Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Home Tour: Living Room Edition

Hello, and welcome to our little flat! I ended up just taking pictures of the living room today. I figure, if I do one room at a time, I can take some pictures of the little details as well as the room as a whole. Also, I haven't cleaned the kitchen, and our guest bedroom has stuff all over the floor, not to mention there are tweaks to the bathroom and the loo that I need to get on to...  

We have the best view from the living room, but the sun was so bright when I took these pictures that it didn't come out. That's why I gave you the view from the balcony in the end there. Also, we are supposed to get a huge shelving unit for the far wall - this is Victor's little pet project - but for now, we have a small bookshelf, crammed to the brim. Because if I don't have books in the living room, I start feeling weird - books are just so comforting, you know? 

I have so many little favourite details in this room, from the wolf cushions to the green and yellow blanket knitted for my birthday by one of my closest friends. And my collection of little Norse gods made out of  what feels a lot like lead, but is probably pewter. Hehe. Also, the only picture currently on display - there will be more later - is an old friend, a poster from a long-ago exhibition I went to at the Tate Modern. I had to break my own rule and finish the post with an upright closeup, because this woman's head by Constantin Brancusi is just so beautiful that it turns my heart to mush.   

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Metaphorical Sausage

Cardigan: J.Crew Factory, Tee & shoes: Anthro, Jeans: AG's via Anthro.  
I seem to be living in these brown jeans. But I do wash them sometimes, honest! Thing is, around this time last year, I kind of made a wish that AG would make some jeans in this exact shade of orange brown. (Not on a star or anything, that's when you wish for world peace, not jeans. Just, you know, in my own head.) So it seems I am in possession of telepathic powers of unknown magnitude. Because look at my jeans! They are like, the manifestation of my will on the earthly plane.   

Um, I've been learning geomancy and spraypainting things, maybe that explains the above paragraph? Yes, as you can see, I may be wearing the same pants but my trusty bottle of turpentine has been replaced by pastel spray cans. The pastel chairs are done now, so that apartment post should be up soon! Well, soon in the context of spacetime and stuff, anyway. Hehe. 

So, this T-shirt - it combines two things I love; shirts with French stuff on them and the song It's Only A Paper Moon. However, like a dork, I managed to obscure the writing with my own hair. But I assure you, this shirt says "Lune De Papier" and you're just gonna have to believe me.   

At first I was worried this colour combo might be a bit... pukey? I like it, though, even if I couldn't quite decide whether tucked or untucked was the way to go. It's one of those things I had to order online while crossing my fingers, and I have a feeling I may have misjudged the sizing slightly. It doesn't show in these photos but the shirt is BIG! Oh well, better the sausage that's too long than the sausage that's too short, as my mother always says. And no, she means actual sausage, not... naughty sausage. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Start Spreading The News...

Dress: Cath Kidston, Jacket: Bossini, Boots: Clark's, Hat: Thankyou Mart ;)
Bag: Madewell, Scarf: from Taipei, Belt: Next, Bangle: Vintage.
So in an attempt to blog from more diverse places than our balcony, I got Victor to take some pictures of me in Covent Garden yesterday. We were having a sort of one-day October heatwave, so I decided to bust out my dress that I'd recently picked up on sale at Cath Kidston. I remember when I got the catalogue featuring this dress in the mail, my jaw literally dropped at the faux-vintage awesomeness of it. I mean, any dress that looks like you made it yourself from discarded newspapers is awesome, right?  

It seemed almost a little too obvious to "just" pair it with red and black, so  I decided I'd throw in lots of leopard print, too. Partly because that's also got a vintage flavour to me (am I the only one, or is this a "thing"?), but also because I fancied wearing my new fedora with it. I kind of like pairing leopard with printed white dresses, I've done it with this dog dress too, and really liked the results. 

Here, I attempted a close-up to show you just how kooky this print is. I mean, you don't see this sort of thing every day, right? When I picked up my clock dress, it was a choice between clocks and newspaper, and the clocks won out... until this baby went on sale, and the sweet Japanese sales girl convinced me it "really fit my style". Also, check out my bangle! It's the one real piece of vintage I'm wearing here - it was a gift from my friend who runs a 1950's dress shop and provided Victor with my brithday present dress

The one thing about this dress that weirds me out a little bit is the length - I'm used to either ankle length or fit-and-flare, and the only other dress I have that was once this long, I shortened. Anyway, I guess it's good news for tall and bootylicious gals like me that designers like Cath Kidston and Helen of Holborn exist, because there is no way on this green (greying?) Earth that I would fit into actual vintage dresses. I couldn't even fit one boob inside some of those real 1950's dresses.  

Friday, 17 October 2014

Under Construction

Blazer & shirt: Bossini, Jeans: AG's via Anthropologie, Shoes: Clark's
What is it with me and posing with bottles of turpentine?! While other bloggers pose with their cups of Starbucks or freshly buffed apples or whatever... I pose with turps. Just please don't think I actually drink it! We are still painting and hammering and fixing up our new place, even though we've been living here for a while now. Maybe I'll be able to share some pictures of it soon...  

Anyhow, I bought a magazine when we were in Tokyo called Fudge, because it promised to teach you "How to dress in London style". So I was all, okay, so let's see what they think people dress like - or should dress like? - in London. Suddenly, all the red sweaters I'd been seeing on the streets started to make sense, because Fudge was heavily into their red knitwear! This was the closest approximation I could put together of a "Fudge London" outfit - and I like it! 

Jacket: UniQlo, Top & booties: Anthro, Necklace: c/o Liz :), Skirt: J.Crew

Lastly, here's a blast from the past! I found this picture on my camera, the last one taken at the balcony of our old flat. I have to say, one thing I miss is having a neighbourhood where I know all the good spots to take sneaky photos. Where we live now, I have no idea where to go - so either I'll have to go back to my old area, or keep up the balcony pictures. Ah, First World problems. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Meiji Moments

Dress: Bermeja Tunic Dress, Booties: Meander Moto Boots, both from Anthropologie.
I have never had such awesome photo-bombers in my life. I mean, they are clearly wondering what I'm wearing, and if I accidentally ripped the front part of my dress off on the Shinkansen or something... "You know, I was juuust about to get on the bullet train, and then the doors closed right in front of me, and rrriiiippp!" 
"Uh, no, ladies," I would have told them - had I known they were there. "This is design." Ahem. 

Anyway, we found some time in our busy schedule of relaxing and eating to go visit one of my favourite spots in Tokyo - the Meiji shrine, which sits inside its own little private forest, right smack bang in the middle of the city. It was so peaceful there, just what we needed...

Just walking around the sway-backed wooden buildings and looking around was so nice. There were barely any tourists here, compared to the last time we visited Tokyo, so that just added to the general air of tranquility.

Outside the temple complex, there is a huge wall of sake barrels. I thought I might as well pose in front of all that booze, since my dress was so scandalously short anyway! All those brightly coloured barrels made for a fun backdrop for my all-black ensemble. 

After visiting the temple, we went for a walk in the surrounding forest. I could literally feel my heartbeat slowing down and my shoulders loosening up. I grew up really close to nature, and it had just been too long since I'd had even a short little hike. I need to remedy that, now that we're back in the UK, and drag my city boy out into Mother Nature more often.

We saw this little man sweeping leaves just before we got off the road and onto the paths between the trees. He was sweeping all the leaves from the road into one long, wavering line in the middle. Such a simple, everyday thing, and he made it into something beautiful.

Right outside the Meiji park, you will find the Harajuku district. It's literally like stepping into another world - bright, loud and fun. Leave your sanity at the gate. 

This fantastic sign had to be included - I mean, you don't see a sign like that everyday... 

Rounding a street corner, we saw King Kong on somebody's roof... We got off the main road, and started exploring the side streets, popping into a second-hand store, and then going up some stairs into a shop called Thankyou Mart... where I found the most perfect cat-print fedora AND the most 70's-tastic sunglasses I have seen in my life... So of course I had to buy them. 

It's all groovy, baby. Yeah.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Omotesando Koffee

Top: Bossini, Skirt: UniQlo, Belt: Next, Bag: Cath Kidston, Dorky trainers: Birkenstock 
So here I am, or rather, here I was, at a little cafe I read about in the eighth issue of Kinfolk magazine. Omotesando Koffee, which is an independent coffee house in a sea of Starbucks, is a short-ish walk from Harajuku. I was wearing one of my favourite combinations, albeit in a sneaky, discreet way - polkadots and cat print, or "cat & dot" as I like to call it. My shirt was one I picked up in Hong Kong at Bossini. I'd been wanting a short-sleeved polkadot shirt for ages, so I was really happy to snap this one up. 

In Harajuku, I bought this fantastic leopard print fedora for about 300 yen, which is what, a pound something? Two dollars and a bit? I found it in a store called Thankyou Mart, where I also bought a truly awesome pair of 70's tastic sunglasses. By this point of our trip, my feet were starting to get sore, so I just bit the bullet and wore trainers everywhere. And tried to convince myself that I was just going normcore

So, let me try to give you the experience of going to Omotesando Koffee. The cafe is in a tiny, traditional Japanese house in a residential neighbourhood. If you don't know it's there, chances are you'd walk right past it. Here's the view from the entrance to the garden. 

The owner makes your coffee while wearing a lab-coat, behind a counter made up of squares. He seems to have a thing for them; there is a square in the coffee-shop's logo and they even sell tiny square cakes. I was hoping to try some, but they were all sold out that day. That's Victor paying for our coffee, by the way. 

This lamp hangs right inside the front door, over a large potted plant. It's a spiked cage that hovers over a light-bulb, and then lots of little notes that have been tacked onto the spikes. I thought the result, with all its different languages and little drawings, was eerily beautiful. 

This is their entrance - you step through the front gate, duck your head to avoid the bell, find yourself in the most beautiful little garden. It was full of many different types of plants, mostly green, and you could sit on one of the two benches and look up through the trees. There was one rebellious red blossom too, look: 

The fact that there was only one made it even more beautiful! It really popped out against all the other plants, and the beige wall coverings. (I think they were tatami mats, but I could be wrong.) Right by the foot of the bench, nestled between the roots of the tree, a spiral stick of incense was releasing a subtle, but lovely scent into the crisp air. 

And the coffee, oh my GOD the coffee. I had a mocha, and it was quite literally the best mocha I have had in my entire life. We just sat there on our bench under a tree and sipped our coffees, while the smell from the incense mingled with the smell of coffee beans. And it was so, so lovely. 

I also forced Victor into taking some couple selfies, and here is the best one. Times like this, I look at us and think, "Different head-size! WHOA!" It was a proper Sherlock Holmesian treasure-hunt to find this place, with a map Victor had downloaded onto his phone, and a lot of snarling from a certain man. Ahem. But even he agreed the coffee was so good, it was worth it all!