Saturday, 31 July 2010

Fashion in lieu of architecture

You've probably seen structures like that before. Temporary panels that cover a store front while the inside is being renovated. But I bet never in the shape of the actual merchandise!

You can click on the images above to see original tweet and twitpic by Giovanna Battaglia.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Mumsy skirt

Mumsy not just stylewise...

It's actually my mums' skirt!
From the stuff I scored when I went digging in my family house attic a few months ago.

Isn't the print totally 80's?

This time I downplayed the retro vibe and kept it safe with a plain white ribbed tank top.

Btw, I'm loving this new, under-the-knee length.

Although the actual length is mid-calf, which is a bit longer than I'd like it to be, so I just rolled the top a bit to make it shorter and held it all in place with my favourite belt.

Finally, this is one of those rare times you'll see me sporting colour on my toenails. But who can say no to a free pedicure?
Abstract floral print skirt, mum's vintage. White rib tank, Topshop. Black leather belt, grandma's vintage. Purple fabric-covered bead necklace, Toi&moi. Grey wedge sandals, Camper.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

No kidding

You've already seen these turquoise leather gladiators before, inside a Zara dressing room on the day I bought them.

And I've already told you it's from Zara Kids.

But have I mentioned they fasten with velcro?

Apparently kiddies (or should I say their mums) shouldn't be bothered with buckles and laces. Velcro is quite a clever solution.

Suits me fine. Bring it on old-school!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Fashion or just clothes?

Anonymous left this quite interesting comment the other day, under my recent outfit post:
I am actually a frequent visitor of your blog, so allow me to say something to you, totally without any bad feelings. (After all, I put some time in writing it) Could you please explain to me how a simple "blouse-skirt-ballet flats" outfit can turn into something worth-posting? I am a big fun of chic and simple but this is just so indifferent. I understand that fashion bloggers need to support each other, that's why usually i don't take all the thumbs up comments on your posts too seriously. I am from Greece too. So, here in Greece where we all walk around the streets or even abroad, your today's outfit is nothing that we haven't repeatedly seen. I don't say that your outfit sucks, but at least someone has to say the obvious: IT'S NO BIG DEAL! And i am concerned that you seem to think the opposite! So, dear lopi, as a fellow architect allow me a piece of advice. Give your fellow readers something more lopi! Please… everyone can wear a blouse and a skirt without much of an effort!
Dear anonymous, you're right. The outfit was indeed simple as scratch. Something I just threw on in the morning to drag my ass to work. Just like many other outfits presented here on the blog. I don't think it's indifferent, just a very simplified yet cute way of dressing. I never suggested it was anything more than than that, something fashion-forward or ground-breaking.

Then why did I post about it?
You see, this is a personal style blog that just documents my reality. And I admit that, at times, my reality can be quite boring for some people out there. I'm no Susie Bubble folks. Most of the time I simply wear a skirt, a top and a pair of flats and just get done with it. Sometimes the result happens to be a bit more interesting, sometimes it's quite plain. But I blog it nevertheless, probably because I think it looks nice enough and most importantly because the personal style part of this blog (as opposed to the fashion & architecture part) is mostly about documenting my outfits and new buys. Is that so bad?

I could never do the opposite thing, dedicate time to wear clothes in order to take pictures for the blog. If I did that, some quite intriguing outfits would emerge, that's for sure. Believe me, I can do quirky. And I quite enjoy some fashion blogs that are based on that concept, as they are quite inspirational in all their experimental glory. But do I want to play dress-up in front of my camera just to post some pics here and have you swoon all over them in the comments? No. Not if it's not what I really wore that day. That's just not me.

I like to keep things real here.
Yes, I have indeed wore some more intriguing outfits in the past and I quite enjoyed it. And I'm sure I will do that again in the future. I do understand how my Anonymous reader wishes to see more of that kind of dressing. Blogs are an amazing source of inspiration and I'm sure that's what many people expect out of me, provide a constant stream of inspiration. But I'm no magazine. I don't do all this professionally. I go through periods when I have nothing new to say fashion-wise, I just get dressed and document it. And all of you wishing to see something more than that and to be inspired from my outfits, I'm afraid you might have wait until the heat wave cools down or until I get hit with a sudden rush of fashion inspiration.

So bear with me and keep checking back until you see something you like. Or not, this is a free world. There are many other more experimental fashion blogs out there that I'm sure you'll enjoy reading. Many of them are already on my blogroll on the right.

Remember, sometimes we don't do fashion, we just wear clothes. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Generations of fragrance

A few months ago, I popped down to the kiosk in order to get my print fashion fix. Included in one of the fash mags was - as it is often accustomed for Greek glossies these days - a miniature perfume sample, more specifically Le Dix by Balenciaga.

Here's a nice review of it I found online.

I opened it immediately, as I wanted to feel the bottle without the ugly plastic around it. It was a beautiful, classic perfume bottle that brought in mind an ancient Greek marble column.

But classic-era Greek architecture wasn't the only thing it reminded me of.

I looked in my boxes of miscellaneous stuff and found it:

It was one of the things I had discovered while doing one of my favourite pastimes, searching through my grandma's closet for treasures.

I really have no idea how old that vintage Balenciaga perfume bottle is. Presumably it's from the 50's or 60's, when my grandfather traveled around Europe for business and brought back nice presents for the family.

I don't even know if it's the same perfume, as the original box doesn't have anything else written on it other than the words Balenciaga Paris.

And the same goes for the actual bottle. But I kinda enjoy the mystery and just keep wondering...

According to this review and the picture that accompanies it, my bottle is most probably Le Dix, but missing the black paper label due to age. I find it amazing there are so many people out there with so much knowledge on vintage perfumes.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Button up or button down?


Both skirt and shirt are new. Just popped into ZARA a few days ago, saw them and got them. I can't resist cute, easy-to-wear everyday stuff.
And I may not show it, but I'm a big fan of button-down shirts. Meaning I own a handful, but I don't wear them much because I'm way too lazy to iron. Pathetic.

Button-down shirt and red skirt, ZARA. Perspex ring, Accessorize. Ballet flats, Maloles (second hand via BOHBO).

Monday, 19 July 2010

Old new shoes


Thora by Pink Studio, bought through Ruche.

Remember when I got them (along with some other goodies) back in January? Well, summer did come more than a month ago and I still hadn't properly presented them here on the blog. I wanted to do a nice photo shoot first, in order to show all the exquisite leather work and detail, and *then* include them in an outfit. I'm weird, I know.

Glad to say, I'm still totally in love with them! Off to regular rotation they go...

Friday, 16 July 2010

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tropical floral

Leave it to me to shop for a tropical flower print turquoise sundress in late October and while on a trip to the chilly UK.

However - and like I said in a recent post - a bargain is a bargain whatever the season. So, finding the dress below on sale for 7 quid in York last autumn, felt like it was meant to be.

Now, if only summer holidays could start immediately...

Floral sundress, H&M.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Dress to skirt

After mentioning that the skirt I wore in this post was actually a dress, many of you asked how I did that. I never thought of it as hard to do, but I felt I should honour your query with some illustrated instructions. And while I was at it, why not show a couple more cases?

Example 1: The woven A-line sundress

The dress that started it all. It's a tiered dress that flares into an A-line under the bust, made from light-weight poplin. All these qualities make it way easier to style into a skirt: You just slip the straps off your shoulders, pull it down until the part that used to sit under the bust now sits on the narrowest part of your waist, tuck the bust part in and belt it all into place. The fact that the under-the-bust seam is sewn with elastic makes it relatively stable.

Example 2: The strapless dress

Another easy one to style into a skirt. This particular one is also ruched in the back, which also helps. Again, just slip it down to your waist, tuck in the part that's supposed to cover your bust and secure into place with a belt.

Example 3: The t-shirt fabric loose dress

The last one is also the hardest to nail. Unlike the first two, this one's fabric is not woven but knit (what we refer to as "jersey" here in Greece) so it's not as stable. Plus, this dress isn't fitted at the bust, which would have helped. Fear not though, it still can be done! All you have to do is pay a little extra attention on how you arrange the extra fabric into makeshift pleats, after you slipped it down your waist and tucked it in. It has to resemble a paper-bag waist that won't be sewn, but held in place by your belt.

It's rather versatile having the option of wearing a single dress either as a beach cover-up in the morning or as part of an evening outfit (paired with a simple vest, a nice belt and some interesting accessories) all without any sewing needed and while being fully reversible. Nice thought to have in mind when packing for holidays.

As you can see, yanking the dress down to your waist makes the hem several inches longer.
I like that effect, since I'm on the tall side and like my hems knee-length, which are often hard to find. However, if your dress is already knee-length, the resulting skirt could be a little too long for your liking. You can embrace that new, retro-inspired length (it is in vogue after all, as Fashion Editor at Large has mentioned) or you can combat it by tucking in more fabric at the waist. Or just try again with a shorter dress.

Also keep in mind that simple and lightweight dresses work best for that cause. Heavier fabrics and structured designs like boned bodices or molded cups will inevitably add too much bulk.

Happy tucking and belting!

Friday, 9 July 2010

"Fashion and Architecture" in Amsterdam

ARCAM, OntFront (Liza Koifman & Tomas Overtoom) and V2A architectuur & stedebouw (Wouter Valkenier) have challenged four duos - each comprising a fashion designer and an architect who have teamed up specially for the occasion - to enter into a design process. The results will be on show at ARCAM this summer.
The fashion designer & architect duos are:
Iris van Herpen & Jan Benthem / Mels Crouwel (Benthem Crouwel Architekten)
Mattijs van Bergen (MATTIJS) & Anouk Vogel (Anouk Vogel landscape architecture)
Farida Sedoc (Hosselaer) & Nicole / Marc Maurer (Maurer United Architects)
Kentroy Yearwood (Intoxica) & Jeroen Bergsma (2012Architecten)

I did some extra work to include all the links, because those people seriously deserve your clicks. Their work - both in architecture and fashion design - is so inspiring!

The exhibition might be the main focus of this post, but the amazingly well-made teaser film on top (if you haven't seen it, seriously people, watch it now) and its creators also deserve a special mention:

Video commisioned by ARCAM, OntFront, V2A architectuur & stedenbouw
Art direction by Ontstaat
Camera & Editing by Kasimir Szekeres
Music by Fret Hinge

I'm extra happy about all this, not only because it's about my two favourite subjects, but also because while watching the teaser video, I spotted a familiar face. My friend and fellow University of Thessaly Architecture Department alumni Valentina Karga will be participating in one of the fashion designer/architect collaborations as an intern for Dutch architecture firm 2012Architecten.

Oh my, I can't wait to ask her for some insider info!

If you happen to stop by Amsterdam this summer a) I hate you, and b) don't miss it!

Exhibition opens on 17-07-2010 until 11-09-2010 at ARCAM.

[photos & exhibition artwork via Ontsaat]