Monday, May 30, 2011


In true Edmontonian fashion, we've pretty much skipped spring and gone straight to summer. Even yesterday's grocery trip is evidence for this, as I came home with lemon yogurt, mixed greens, mango salad dressing, sliced peaches, lemon iced tea, french toast (i.e. cinnamon) bagels, whipped cream cheese spread, and chardonnay wine spritzers. And if that doesn't say 'summer' loudly enough, my new musical obsession surely does. I had never heard of Jamie Woon before being introduced by a kOs reader's blog, and now I can't stop listening to him. I've always been fascinated by musicians who use machines (for lack of the technical name) in their live performances to record themselves and then loop that recording to provide their own back-up (Riley Armstrong and Kelly Scarr come to mind for using this technique, though all three are in completely different genres). And Jamie has an incredible voice to boot. Truly relaxing tunes just in time for a lazy night on the couch after a lazy afternoon on the balcony.

In other news, it seems as though I've just talked myself into editing another Master's thesis. It shall be a wonderful summer.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Emilia Tikka

Look at these photos:

Then look at them again whilst listening to this song from Nick 13's upcoming solo album:

Don't they oddly seem like a perfect match? Much like poutine and loneliness...

Anyway, the photos are of the (under)graduate collection of Berlin-based and Finnish-born Emilia Tikka, about whom I know no more information aside from what is on her NJAL page. The collection itself is entitled 'External body', which is perhaps why it seems to belong alongside the funereal theme of "Carry My Body Down". I figure that the wood panels and accessories could be seen as some form of stylized casket too. Though I'm not quite sure how Nick 13's song fits with the deconstruction theory of Derrida, which is what Emilia's collection is inspired by...

By the way, this post took three days to post. And I think that I've discovered the problem with the new NJAL set-up, namely that the photos are now .png files instead of .jpegs. So these photos are actually screen caps of the .png files that I managed to get to load (I still haven't been able to view all of Emilia's collection). Anyone else have this problem?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nonalignment Pact

Ugh. I'll be the first to admit that it makes me cranky to blog when I don't want to. But even more so when I can't blog when I do want to. I.e. I've rediscovered for the umpteenth time that my body is not made for shift work. Unless of course it is, and I just missed the lesson in history class about how our hunter-gather ancestors used both methods of food procurement because they were on a biweekly rotation. Anyway, the increased crankiness has diverted most of my available energy to trying to justify a spur of the moment (and yet long thought about) trip to NY centered around one particular event. I've silently judged people in the lunchroom who think the sole reason for going to NY is to go shopping, and yet I can't help but think I absolutely need to go to NY before the end of July to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibit, even if that's the only thing I do between landing and taking off again. The rest of my energy is devoted to trying to justify buying the Cinema Tea Gown from Alexandra Grecco. Doesn't help that I've been staring at this gorgeous piece by Paris-based Dutch designer Steffie Christiaens on the Layers blog for the better part of the evening. Speaking of, a shopping trip to London sounds fantastic right about now... Sigh.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Tee Find of...Ever

So I was excited to see complexgeometries' Facebook status about a secret 72-hour sale, hoping that my favorite, the wave t, would be included in said sale (it is not). However, today's package (as Canada Post has not yet gone on strike) has made me pretty much forget all about the wave t. For I have in my hands (well, on my torso) the very best garment to ever be included in the 't-shirt' category. To state it is clearly as possible, the mydearthing Steel Sighlens T is the greatest tee you could ever hope to own. The fabric, made of cotton-wrapped steel yarn, is simply incredible, somehow (i.e. probably magically) merging chainmail with a light breezy jersey to form a slightly structured shape. As for the design, the neckline is perfect, the drop sleeves (i.e. no normal sleeve seam) make a basic even easier to wear, and the sheerness means this piece is great for any season with all its layering potential. For the warmer weather, I highly suggest a sheer oversized tank with some hell's windows underneath, or the very essential mydearthing Y Back Tank. Lauren only has a very limited amount of this fabric, so don't say I didn't warn you...

P.S. If the tee is currently 'sold' on Etsy, it's only because I just bought another one (selfish, I know). Please allow Lauren a few more hours to wake up and relist it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Scent of the Sea

The dreaded day of the removal of my favorite scented neighbourhood feature has arrived. This pile of old lumber (and metal accoutrement) had, until today, been sitting by the train tracks a block outside my front door for perhaps a month now. And for whatever reason, be it its place of origin or some feature of slowly rotting wood, every day since its unexplained arrival, it gave off the most lovely and intoxicating smell. This resulted in me taking in huge gulps of air whenever I walked past or caught its scent downwind, as I practically live for the opportunity of being even momentarily transported back to White Rock or Montauk. But now the train has started running, and so the city gods have deemed it time to take away this aromatic safety hazard. Sigh, times infinity. If I weren't sitting here pining after my lost...pine, I would've put on my best wool, pleated, and voluminous garments to just go stand in the spot where the wood once was, hoping to soak in what's left of the landlocked sea air (while also covering up against the mosquitos, who are likely also in mourning for losing their best breeding grounds). 

This outfit would've consisted of a wool jacket (this formal silk-lined avant garde tux by NY-based designer Michael Brambila would've been very appropriate for the sad occasion), a silk top (this one featuring a gill detail by hier apparel would've been best with the maximized surface area), a voluminous skirt (with my ArtLab skirt definitely being the best candidate, for obvious reasons), and some wool leggings (with my mydearthing Wool Circle Seam Pants being the obvious choice - I didn't want to wash these for a few days after returning from NY last time, as I wanted the smell of Brooklyn to linger a wee bit longer). But, alas, it is now raining, and so, at best, I would just smell of wet clothing. Again, sigh.

So long wood, may you rest in peace.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mourning Weeds

Today is moving at this extremely slow dream-like pace, beginning with an early morning appointment that became an afternoon one, due to someone deciding that I needed to sit down and relax with an earl grey tea and some macarons before being told I'm healing well. Then I saw two of my former bosses while making the long journey to the wrong post office to pick up what may be my last package before the impending postal strike. The 4-hour journey finally ended with me once again being surprised at the scent of the sea in the (very landlocked) air, which is the pleasant effect of an unexplained mountain of used and blackened lumber a block away from my front door. It all makes me think that it's a good day to buy two black calla lilies to accompany me on a walk through the woods to look for something that isn't there.

(Photos of the 2009 'Mourning Weeds' collection from Cunnington & Sanderson, the British label of design duo Matthew Cunnington and John Sanderson, found via NJAL.) 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Miranda Kaloudis

So, for my last post (for now) on the BA grads from the Swiss school whose name knows no end, I present to you Miranda Kaloudis. My complete obsession with Miranda's work (as I have indeed developed an obsession over the last couple of days) was a slow progression. What first caught my eye was the first image posted in her lookbook on (above, top left), as it immediately brought to mind the aesthetic of a bARBARA Í gONGINI look and the runway makeup of Tsolmandakh Munkhuu's debut. Then, the beginning of the video of Miranda's graduate presentation made me pay closer attention, as it started with Sigur Rós' "Flugufrelsarinn". Then, Miranda's smiley piercing made me continue to watch the video out of curiosity and envy (as I never got the oral piercing I wanted out of respect for my parents' funding of my braces), even though the interview isn't in English. Then I actually began to notice the clothes, with all the glorious draped, layered, and waxed outerwear you could ever want. Then I looked more closely at those unpractical but completely fantastic shoes, which are ingenious and museum-worthy designs that call to mind guitar or saxophone stands, clearly stating that the models themselves are part of the presentation, entitled 'Symbiosis of Body, Clothes & Accessories'. And then, oh then, came Miranda's website

What the website and its stop motion galleries show you, and what the lookbook and runway do not, is that Miranda's pieces are actually incredible convertible (and highly functional) garments that switch from accessories to outerwear in a few steps. Her website has given me multiple headaches in trying to get it to load, and, after using two browsers at different times throughout the last few days, I have only just been able to look at each piece to snag a photo to post here. So, this post has literally taken me hours to compile, but I think the result is worth it. Before you look on (and double click each photo for a close-up), let me remind you that this is an undergraduate collection, and not that of a seasoned designer. But you'll quickly forget that. 

And so, you have a tunic whose collar suddenly cocoons the garment (and wearer) in a protective rainproof layer; a pair of gloves that blossom into a short polar fleece lined jacket; a wallet that becomes a short hooded cape; a backpack that has one pocket which turns into a shirt/dress, and another which turns into a a jacket; a bag that becomes a raincoat; a shirt that gives birth to a hooded rain poncho; et cetera, et cetera. There's even a couple pieces that sprout gloves out of pockets on the sleeves. Brilliant. I'm also a fan of Miranda's linen jersey 'overalls', which would be a great non-frumpy base layer (provided that you have something else warming your kidneys). If you have all the patience in the world (or at least a better Internet provider than I do), I suggest you try her website yourself if you want to see more (for you Mac users, Firefox works better than Safari). Or, if you have experience in web design, please contact Miranda and offer your services. I will thank you for it.

Miranda is a finalist in the 10th annual Arts of Fashion Competition, which is decided at the AoF Symposium in San Francisco (October 27th-November 1st). All the best, Miranda! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Et tulle, Brooke Shaden?*

I don't often pay attention to photographers, as I'm a greater fan of the lookbook style of fashion pictures that clearly showcases how a piece of clothing looks on a body, rather than the editorial style that showcases the body and surroundings with a little bit of clothing in the mix. A post on Fashion156 today, however, made me look through every single photo in the gallery of LA-based photographer Brooke Shaden. Brooke's work is instantly eye-catching from the square format and almost painting-like style, to the ethereal worlds created by the (often underwater) settings, clothing, beautiful models, and dark mood. If I had a label that included flowy, billowy pieces, Brooke is definitely the photographer I'd want for an editorial photo shoot. Having said that, the photo I've picked here (and please do yourself a favor and look through each and every one of them on Brooke's site) doesn't showcase billowy clothing, but rather a) what I'd do on a day off (or every day) if I lived in the middle of a deserted wood (it may be of use to you to know that I often imitated Jodie Foster's Nell when I was younger), and b) the article of clothing I've been strangely drawn to for quite some time but have never purchased, being the tulle skirt. Especially with my style changing to a more pared-down minimalist look lately, I can't picture where I could wear a tulle skirt (other than a deserted wood). However, I will likely continue to want one, partially thanks to the fact that I would want to be a ballerina in another life, and partially thanks to Carrie Bradshaw. At any rate, I think this black sheer number by Peeko Apparel would fit more easily into my wardrobe than a full-out tulle skirt, if only as a layer over top of, say, my beloved mydearthing Panel Skirt...

Anyway, back to Brooke. Brooke just had her first fashion shoot (which completely surprises me) with Etsyian Pooka Queen. The resulting photos are not yet up in the Pooka Queen shop, but the upcycled/recycled shrugs and avant garde headpieces deserve a look. I personally want to buy this amazing chain and epaulette piece (the designer behind Pooka Queen has a BFA in metal smithing and jewelry). Wouldn't it look perfect with a tulle skirt?

And, back to Brooke again, because I love this photo. 

If you want to see some more of Brooke's work and read some behind-the-scenes thoughts (as well as info about her photography workshops), do visit her blog. It's pretty great.

*My goodness, I'm a nerd.