that they don’t have any stretch to the material is not a good thing for me.
The waist is way lower than I like and I generally stay away from cropped pants, but I actually LOVE the tropical leaf print so much I figured I would make it work. Years later, I finally have!
Most of how i converted these poor fitting jeans into comfy stylish jeggings is in the graphic above. I also removed the zipper and sewed up the crotch. After removing the waistband and adding more room on the sides of the jeans with double-knit fabric, I added a new longer and wider waistband with elastic. This made the pants a pull on style and the strong stretchy material keeps them from becoming baggy with wear.
I played with different shoes to get a different vibe. I also tried the look with a heavy cardigan and my favorite Black Drapey cardigan, but the leather was my favorite. And I love a metallic leopard pump. If only I could walk in a pointy toe for longer than it takes to look adorbs! Luckily I have some pointy-ish faux snakeskin flats that will do nicely.
The kimono style robe in this pic is my favorite ReFashion & this outfit is my favorite pattern combining this year so far. The full tutorial will be up next week. This number used to be a fabulous thrifted skirt! Can’t wait to get into the nitty gritty about it! <3
For the last month I have been in good spirits, and I have been more anxious than I would like, less focused than I wish to be and as melancholy as ever.
I have lived for the moon cycles and relished my bi-monthly rituals for nearly a year now. I have held no self-care so dear as my moon rituals. Through them, I become present and more thoughtful about my life and what I’d like to manifest in it. I have never paid myself so much soulful attention as I do when honoring the Moon.
Among some Pagans the November full moon is known as the Mourning Moon and it marks a time of endings before the new year. The Mourning Moon is the last before Winter and it signifies transformation and regeneration.
The very non-magickal reality of racist police killings of Black youth in Minneapolis and Chicago, white supremacist shootings of anti-police brutality protesters, popular political candidates spouting racist and xenophobic rhetoric, and terrorist attacks around the world – can question my faith in humanity on any given day. There may be nothing more appropriate than to honor the Mourning Moon and get centered while in my own mourning of sorts. Grief is natural, endings are natural and creating a ritual for them, what could be more natural?
These days, Chani Nicholas is my favorite Astrology guide online. She never ceases to keep her charting relevant on both a personal level while bringing world events into the context. My attention to the cosmos helps me to make an effort to do a little more yoga, work on my affirmations and check in with myself more often. Doing these things keep me grounded in myself when the world is too much or not enough.
And of course, I celebrate the beauty of the Moon itself. I get giddy when I go outside and look up and manage to see stars. I feel more connected to the Universe and remember how beautiful it all can really truly be. I regroup and I recognize that even when things are ugly and frightening, there still manages to be magick.
Nov. 20th is Transgender Remembrance day and marks the end of Transgender Awareness Week November 14-20.
This past Saturday on the 14th I went to the 2nd Annual San Fernando Valley Pride March and Conference organized by Somos Familia Valle and it was such a gorgeous day. Beautiful folx celebrating the spectrum of gender and sexual identity from the point of view of people of color, specifically Latinx.
A day of talks and workshops were all about sharing stories and strategies on how to serve the LGBTQIA community in the Valley with goals of a San Fernando Valley LGBTQIA community center. The highlights for me were workshops on Immigration on an end to deportations, Sexual Education, and a panel discussion on Trans Liberation featuring vibrant activists Joseline Hernandez, Tanya Chacon and Bamby Salcedo.
At one point, Bamby Salcedo said that she was fortunate to be her age. That the average lifespan of a Transperson is 35. This shook me to the core. This is as a direct result of criminal violence and social alienation leading to suicide. In 2015 over 21 Transwomen and who knows how many more genderfluid people have been murdered. If this isn’t a state of emergency, what is?
I first saw these gorgeous posters on Buzzfeed today. Each poster is for sale and benefits a non profit organization. They were created as part of Transgender Day Of Resilience Art Project. Visit the site to find out more about the artists and organizations behind these posters. You can also find where near you National Trans Marches Of Resilience are taking place.
End the culture of violence against Trans folx. Be an ally to Transgender people. Allyship is action. Spread awareness, seek understanding have respect for and show love to our Trans sisters, brothers and genderfluid family. Create safe spaces, hold space, give love.
So I debuted this number last week in a post in homage to Halloween. Although it was the center of my Afrofuturistic Cleopatra I knew it could be an easy and fun option for holiday gatherings that bring folx together around this time of year.
The quick and dirty on this sweet little number was pretty simple. Although the dress is more of a Make then a typical ReFashion, it was made from thrifted fabric and the styling elements are either thrifted/resale, refashioned, or investment pieces. I pulled out some seriously neglected shoes and styled it up.
The first look features some very fab Jelly shoes in a glossy black, I ‘ve had them for years and they always come out when I want to be comfortable and a little saucy. You might remember the lace crop top I made for my Halloween costume last year. The Sweater Coat is one of my favorite staples that I have made. Whenever I want to style something up I throw on this sweater coat to add a little texture and pattern.
It’s made from a medium weight knit fabric and lining both from Michael Levine Loft. The Leather on the cap sleeves are recycled from a leather skirt most of which I’ve used for SweetLeigh Millinery.
This outfit is as simple as it gets. I added a handmade slip that was part of my Mermaid costume a few years back. I removed the crinoline and tulle fishtail I had attached to the bottom. The slip worked great to provide a comfort zone around my deep V neckline on the dress. I simply added some silver platforms from New Look. And lastly I love this little knit metallic thread jacket that I found at a thrift shop when I lived in Brooklyn, almost 10 years ago! Wow that’s a long time…
This look might actually be my favorite for its ABSOLUTE comfort factor. Turning my deep V dress into a romper I slipped an oversized white shirt underneath topped it off with my leather jacket and kept it casual with my creepers. I scored those babies at a Domino Dollhouse closet sale. Wicked happy day! And here I am feeling pretty holiday ready! Not to mention just enough glam.
I tend to under accessorize the main accessory generally being lipstick, hence my “minimal glam.” I have only been wearing my gemstone rings for their powers. But, I think a great evening friendly bag is on my list of makes! Back soon with more ReFashions.
I was sick for Halloween and still am but its all good because what I love about Halloween is living a little bit of fantasy for a little while and everybody else partaking in it too. Because let’s face it, I could do this all day everyday. I found that seeing all of my buddies on social media rock their costumes was really quite satisfying. And of course, I get to share my ensemble with you here. So all is well.
This year I played with so many ideas a couple I shared with you here, but in the end, Cleo was calling me. I love the concept of Afrofuturism and although I LOVE Liz Taylor, Claudette Colbert and Theda Bara’s portrayals of our queen in film I thought I’d take my Cleo to another place.
I am such a 20th-century girl and there are too many decades to love as far as fashion, but the 60s silhouettes are pretty badass and as some of these new silhouettes emerged and sci-fi went mainstream, I came to associate the shapes of the era with the future. So my retro-future look was born.
Some thrifted sequins fabric, thrifted & refashioned gladiators, thrifted gold neck necklaces a handmade headpiece does one Cleopatra 2095 Make. Not to mention a party dress in time for holiday season. The Make will be detailed on my next post along with some styling ideas for my new favorite easy dress.
This time of year, every year there are two films that I HAVE to watch, John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968), baby! Rosemary’s Baby follows young newlyweds who move into a beautiful apartment building. Soon they are surrounded by peculiar neighbors and odd occurrences. When the wife becomes pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
A movie about a satanic cult that manages to produce a fresh contemporary take that delivers redonkulous style, and glamour including the greatest house makeover on film maybe ever..? YES PLEASE! You can also pick a subtext. I say that not having read the original novel by Ira Levine. I prefer the evil underbelly to the upper crust to the traumas of childbirth…. I am sure there are many a theory to choose from.
Roman Polanski directed the film and Cinematographer (Director of Photography), William A. Fraker creates an unbelievable tension through lighting the gorgeous setting of the Dakota (Apartments) a real-life NYC upper west side cooperative apartment building known for celebrity tenants at the time and built in the early 1880s.
Not unlike Hitchcock, Polanski leaves the most important aspect of the film to the imagination. Add to that, the artful camera angles and it’s obvious why Rosemary’s Baby is both a classic horror film and a cult classic. It is the clear predecessor for films like The Omen and Audrey Rose. Stanley Kubrick credits watching Rosemary’s Baby as the impetus to tackle the genre himself with The Shining.
Some of my favorites star in this film, most importantly, amazing actor, activist, pixie queen and humanitarian Mia Farrow, and great filmmaker/actor John Cassavetes as Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse. The divine Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award (Oscar) and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role as alternately endearing and creepy Minnie Castevet. I swoon over this film every time. And it creeps me out, EVERY time.
Some more fun obsessive compulsive links about Rosemary’s Baby can be found here, here, here and here! Because there will never be enough geek outs over this movie. And thank you Film Grabber for these amazing stills! <3
Somehow it feels like ages since I have posted and I am amazed that I didn’t manage to get a Halloween post up, yet! But all is well. Life has been fully engaged and some things just didn’t happen. Things have ended, begun a new, and it has been a busy month prepping for Halloween at SweetLeigh, my sweet little Etsy shop of millinery confections.
Creativity is the thing. A custom order for a Miss Argentina cape viaBeetlejuice became a siren call for a rush of orders for more and some other pieces for Halloween. The custom order took ages for me to figure out but once I did I managed to keep refining my wired cape and exercised some skills I haven’t been utilizing lately. Not to mention I always find hand sewing to be very cathartic. To create something from “nothing” is a gift that I treasure. I plan to keep this costume piece in my shop rotation and offer it in Black as well.
A related trip to the Fabric District in Downtown L.A. scored some materials from my fave fabric outlet store, Michael Levine Loft! I scored some great knits that got me excited to explore some new sewing projects for Halloween and beyond. I’m thinking sustainably about creating wearable maxis that will be the basis for my costumes this year so that I don’t feel tempted to throw out or donate what I make for Halloween. I always say it is about the vibe, and the details, makeup and accessories will be the bulk of my looks.
Some of my inspiration is in these mood boards. Above, you can see that the basis for both a Creature from the Black Lagoon inspired look and a Cleopatra look is a green dress from the 1963 version of Cleopatra. I first decided to make one dress for both looks, but now I’m seriously considering combining the Creature and Cleo as one costume. Think Star Trek Orion slave girl with gills….
I’ve also been reading and drawing a lot. I joined a fun Instagram challenge called #Drawlloween where we get Halloween inspired prompts daily for the month of October. It has become very much a nightly meditation ritual. It has also got me excited to sketch and draw with pen and ink and it’s definitely pushing me to a creative place.
I’ve been exploring and celebrating my pagan sensibilities getting grounded and been manifesting magic with the support of some of my favorite witches. Sometimes when things you have planned get away from you, it is not falling behind, but falling forward.