Sunday, 29 June 2014

Throwback

Jacket: H&M, Dress: Thrifted, Shoes: Marks & Spencer - all old as the hills! ;)

So last year, I wanted to wear this exact outfit, but the summer got too warm, too fast. I had to settle for a pink belt instead. But I recently remembered about this not-yet-worn, favourite-outfit-in-my-head, and since the temperature was just right, I could finally put it on! Ah, whenever I wear this striped dress I can't help but be astonished by all the mileage I've gotten out of it - it's a thrift store find that's more than paid for itself, that's for sure!


Speaking of stripes, I was just forced to throw out my favourite T-shirt (which had stripes on it), and the grief is like a little fist closing around my heart, I tell you. (Drama queen, much? Yeah, I know.) But seriously, just thinking about it makes me sad. What happened was, my mother and I both bought this shirt in different colourways, and both of them shrank so much over the past couple of years that they became just about unwearable. I don't even own a tumble drier, yet when I put it on, I looked like I'd stolen the shirt from a small child. So, in a fit of house cleaning, down the trash chute it went. ("If I can't have you, no-one will!") Because a T-shirt that doesn't even touch the bottom of your ribs is an unwearable T-shirt.


And what brand was this T-shirt, you ask? Pilcro. And you may recall I have had issues with Pilcro before. I own a few Pilcro shoes and they are all fantastic quality, but when it comes to clothing, this brand sucks. I've only owned three garments by this brand, and of the three, I've been forced to throw away two - and I have a feeling the third one is headed that way, too. It's a striped, long-sleeve shirt that's become bizarrely scratchy - again, mother has the same shirt - and the only reason mine isn't coming apart at the seams as fast as hers, is that she's worn hers more. So now, I've vowed never to waste my monies on this brand again. All together now: "GRRR! BOO! HISS!" *shakes fist*

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Many Uses of Sparrows

T-shirt: Rachel Antonoff, Skirt: Anthro, Shoes: Birkenstock
So, one of my friends from Norway recently came to stay with us. This girl is a busy bee, so Victor and I decided to show her a good time - and that included tickets to an experimental dance show Victor had booked for the three of us on a whim. The dance company is called Fuel, and they combine free-running with dance and martial arts. Their show was called The Roof (watch the trailer!) and took place inside a circular arena in a parking lot behind the National Theatre. There were no seats, the action sort of moved all around you so you just moved with it. There were also headphones that you had to wear, with recorded dialogue and music being played while you watched. It was wonderful and surreal, and I want to go again, with as many friends as I can drum up!


Before going to see the show, my friend offered to do my makeup for me - and we are talking about a true artist with a makeup brush here, so of course I said yes please. Only, I didn't realise that when she was applying lipstick, she was doing it on the outside of my lips as well, giving me a huge red mouth that made me look like the Joker, if he'd joined Cirque du Soleil. No way was I going out looking like that! When we removed the lipstick, there was a small, smushed-up red outline left around my mouth, and my friend off-handedly remarked that I looked like I'd just eaten a bird. (She has cats.)


 If you can imagine all the silliness that led to - we dreamed up everything from sparrow sandwiches (dead sparrow wedged between two slices of bread, mayonaise optional), sparrow tea (you stitch a muslin bag around a sparrow's head and soak in hot water - sugar added to taste) and my favourite, the sparrow maki (sushi rolls made from raw sparrow, tastefully decorated with the beak sticking out of the first piece of sushi and the tail sticking out of the last). Also, her husband could grill them whole, feathers and all, on the spit the next time they have a barbecue - with halved tomatoes and bits of pepper wedged in between the dead sparrows for extra vitamins. Naturally. 
Ahem, yes, you can see why I'm friends with this madwoman, eh? 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Cement Shoes

Dress: Madewell, old, Arizona Sandals: Birkenstock, Caramelo Necklace: Anthro, old

So I finally caved in and bought Birkenstocks. After two years of use, my old sandals were about as soft and foot-supporting as cardboard. After a few weeks of hobbling around in them, I realised that I desperately needed new sandals, and well, Birkenstocks are actually in right now...  Which kind of blows my nerd mind in a thousand ways. What'll be next, Steve Urkel glasses?! Oh wait...


It's kind of mad, how I used to be embarrassed about owning Birkenstocks but I have done for years - either as hiking shoes, sneakers and/or the super nerdy closed-toe sandal (mine are green). I never bought these two-strap ones before because I kept thinking they'd be so easy to step out of, but man was I wrong there. Once they are on, these babies stay on. Like cement!  


Of course, when the stiff leather of new shoes meet your naked feet in the summer heat, what's the most common result? That's right, flesh wounds! So the tops of my feet have been covered in sticking-plasters, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for trendy comfiness. And yes, I suppose this makes me a hipster now? I still don't have any tattoos, though. So hipster-in-training, maybe?


Also, I'd actually never worn this dress without some kind of shirt inside it before, so that was new. And the dress and sandals felt like a really nice and neutral backdrop for my crazy huge necklace with the Swarofski ball. I used to be a bit embarrassed to wear it out in public because it is pretty big, but I've gradually worn down my own resistance to the point where it doesn't even feel like I'm lifting weights with my neck every time I wear it now, hah. But to me, big necklaces are like a gym membership - if I invest good money in it, then I will damn well use it!   

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

All Multicultural And Stuff

Blazer: H&M, T-Shirt: Rachel Antonoff, Trousers: Anthro, Brogues: Clark's - all old. 
Being married to a Chinese boy, I've  been exposed to a lot of Cantonese martial arts movies - the cheesier, the better - including one or two about Wong Fei-Hung, a character who fights with two old-fashioned black umbrellas. So the other day, he says, out of the blue, "You know, if we have a daughter, her middle name could be "Wong-Fei", right... Which means "Princess". And then, with my surname, she'll be Wong-Fei Hung, and it'll be hilarious!"


"Although," Victor paused, frowning a little, "She would have problems with people expecting her to be really awesome at martial arts, and being able to do the shadow kick and so on. Not to mention, first time we take her to Hong Kong, people will be like, "AHAHAHA!!" and then call social services..."
So then I ask him, all innocently, even though I kind of already know the answer, "And if we have a son, would you make his middle name "Princess", too?" To which Victor laughed long and hard, before he replied, "HELL YEAH!!"


 In other news, we are both completely hooked on this song by Eric Kwok, which is about a dude pretending to be Iron Man. Because "no-one is as uber-grand as Iron Man". It's not just that the tune is insanely catchy, the video is side-splitting as he uses his "hand beam" - "I no longer need my suit", he informs Nick Furey - to do everything from opening doors to stealing a gatcha-ball from a machine, to making his dentist stop drilling. Ignore most of the subtitles, they're promotion for a series of gigs that Eric Kwok (who looks a lot like Downey Jr., actually) and his band, Swing, are doing in June. (I wish we could go! Even though we'd die from the heat.) Just hang in there until they go in the shower, then there's actually a bit they sing in English. I can't believe I just typed that...

Monday, 9 June 2014

Wrecking Ball

Blazer, necklace & dress:  all Anthro,  all (kinda) old. Shoes: Marks & Spencer

So this is why Victor is awesome. A couple of Fridays ago, I get a text from him: "You like Emmylou Harris, right?" I replied, something like, "Yes, I love her, why?" To which he responded, "Good, since we're watching her on Sunday". And then I nearly fainted from joy. See, it'd been a dream of mine to watch Emmylou live for years, but the last time she was in London, I couldn't afford to go. And now, not only was she here, she was performing my favourite album - Wrecking Ball - in its entirety. 


That's right, she was singing her whole album track for track. Who does that?! But it was pretty magical, especially when you've listened to said album again and again for years and years... I literally sat there with tears of happiness running down my face, while her voice floated through the concert hall and wrapped itself around each and every one of us. 


Oh, and this is what I wore to the concert. I got this dress it when it hit sale last winter, and well, wearing it would've involved freezing to death, hence it's not made it to the blog until now. Even towards the end of May, I was wearing tights with this dress! Did I mention this country is nuts... This was one of those outfits I'd been planning in my head for ages for some special future occasion. I even managed to sneak in a little subtle pattern-mixing there, and I liked the end result a lot! 


And finally, here's an idea of the scale of the buildings where I'm always sneaking around taking photos! The concert was actually held right here, at the Barbican complex. In addition to having all these towers full of retro-stylish apartments, the Barbican has several concert halls that double as theatre stages, a library and a cinema. And you'd have to sell all the organs of your entire family to be able to live there. Some people think the Barbican is the ugliest thing in London, what with the architecture not being everybody's cup of tea. Not to mention how it's been stained various shades of grey by exhaust and pollution. But me, I've grown to love it in all its filthy concrete glory.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Pumped-Up Kicks!

Cardigan: J.Crew, Shirt: Mirrored Deer Tee, Anthro, Necklace: c/o Sayaka,  Jeans: AG's. 

So I finally bought myself a pair of decent trainers! No more running on the elliptical in my worn-out, filthy hiking shoes. I've been wearing these so much, and they are comfy and wonderful, and I'm actually not embarrassed to be seen in them! Try to guess where they're from - they're probably the last brand you would expect! I'll write the answer at the bottom of my post, so do read to the very end, okay?


Shoes aside, my friend Angela told me the funniest story today, and I have to share it here because, you know. I am not above stealing a funny story, no sir. Or ma'm. Angela and her mother Jennifer share a membership at the same gym as me, which I think is actually allowed... Anyway, you have to swipe your card to get through the barriers, and Angela had been there to swim in the morning. Jennifer went in to swim later in the afternoon, and when her name flashed up on screen, the guy in reception recognised it.    


"Were you here this morning," he asked, suspiciously. "Is your name Angela?" 
"Oh," Jenny replied, "That must have been my daughter." And then, thinking on her feet like a true pro, she went on, "But my name is Angela. And so is hers. She's Angela Jane, and I'm Angela Jennifer. It's a family tradition." 


After literally laughing my head off when I heard this story from Angela (whose hated middle name really is Jane), I met Jenny, and instantly called her "Angela Jennifer". Every occasion I had to say her name, I'd call her that, and her husband was chuckling in his beard and Jenny was shouting, "Are you going to call me that every time you see me?!"
You bet I will, Angela Jennifer. You bet I will. 

Scarf: from Norway, - a late birthday present!, Jacket: Vero Moda, Bag: Cath Kidston

Anyway, I've been stuck for what to do with my Mirrored Deer Tee, so I kind of took it out and stared at it. I added the necklace Sayaka gave me last year, then the cardigan because it matches the necklace... and then some kind of gasket blew in my brain, and I threw in the neon pink jeans. And I LOVE this outfit! I literally felt so good in it because I felt so much like myself in it. That makes sense, right? 


Anyway, it's time for the big reveal - are you ready for this?! My trainers are from - dun-dun-DUN - BIRKENSTOCK! That's right, they don't just make trendy black sandals with buckles on, they make trainers, too! All their shoes are super comfortable and good for you, so I felt they were well worth the investment. So yeah. Wait, you didn't think they were Vans or something, did you?!