Thursday, 30 May 2013

Studio 54

tunic dress by Baby Phat, leggings by Seductions
pumps by Nine West, purse by MMS, vintage necklace 
vinyls by the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, & U2

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


The most pressing concerns in a twenty-something woman’s life are the need to find the perfect job and the perfect man – two events which culminate in a single event that can lead to a promising future or bitter disappointment.

I’m taking about the first date and the first interview; two events which are ironically full of the same patterns of behavior.

The dance of courtship begins in most cases hesitantly. Whether introductions are made through networking, the internet, or pure chance, a period of distanced but inquisitive conversations take place. During this period background research is often conducted by both parties. Online profiles are scrutinized (whether on Facebook or LinkedIn), mutual friends are interrogated, and names are Googled. Basic questions are often answered, and once both sides agree, a time and place are chosen for an in person meeting.

Before arriving at the big date/interview, a woman must carefully select an outfit. For an interview this decision is ruled by the “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” mantra, and a similar idea rules the first date outfit as well. It’s obviously all about the first impression, so most women want to look their best, but not like they’re trying to hard. Talk about a conundrum. Thankfully, the location and activity of the date helps, but it’s almost impossible to be sure how a guy is going to react to an outfit!

Once the date/interview starts, so do the real questions. In a first date situation both parties usually try to get to know eachother, but in many interviews the dialogue becomes all about the interviewee. The focus of an interview might seem to be all about testing your knowledge of the potential employee (of the company, of the technology, of the industry, etc), but what about some of the details about the employer? Do they share your morals and values? Is there casual Friday, with a cocktail hour? Are they movers in their industry or are they complacent to stay the course? These are exactly the kinds of questions that future boyfriends get grilled with to determine their compatibility, long term worth, and sanity, but we often forget that the same should be asked of companies since we are essentially entering into a relationship with them.

Even after the office – or bedroom – door gets opened the negotiations still continue. In an office you have to negotiate for raises and fight for the corner office, while in relationships the goals become who pays for dinner and who chooses the movie rental. Sometimes we agree with our boyfriends and our bosses, but sometimes those negotiations become dealbreakers and the relationship has to end. Thankfully with jobs, there’s less of a chance that there will be “divorce hearings” about who gets custody of the pets…

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Walking Tour of the Shambles: a Sunday Shoe Story

Outfitted in my [no longer quite] white Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, I give you a walking tour through the Shambles - or in this case, my hometown Kamloops. I didn't have time to go everywhere, but these are the relics of ages past, and note should be taken!

The Royal Inland Hospital, where the momentous occasion of my birth occured
@6:40am on Easter Sunday of '88

Mere blocks away, the house where I grew up
(and where my parents still live)

Our front yard has a whole bunch of young fruit trees.
This one will grow pears in a few months!

Riverside Park, where I spent most of my childhood summers.
Unfortunately they have replaced the awesome pirate ship playground :(

The most important location in Kamloops: the Library!
I still remember when it was housed about 6 blocks West of this location in the old Lotto building, and they closed for a month to move into the fancy new location.
Thankfully they kept the orange carpeted stairs that were such an integral part of storytimes -
And all the books!

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Faerie's Life for Me

It's no secret that I have a minor obsession with all things Faerie. From the artists like Brian Froud (who's artwork is featured here), to novels featuring faeries like Peter Pan, to searching the woods for a faerie-ring of mushrooms, anything with faeries in it tends to catch my eye. While overtly faerie-inspired fashion is rare, I've spotted bits and pieces of it everywhere. Whether designers are channelling moonstone sparkles of the faerie queen, dark baroque elements that harken to the Brother's Grimm and the Black Forest, or flowers of the Victorian-era flower fairies the influence of the Otherlands is always present. We may not be able to see it outright, but it's always there in the corner of our eye and in the moment between sleep and waking.


The Wild Wood

The Flower Fairy

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Adventures in Unpacking

Part of moving across the country for grad school involved a very involved process of moving a lot of my worldy possessions along with me. Not everything went, of course. Can you imagine trying to move almost 1,000 books from coast to coast? Not only would it be a ridiculously expensive venture, but it would be a harrowing experience, since I don't trust anyone even touching my books - much less trusting them to some moving company and letting them out of my sight for the month-long wait that it takes to travel the million kilometres. The important things that moved with me were my extensive shoe collection and rather random wardrobe. A girl can't live without the Unicorn Shoes or a red velvet leopard print dress, right?

Then two weeks ago I made the choice to evacuate the East Coast for good - which inevitably meant having to move all my stuff coast to coast. Again. I may have parted with my gloriously cloud-like mattress and fantasticly stylish sofa, but once again my shoes, clothes, and the new books I had amassed had to make the cross-Canada trek. So with haste, but with a detailed list documenting the contents of each box, I packed and sent my stuff on its journey.

My 70+ boxes arrived earlier than expected (thank you United Van Lines!), but I've literally had to spend the majority of my time since then unpacking and organizing. Thank goddess I had the foresight to make a list and number each box so that I could separate the boxes of books (obviously integrating them into my collection was priority no.1), hang up all my jackets so that gravity could go to work on the creases, and be reunited with my Barbie Box (the vintage fishing tackle box that holds all of my makeup).

In just over a week I'll be heading up to Whistler to start my summer job, so even though I've made sense of the maddness now, I'm going to have to decide what exactly is worth taking for a 3-month stint in a small mountain town. From what I hear Whistler in the summer is all about hiking and drinking - two things I generally avoid - so I really have no idea what kind of shoes to pack. Are my high heels going to get ruined with mud/gravel/rain or am I going to get weird looks for wearing some of my stranger outfits? Sometimes I think that life would be simpler if I had a simpler wardrobe - but then again, what would be the fun in that?!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Riverside: a Sunday Shoe Story

The small dust- and snake-filled town that I grew up in may annoy me at times (like running into your ex-bff from high school, the mother/father of your arch enemy, or that guy who you've pretty much forgotten), but the East Coast really has nothing on BC.

giant rootbeer slushies for $2
parks with real trees
layers and layers of clouds
mountains on every horizon
real shoe stores (and by real I mean the good ones)
people who wear kilts, just because
bookstores with topics besides true crime/naval history/vintage
houses with proper backyards
downtowns with wildlife 
a Starbucks (and 7-11) on every corner
24 hour restaurants
more than 2 options for grocery stores

And most importantly...
no odd looks for wearing outfits with colour, sequins, or heels!
(well maybe not NO odd looks, but definitely fewer)

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Artist's Muse

As we finally start to head into the warm weather (it's about time) my mind is inevitably drawn to contemplating the artistic world. I don't know if it's the fact that the flowers are finally blooming, or that the lingering twilight beckons, or if it's simply that I have more time to think about hobbies, but my mind is awash with graphic patterns, washes of watercolour, and fine lines of India ink.

One of my favourite art styles is Art Nouveau, as brought into being by the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. His careful use of line and colour make for some exquisite paintings, and his design aesthetic translates to a much broader range of materials such as home decor, architecture, and of course fashion. Even though Mucha worked almost 100 years ago, his influence resonates with the current fashion trends - giving us cosmic emblems, floating fabrics, and an abundance of detailed organic prints to inspire some truely fabulous spring and summerwear.

The Month of May

The Stars

Art Nouveau

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Last Straw & Get the Heck Out

In the last 2 weeks a lot of shit has gone down: I had my first Emergency Room visit in 20 years, I got offered a job, and I planned and executed a cross country move. This is what happens when you think you can relax apparently.

We’ll start with the story about the ER trip, since it’s by far the worst and I would rather get it out of the way. We open the curtains to a fabulous dinner & drinks scene with my Halifax BFF Danielle; spinach and artichoke dip, Sex & the City worthy dress, stimulating and scandalous conversation, cute servers, and a total of 3 Cosmopolitans. Upon returning home I execute my normal post-alcohol routine: drink as many glasses of water as I had shots of alcohol, watch something on tv for a bit, hang up fancy dress, and go to bed slightly more sober. Cue 2am when, unfortunately, drinking that much water has the annoying consequence of having to get up and take a trip to the washroom. Normally this is totally fine, but apparently that third drink was one too many because I promptly passed out after washing my hands (even drunk, hygeine is a reflex). Since my bathroom is pretty small I apparently hit something on the way down, and managed to bite almost through my lip. By 3am I was in a cab on the way to the ER after a paniced call to my parents in BC, with a prayer that I wouldn’t need stitches or have a concussion. After a 5 hour wait in the ER, an ectocardiogram, some surgical glue, and fending off the question if I was possibly pregnant about 4 times they sent me home with no clue why this little blip happened. I’m officially referring to this incident as my "Last Straw with the East Coast," since two days later I got a job offer across the country and started planning a hasty exodus.

Which bring us to Stories #2 & #3 (known cumulatively as “Get the Heck out of Dodge”). I may be willing to wait for the perfect pair of shoes or a book to go on sale normally, but this was one situation in which I let my impulsive Aries nature take over my learned patience. An hour after I got the call (on a precipitous Wednesday evening) about a fantastic West Coast job I had cancelled my internet service, disconnected my electricity, emailed a moving company, and called my parents to say “I’M COMING BACK; GET READY!” The East Coast and I have had some good times, but I was tired of not getting what I wanted out of the relationship, and it was time to call it quits. Exactly 8 days after I got the job offer I was back in the town that I grew up in, all my worldly posessions (including all 100+ pairs of shoes) were on route, and I had plans to hang out with my ex (and his motely crew of friends) the next day. That’s where I am now; back in the town that I swore I would never return to, in the house that I didn’t want to live in again, and hanging out with the people that I swore off years ago. And it feels fantastic. Well, until I start work and leave again.