ReFashion 2015: #SewSolidarity

Embroidered Top Header

Today’s ReFashion is remembering the April 24 two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which caused the deaths of 1,127 Bangladeshi garment workers, trauma, severe injuries and permanent disabilities to another 2,500 workers. TRAID is a UK charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. #SewSolidarity is a sewing project meant to give value to garments made by Bangladeshi garment workers by re-purposing a piece of clothing and giving it a longer life. Honoring the clothing as well as the workers who made them.

Embroidered Crop Top3

This post features two ReFashions, the first is a long sleeved top that I upsized into a sleeveless top. I couldn’t resist the beautifully embroidered tunic I found at a thrift shop. Below is a very simplistic pictorial on the steps I took to make it.

Upsizing the Embroidered Top

  1. First I removed the sleeves from the tunic. and cut the back of the tunic up the middle. I now had my front and side panels in one piece.
  2. I removed the seams of my arms to create two flat panels which would become the bottom of a new back piece.
  3. I used a medium muslin that matched my top and created an upper piece for my new back piece. I attached the Arm panels to it and had and had my finished back side of my bodice.
  4. I took my front and back bodice pieces and sewed them together. I then hemmed the back bodice to the length of the front and made any fit adjustments by taking in seams at the front of the garment and around the arms.

The second pictorial is a previous refashion that can be revisited here. I included this one in my post since I got these pants years ago at JC Penny who is among the companies who owe compensation to the Rana Plaza Factory workers.

PicMonkey Collage

I adore both pieces. The pants are already a staple and I see myself using this top all summer long. If you are new to the blog I am Refashioning My Wardrobe ReFashion2015! I am turning a Closet Makeover into a Year long mission to reuse my current closet and convert what I am not using into something far more wearable.  I love that TRAID is asking that we honor garment workers by extending the life of our clothing. IT makes perfect sense to me! <3

11150316_10152685310747003_2414076124640716476_n11100354_10152685310742003_2493555274669562394_nEmbroidered Crop Top5

At 11:34 on April 24, 2015 there will be a moment of silence and remembering for the Rana Plaza Workers. You can also show support on social media by using the hashtags #Remember #RanaPlaza & Share your #Solidarity. For more actions and how to support fair compensation for garment workers at Rana Plaza and beyond, check out this post featuring a list of great organizations doing important work on putting an end to exploitation of workers in the Fashion Industry. We can make a difference.

xoxo

Blog Signature

Love Fashion & Hate Sweatshops? What You CAN Do!

PicMonkey Sample

Two years ago on April 24 the Rana Plaza Building collapsed in Bangledesh where over 1,100 garment workers were killed and  2,500 others survived many seriously pemanently injured due to unsafe work conditions.  Rana Plaza was an 8 story building that housed 5 different garment factories producing garments for major fashion retailers. April 24 is a Day of Action for Rana Plaza garment workers/survivors their families.

Associated Press Image of Rana Plaza on April 24, 2013

Associated Press Image of Rana Plaza on April 24, 2013

I will be participating in #SewSolidarity which is a hashtag campaign by UK organization TRAID to sew in solidarity with the workers of Bangledesh. TRAID is asking us to sew in solidarity with Bangledesh workers, and show by example how we can extend the life of our clothes while bringing attention to and advocating for compensation for Rana Plaza workers who were pledged millions of dollars in compensation by fast fashion corporations that they have not received.

Rebecca lost her limbs in Rana Plaza

Rebecca lost her limbs in Rana Plaza

Some of the retailers who have not completed their donation yet, and produce garments out of Bangledesh either at Rana Plaza or other facilities are Benetton, JC Penny, The Children’s Place, Mango and many more. The Clean Clothes project along with other organizations have a #PayUp campaign. They also have additional campaigns working on fair wages for the workers of Bangledesh, whose economy is dependent on the fashion industry. Fast Fashion hurts and making Retailers accountable is one way we can help! For more info on #PayUp visit the website!

The amazing site Labour Behind the Label has a great list of actions for more ways to bring solidarity and attention to the struggle for justice for the Rana Plaza garment factory workers:

  • Download the action menu for a full list of things to do
  • Commit to taking action on, or in advance of, April 24, 2015, by signing up to this facebook event.
  • Check if there is a demonstration already happening near you on this map. If there isn’t one that you can join, find a Benetton or Asda store near you, and plan a demonstration for April 24th with some friends. Add it to the map!
  • If you only have a few minutes, post a solidarity message on facebook or twitter such as: ‘No one should die for the price of cheap t-shirt. Remember #RanaPlaza.’ or ‘Cheap Ts cost lives. Remember #RanaPlaza. #Solidarity’
  • Set a reminder on your phone to hold a minute of silence on 24 April, at 11.34 to remember the 1134 people who died two years ago

Labour Behind the Label also has other initiatives for justice for fast fashion workers around the world.

English Youth in the Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops Campaign Love fashion, but hate sweatshops and unfair treatment of garment workers. Next up will be my #SewSolidarity ReFashion! Can’t wait!

xoxo

Blog Signature

The Empowerment Project: Goddesses & Gratitudes.

10890532_324496831086701_2110298173_n

If you follow me on Instagram you may have witnessed my Goddess Journey. In my lovely little yoga journey and empowerment project I have embraced the Goddesses. It started in January with a #Goddess365 “challenge.” It was initiated by Karissa @thegivingmom and Haley @haleyblackmenyoga who began our journey with daily prompts around individual Goddesses and archetypes. I  have done many a challenge with the Kundalini loving Karissa and this is my first with Haley. It has been a gift, much like journaling.

11084851_426775267503554_1119624290_n

It started out as a daily practice and has transformed to a weekly activity this month. I am going on 3 months and 3 weeks into this lovely journeying.

Through it I am constantly revealing myself, learning about myself, tapping into my voice and finding gratitude. I have used this opportunity to will myself well with affirmations, share my joy, and celebrate the daily things I no longer wish to take for granted.   I thought I’d share some of my posts periodically here on the blog for the rest of the challenge. Welcome to my Goddess Journey.

Day56

#Goddess365 #TheNurturingGoddess #Day56 The image is a repost from @avocadostonefaces, incredible and inspiring sculpture by #JanCampbell.#VenusOfWillendorf The first time I saw this Goddess, I was elated. Because in her I recognized MY body. It marked the first time that I could conceive that I could be seen as a Goddess. It marked a transformative step in my personal, physical and sexual development. Having recently invited the Venus into my life once again it feels equally transformational, 20 years later. The sense of elation lives in my spirit, like muscle memory. #GoddessLife #Goddess #Spirit #Love#Light #SelfLove #SelfAcceptance #Moon #IamMagic #IamStardust

11033043_346584248883870_108250957_n

#Goddess365 #Day80 #TheEmpowermentGoddess #IshikoreDome#ShintoGoddess I celebrate Boldness, strength, freedom and self worth in the light of Ishikore-Dome, Goddess of the arts and excellence. Stones and Mirrors are her symbols and protector of stone cutters. I adore that. Today I am one day closer to my most powerful self. Gratitude to the Goddess! #Love #Light #Yoga #IamStardust #MakeMagic

Today I am grateful for the Universe sending so many reminders that I was meant to thrive.
Today I am grateful for a weekend of Love and Laughter with my tribe.
Today I am grateful to have finished a project for a friend that made me grow.
Today I am grateful for the ability to sit under this roof, at this keyboard and share and reflect.
Today I am elated for all that I have to be grateful for. So very much.

Gratitude to the Goddesses!

xoxo

Blog Signature

CineStyle: Pretty In Pink Of Course.

5122QFJSP2L

Written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deustch, Pretty In Pink is the story of Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald). Andie is a senior in high school from the wrong side of the tracks. She works, does well in school, and takes care of her unemployed father. He still pines away for the woman who left them behind. Although Andie is mature beyond her years and an outsider at school, she longs for the things teenagers long for, a date to the prom. When she falls in love with Blaine, a rich kid, they both become the targets of scrutiny from her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) and his best friend Steff (James Spader who epitomizes male white privilege in every scene) as well as their entire preppy crew. Andie has to decide whether or not to stand up for herself and what she wants and pursue a relationship with Blaine. Will they go to the prom?

Pretty-in-Pink-promo-poster

Marilyn Vance is the costume designer responsible for creating the wardrobe for the Molly Ringwald/John Hughes trifecta, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Divine creative madness… You could also say she is partially responsible for my love of vintage, a staple of my youth but more so that she is wholly responsible for my love of refashioning as I first witnessed in the film when Andie endeavors to make the now infamous prom dress . Thank You Marilyn Vance!

32
While Andie’s best girlfriend went the straight up punk route and the Rich kids were decked out in pure pastel prep through and through, Andie fell in between with her post punk granny chic. There were really only two looks that I absolutely loved on Andie both were pants that I immediately tried to emulate with my own wardrobe – to the amusement of the grocery store clerk. Kids are going to experiment, be kind.

6a00e5500ff5678833014e860ec1dd970d-800wi

16

Duckie is perfection. He was the best of vintage shops, so stylish, so sweet and sentimental. He wore his heart on his vintage blazer sleeves along with and pins and brooches, military patches and ofcourse those worn out fabulous Duck shoes (Creepers).

Pretty-in-Pink-pretty-in-pink-21215406-400-446

Annie-Potts-centre-mans-t-007pretty-in-pink-movie-05

The main style attraction for me in this film is by far Iona. Caring, funny, a post punk new wave chameleon. My wannabe BFF who loves glamour vintage and playing. The “Costume” looks Vance gives her are so simply, BadAss. Iona is the style star of Pretty In Pink. Easily. Blaine and Steff aren’t really worth mentioning, although James Spader will always have my heart. He was and is so good at being bad.

prettyinpink-iona

25pretty-in-pink-molly-ringwald-and-annie-potts

The Prom Dress. Most people hate it. I didn’t. I bought it hook line and sinker. This quirky, very individual girl, gathers up all of her courage and chooses to stand proud and alone at the prom – in this utterly unique design of her own making. Back then there were no sewing blogs, DIY’s, or designer’s latest collections to mimic at the touch of your computer. Back then we had to just have imagination, and read a lot. So yes, I love the extremely creative imagination of this very cool and brave 17 year old girl. I love  the dress.

7

6a00e5500ff5678833014e860ec383970d-800wi

6a00e5500ff5678833014e860ec277970d-800wi

6a00e5500ff56788330147e28f2e5a970b-800wiPrettyInPink 1329336a00d8341c630a53ef01287764a5c4970c-800wi

Movies are such a joy. And I love John Hughes films especially because I was growing up when these movies were made. They are a touchstone to my own adolescence. And somehow John Hughes always managed to touch your heart, get real and wrap it up in a never forced happy ending. I’ve been kinda blue lately. I think its time to get out my copy of Pretty In Pink. Cue OMD….

XOXO

Blog Signature

CineStyle: ZuckerBaby (1985)

images

Percy Adlon stole a piece of my heart when I first saw Zuckerbaby (Sugarbaby). I suppose its because, like his films to follow, it is centered around quirky characters with kind hearts the only way I’d truly be happy with someone describing me. Zuckerbaby is a German (formerly West German) film that quickly became one of my favorite films and still is. I rented it from the little VHS video shop 3 blocks from my house in 1986 or 1987.  It was just before the movie Baghdad Cafe came out. Another favorite Adlon film of mine. I also fell in love with his favorite leading lady at the time – who starred in both films, Marianne Sägebrecht

IMG_4457IMG_4479IMG_4500 IMG_4513

Marianne is a lonely funeral home assistant who cares for the deceased. Her daily routine is captured in her lonely little apartment, dreary place of work, and even her sad supermarket that seems to further depress her. One day she is awoken from this monotonous existence by a voice. A man’s voice that carries her away on her subway commute home. Finding herself far from home she gets off the train to see before her the train’s conductor. A young handsome man who has seemingly given her a new found purpose.

IMG_4518 IMG_4532 IMG_4536IMG_4517

Due 8 weeks vacation, 38 year old Marianne negotiates 5 weeks off from her job and sets out to seduce this 25 year old young man. Plotting to determine who he is and how to find him she undergoes a metamorphosis. She goes from a shy and reclusive lonely woman to an emboldened, fearless huntress who not only finds her prey but wins his heart.
IMG_4550 IMG_4553

IMG_4557

One of the things I love most about the film is this candy colored world  that Marianne lives in. The colors of her world begin to transform from oppressive to brightening and from sad to sultry. Long before the Visible Belly Outline started to trend among fat activists, there was Marianne in that pink dress circa 1985. Needless to say I love her wardrobe. Chic, sexy and yes she is braless in most of her ensembles. And those shoes above. My goodness….

IMG_4593 IMG_4611 IMG_4616

IMG_4622IMG_4660

I have been told by people my entire adult life how impressed they were with how comfortable I was in my body. That hasn’t always been true and although I feel comfortable in my skin, I am often affected by other people’s assumptions on my person. As we all know our feelings of self worth and self image can fluctuate on any given day. But watching this film as a teenager gifted me an image of a fat/larger women finding her joy and celebrating her sensuality and sexuality as a fact of life.  When you consider the limited imagery of people of size living their lives much less being represented as sexual beings, is it any wonder fat women especially have been so maligned and marginalized. Perhaps having seen this film gave me an advantage over many of my peers growing up. I saw this character, and believed that it was possible to be fat and desired, fat and confident, fat and content.

IMG_4683 IMG_4773 IMG_4774

IMG_4794 - CopyIMG_4779

In the U.S. not long after the film had been released Ricki Lake starred in a made for TV remake. You may have seen it, its called BabyCakes. Unlike Sugarbaby/Zuckerbaby the leading man in BabyCakes has no intention of accepting Ricki’s invitation to dinner at her house. He shows up only because he’s too drunk to make it home and had her address in his pocket. The “American” spin is one filled with cliches and excuses for why an attractive man has to be won over to a large woman based on her personality. In Babycakes it is thought unthinkable he might desire to get to know her, or desire her period.

IMG_4824IMG_4895

IMG_4704

What is most impressive about Adlon’s screenplay for Zuckerbaby is that it never slights its subject or characters by reducing them to cliches. He merges the bittersweet realities of life with the fantastic joy in pursing ones desire. He creates a magical realism that is hard to resist and easy to believe.

xoxo

Blog Signature

ReFashion 2015: 3 Ways To Be a #ConsciousBabe

#ConsciousBabes Header

Hi Lovelies welcome to the latest chapter in Refashion2015! It took years for this Refashionista and sewist to be born, but you don’t have to refashion every piece of clothing you wear to be a #ConsciousBabe or my definition of a style saavy woman with a conscious about her clothing. All of the little things add up. In the U.S alone, the average person buys 68 new articles of clothing every year. That’s a lot of clothing coming in to our lives and potentially a lot of clothing going out. Sounds like a huge waste to me. Does your laundry basket always have the exact same clothes in it that you desperately need to wash so you can wear your favorites again? Mine too! The whole concept of saving the planet and ultimately ourselves (did you hear about we Californians looking at one more year of water!?), revolves around the three concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle. Here are three ways to start being #ConsciousBabes.

untitled

1. Wait. Its 2015 and you can now shop 24/7 from the comfort of your living room/bed, smartphone or smart-pad. But buying things at the touch of a button and the speed of light makes for a lot of purchases without thinking.  Not to mention the frustration of an impending site crash as you compete with thousands of other people for the exact same skater dress you just saw on such and such blogger’s Instagram. It’actually pretty frustrating and a lot of energy for an urge.

There is an anxiousness to consumerism that  just doesn’t feel good.  Another reason to love Slow Fashion. The bigger the business you are buying from the bigger their urgency to produce. Large orders with tight deadlines lead to overtime, overcrowding and unsafe conditions for underpaid  labor overseas. Only 2% of clothing bought in the U.S. is made in the U.S. So the likelihood your clothes are made overseas by underpaid workers is 98%.  The lower the price for customers, the higher the cost for workers largely in Bangladesh and China. source

10945392_10152528950357003_7665455097062134732_nBe a #ConsciousBabe and wait. Wait an hour, wait a week, see if you even remember your interest in the thing before you add another item to that closet. Fast fashion is a lot like fast food, seeing is wanting and cravings pass. Wait and see where you’re at in few hours or in a few days. You’ll be surprised how the urge to splurge actually passes. The moral of the story lovelies is Buy Less and Style More.

Tip! I use my Pinterest boards to both garner inspiration, capture aha style moments and essentially keep a style journal. What I pin consistently will inevitably become my next ReFashion or if the object of my affection is something I can not style, make or remake from my existing closet, I wait and see if I am still thinking about it. If so, I begin the process of looking for it. I start with thrift stores and if the desire persists, I start a leisurely search online. You may have caught my recent Spectator Shoe ReFashion, I had been willing those oxfords into existence for months when I happened upon them in a favorite long neglected thrift shop in Silverlake. Hurry Up and Wait!

Infographic ConsciousBabe

2. Get Creative! When I started SweetLeigh I started to put more energy into refashioning my closet. So obviously I am doing this series in hope that some of you join me in getting creative on this journey. But aside from thrifting items to refashion, I am often happilly surprised and delighted on how often I find items that fit my 280 lb 5-4 frame just as they are when Thrift shopping. Manifest lovelies, manifest! We fattie, especially, have been shopping online out of necessity for years. But give a thrift shop a chance. For my bigger sisters in particular I am scoping out a list of Plus thrift shops online loves! The rise of Clothing Swaps is another beautiful way to reuse/recycle clothing and they are everywhere and are likely to feature those trendy items you were obsessed with a while back! Organize one or just search Facebook groups! Believe me, they are everywhere for vintage and contemporary clothes alike. My #Untamed Style Sister Veronica Cid has started this one for Plus size women. Check it out!

Another way to seriously get creative is styling! Some of my favorites skirts are in rotation as strapless dresses and double as tops on occasion. I find that the Styling is everything when it comes to clothes. Yes we all have special pieces we hold with great affection that somehow are left waiting for an occasion, but we also have neglected pieces that can rock double duty Erryday! I call it Style Squared! Double the life and use of an item  by changing up how you wear it.

Tip!: Get Crafty, Its easier than you think. Why shouldn’t that adorable cat sweater that you have worn out become a fabulous wall hanging. Cut out a rectangle from the front panel and frame it. So easy, instant gratification and you get ot keep what you loved about the sweater as art. Before you tell me you’re not creative, you don’t have to think up a single unique ideas, the internet is as full of fab DIY’s as it is shopping sites! Just follow instructions. ;)

Anatomy of a ConsciousBabe

3. Be a ShowOff! This is the best part. Sharing your genius with the world! Because the way you carry yourself is amazing, the way you put yourself together is a skill and the fact that you care about making an impact on the world makes you a BeYoutiful Human! So Tell the word that you are a badass who cares and hashtag it! If you wear a #thrifted or #vintage piece in your outfit make it known!! If you #Refashioned those pants share it! If you are supporting an independent maker who has a small business benefiting their local community hashtag it #shopsmall. Hashtag your next conscious OOTD post #ConsciousBabes, own it and find your tribe! I Love my Conscious Babes! <3

xoxo

Blog Signature

ReFashion 2015 Upsizing The Maxi Skirt

Sheer Mini Maxi ReFashion

Hi Lovelies! If you are just wandering onto my blog you’ll find me mid Wardrobe ReFashion! I had to share one more ReFashion2015 post before as March comes to an end! This one is another Upsize! I found this skirt at the thrift store. It was probably a size 14. I wear dress and bottoms from size 22-26! But it was an extremely full gathered circle skirt and if you remember from my last resize, that means it can be let out and the fabric more than accommodated my wider waist! Since the fabric of the skirt is sheer I thought it would be a nice way to show some of my best assets, my smokin’ hot legs! It Leggings, or tights makes it seasonless.untitled

ReFashion Sheer Mini Maxi Sew guide

  1. First I cut the waist band off of the skirt to let out the true width of fabric.
  2. Next I set aside some elastic and a new waist band to attach later.
  3. I used a T-shirt to replace the long polyester blend slip that was now too small. I cut the collar and sleeves off of an oversize t-shirt for my new slip. But you can also cut two rectangles of fabric of your choice if you sew and have fabric you’d like to use. You can also change it up and play with different colors if you like.
  4. Lastly I attached the slip the skirt, before sewing them to the new waistband. Then I insert the elastic as outlined in the Jogger Pant tutorial and there you have my newly ReFashioned Sheer Mini Maxi.

Suburban Sprawl 1

The Sheer Mini Maxi w/ boots and a Leather Jacket for very sunny California Autumn.

Sheer Maxi 1

Here is my simple style take on the Mini Maxi for Spring/Summer w/ my fave wedges, Dr. Scholls.

Sheer Maxi 3

XOXOXO

Blog Signature

Character Study: Denise Huxtable

tumblr_mhu3pdDcUx1qe0g6mo1_500

Oh my GAWD! The television show A Different World just showed up on Netflix to stream in its entirety! Leave it to Netflix to get me waxing nostalgic! A Different World was a great show that showed a diversity of Black people going to college that had never been seen before. Such a great funny show. And yes it had a lot of lesson episodes, because college kids are still kids, growing up.If you haven’t seen it check it out!  It was the the spin off of a little show called The Cosby Show that starred Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable going to historically Black Hillman College. Oddly enough I had been planning on donig a DH tribute anywho so can’t give them all of the credit! So Cool! Marathon is pending. But first we have to talk about Lisa or actually, Denise.

tumblr_nj6z73aFDi1qcr9i3o1_400images

Denise Huxtable was my first Alternative Black Girl. I later learned that she was almost every teenage girl’s favorite 80s TV style icon!  Not to mention just plain cool girl. Never mean, always cool. even when she was riled up. spoke her truth and kept it real. Vanessa was a little more shrill(!) in her early days but cool too as she became a teenager! #justsayin. Denise’s wardrobe full of Japanese designer pieces, prints and fabulous asymmetrical voluminous clothes screamed Bohemian art chics unite! Most of all it said Be your own fabulous self. And although there were plenty of outfits I would gladly have worn out of that closet, It wasn’t just about the sense of style that she had! Denise just resonated ease and confidence.That’s what we all admired, her ability to be that easy, that confident, AND that unique. Even if its total mythology, we still do!

PicMonkey Collage

Apparently we have Costume Designer Sara Lemire to thank for the unique and extremely stylish Huxtables. In a 1987 Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “With Lisa, I would have gone much more outrageous with the hair and hats, but I don’t have much control over the hair,” says Lemire, 44. (Other people are in charge of hair and makeup.) “Lisa always had great taste and liked great things. For me, it was like dressing myself if I was 20 years younger.” Can you imagine if she did what she wanted to do with Denise’s look??  Gush!

Anatomy of an Icon

Fun Fact: Lisa Bonet had eloped with musician Lenny Kravitz on November 16, 1987, announced that she was preggers in early 1988. A pregnant college freshman was not what the producers of A Different World had in mind, so she was fired! Of course she was rehired back on The Cosby Show for Season Five. Of course, she was outfitted in even bigger oversize jackets and loose-fitting patterned shirts until she conveniently went away to  Zaire to work with a photographer. When she came back from Africa, she was Denise Kendall, wife of a Navy officer and her wardrobe took another fabulous turn, as did her hair! Different as it should be but still fab. As always not afraid of perception and a stylin Icon. Who never took herself too seriously.

tumblr_lza9k8XTTE1qelvj7o1_500 tumblr_lzyvwnSm291qelvj7o1_500

Denise Huxtable and all of the Huxtable women were in fact Style Icons of not only the time, but forever! I love how the Philadelphia Inquirer piece ends. It is still so very relevant: ‘ “Most of all, Lemire keeps exploring the power of television, how it affects clothing and clothing affects characters and viewers. “I look at a lot of television and can’t understand what the costume designers are doing,” she says, shaking her head. “It looks like a lot of people have forgotten that it’s a visual medium.” ‘ So Freakin’ True, almost 30 years later!  I LOVE You Denise! No worries there will be a Lisa Bonet Style Icon post in the near future! I got you.

tumblr_mzkdh8AVch1sj3omto5_500

For amazing Denise Love check out HuxtableHotness on Tumblr and a google search will hook you up like it did me. Thanks gawds I have responsibilities!

xoxo
Blog Signature

ReFashion2015: Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport

ReFashion 2015 Continues Lovelies! Sometimes all it takes is a quick and dirty upgrade! I have become a huge fan of my little FolkArt Metallic waterbased non toxic paints. I have used them on 3 pairs of shoes so far and am pretty happy with them so far!

untitled

 I wore this outfit to a screening of Blade Runner at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Too much fun with my two favorite blondes! Dinner, a movie and a some Old Hollywood casual glam. Even if no one else dresses up i like to pay homage doing my subtle theme thing.

11046626_10152602165677003_2914820237009245453_nNow for the Shoes! I have been wanting a great pair of oxfords for some time. I am really not one for cheap shoes, but when I came across these cute shoes at the thrift store, I couldn’t refuse! For the record Steve Madden and I don’t get along. I find the shoes cheap and ill fitting frankly. But because I was I found them at the thrift shop I was willing to work with them. The simple black and white oxfords were too cute to pass up and a bit too big which meant there was space for some serious comfort shoe inserts to counterbalance the thin flat soles. Also I am checking out how I might be able to add a more substantial heel and maybe even a more sole. The shoe cobbler won’t do any of that because their so inexpensive, but I’m going to try to bump up the quality on these guys a bit. Cuz that’s just how I roll!
10360896_10152537324512003_1561557134436828339_n

PicMonkey CollageThat being said, Such a simple redux. The technique I use to paint shoes is outlined on my ShoeBoot ReFashion. But again because these shoes aren’t leather the staying power of applying paint is limited so the paint job like the shoes are unfortunately temporary. I am definitely still on the hunt for a well made quality oxford but in the mean time I’ve recycled a very cute shoe that will do for now!

10401585_10152602197442003_263135884923058134_n 11049481_10152602175382003_4166826838566220632_n

11038108_10152602165582003_1701211102470653363_n Dress: One of my best Thrifted finds in a while!
Scarf: Oldie but Goodie from my Closet
Sweater Coat: Made my Moi, SweetLeigh
Shoes: Thrifted, ReFashioned

xoxo

Blog Signature

Girl Gang: The Dinner Party

March is Women’s History month here in the U.S.  Women are spectacular and women’s day is everyday in my world. Well some of my favorite women, the women of #UntamedStyle, have gotten together for March to celebrate Women with this month’s theme of Girl Gang. I was reminded of feminists icon, Judy Chicago’s feminist art installation, The Dinner Party which I had the chance to see when it was installed in the Brooklyn Museum. If I could gather any group of women together  for my Dream Dinner Party it would be much more intimate then over a 1,000 women represented in that work of art. Maybe 6 iconic living or dead women who fascinate me. I would love to pick their brains, share our experiences and lure them into becoming members of my girl gang.

THE MENU & SETTING

I’d take a page from Frida Kahlo’s cookbook and prepare a Zucchini Salad, have a wine seltzer and fresh fruit bar for improvised Sangria. I would invite everyone to  bring a dish of their creation, after all,  we’re all creatives here. We’d mill and settle as we please around a lovely outdoor area with candles and faerie lights for when the wind picked up. I imagine lots of foliage and lush flowers. More lanterns to move with us as our engrossing conversation leads us easily all night. 15150459048_13eacb5727_b THE GUEST LIST Nona Faustine, a radiant artist whose projects rock my world! In her artist statement Nona says that her “work starts where intersecting identities meet history. Through self portraiture I explore issues about the body within photography. One of her most mesmerizing works is the “White Shoes” Series. She tours locations of New York City’s 250 year history of hidden slavery through photographs. In these locations she takes nude self portraits in white shoes. Stunning, shocking, and moving are these intersections.  Nona Faustine currently has a GoFundMe along with amazing photographer Marilynn Nance to fund their travel to “Black Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories”, conference in Italy.  Yes Nona, so much yes.

“From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth” 2013 Site of Colonial Slave Market, Wall Street Copyright of Nona Faustine All Rights Reserved

Iris Apfel is a Style Genius, in her youth she workde for Womens Wear Daily, became an interior designer and along with her husband ran a textile imports company. Let’s not even mention her huge collection of vintage costume jewerly. GaH! I would love to sit down with her and pick her brain for fashion and design stories for days.  At 93 years old her wit is as sharp as ever and she is about to finally be the star of a documentary of her life. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. But I’d rather sit and talk to the woman whose wardrobe was worthy of a museum exhibition, fabulous Iris.

Carol Rossetti you know. If you don’t know her by her name you know her by her deceptively simple and kind Women Project. The illustrator and designer created a series of biographical images of named women, some inspired by women she knew personally and many more as a result of fans contributing to her work.  These simple illustrations are lessons in identity politics. In her project statement she says “I feel very disturbed by the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behaviors and identities; so I’ve started a series of illustrations in a friendly tone hoping to reach people about how absurd this really is.” Her illustrations of women with names and identities completely their own and without apology have been translated into innumerable languages and any woman can relate to this important body of work that will soon become a book. Carol is inspiring!

PicMonkey Collage

(source)

Maya Angelou was lost to our physical world in May of 2014. She posthumously released a recording completed before her death of a collaborative hip hop album of her seminal work I know why the Caged Bird Sings. The album is called Caged Bird Songs and it is amazing. What is most interesting for me about the project is that through it I learned that Maya Angelou – before she was one of our most revered poets – was a musician, a calypso singer and modern dancer. I have fallen in love with Maya all over again. I would love to spend some time with the divine Ms. Angelou. slide_351348_3790147_free Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski. There is little I can say that can begin to summarize the work of this Queer mixed Afro-Latina artist. Her artist statement speaks for it self. I can only offer the final paragraph of it for you to, like me, imagine how amazing her company might be. ” I call my works experiments because I don’t see them as conclusive or original.  I am acutely aware that whatever I make is in constant dialogue with what has been made before, and see my practice as a continuation of variables that are in persistent rotation to produce unending results.  I experiment so that I may allow myself the freedom to change my mind, to be pushed into new ways of thinking, making, and naming.  I am interested in using the future as a site of experimentation, as well as a space to gain freedom and visibility around the conversations of race, gender, sexuality, and class. I see this making a kind of sympathetic magic. Not because it calls into being that which is rendered, but because it calls into question that which has already been, and dreams up that which could be.” Sounds like magic to me.

Storm_Sayer(small)

Storm Sayer by Amarylis DeJesus Moleski

Ruth Asawa was an incredible artist. She is known for both her large scale public sculptures in San Francsico, co-founding the Alvarado Arts Workshop for young students developing a teaching method for arts and gardening used all over the bay area.  She died in 2013 after living with Lupus since 1984. My favorite work of hers are her wire scultpures, pictured below. I would love to engage with this forward thinker and creative mind.

Asawa

Portraits of Ruth Asawa with her work by Imogen Cunningham (Left) Her work as displayed on her living room (right)

And there you have an amazing Dinner Party My loves and secret Fantasy Girl Gang. I think I would call it a gathering of Unicorns.  Who would be on your Guest List? Check out some members of my real life Girl Gang, my #UntamedStyle Cohorts on their amazing blogs! ! Zadry Link! PiaMichelle Link! Margot Link!Aarti Link!

Veronica

Blog Signature