A Poisonous Glamour

Thanksgiving 2016 is complex. It’s difficult to feel entirely thankful when so much in America is awol. There are many precious things to be grateful for, but it’s also important to recognize the suffering of minorities, Native Americans at Standing Rock, women, and anyone who identifies as other. This state of confusion brings to mind a juxtaposed legend, my dearly beloved Leigh Bowery: the beautified monster.

enhanced-31970-1411758030-6 I recently re-watched The Legend of Leigh Bowery documentary, and am feeling inspired by off-putting opulence, which I think can be a real driving force.

efcfeadfff1c4b44536b4e8074d0f9d3 My wonderful sponsor, SHOPBOP, is having a sale and I wanted to share some overt pieces of clothing that I’m just mad about! Get em’ while you can! Sale ends late Thursday evening. For the record:

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Bewitched by a Fall Spell

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Oh me oh my! There are so many wonderful designs up for grabs on Shopbop’s HUGE online sale! :O I’ve gathered some of my favorite pieces for this October-inspired post, and I hope you will enjoy. Take advantage for before time runs out! Tomorrow is the last day!

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~Folky fashions~

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Records for your autumn nights: 1) Matteah Baim- Death of the Sun 2) Rio en Medio- The Bride of Dynamite 3) Odetta- Sings Ballads & Blues 4) Grateful Dead- Shakedown Street

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I recently dined at one of my favorite new restaurants, Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens. They serve organic, plant based food that will blow your mind! I follow their restaurant on instagram, and was excited about this dish which can also accompany the perfect fall evening: sautéed shiitake mushrooms served over jasmine rice, grilled artichoke, roasted sweet potato served with truffle ketchup (What even is that? I must know!), grilled asparagus and almond coleslaw!

It’s also worth noting that they make a ridiculously tasty chocolate mousse pie, which is made from cacao, cashews, coconut, dates, vanilla, pecans, and sea salt. I want 500 more, but that might perhaps be a bit gluttonous…

 

Indigo Child: Japanese Boro

boro-3036-1I would like to introduce you to a new friend! Their name is Boro. Sure, the literal translation may be ‘rags’, but to me, they are a beautiful folk tale–and some of my favorite fabric!

Oh, it also encompasses an aesthetic and methodology of repairing and mending clothes and household textiles. Vintage boro quilts and work wear garments have become collectors’ items (ugh of course $$$), but that’s because they are revered for the intricacy of their mending and scraps of fabric used in their repair (often antique indigo-dyed kimono fabric scraps). The fact that the entire garment could then be disassembled and returned to its original form as a bolt of fabric is pretty remarkable in terms of sustainability! It begs the question: How can we maximize utility and minimize waste?

boro-3032-30verygoodoldboro22222_1024x1024In pre-industrial Japan, only the upper class dahlings were permitted to wear silk clothing. In contrast, commoners dressed in humble garments made from homespun coarse hemp and cotton fabrics. These same unrefined, handmade textiles were also employed to create utilitarian articles for the home.

boro-3036-10boro-3036-11From very ancient times until the 1600s, Japanese peasants wore clothing made from common hemp. Rural Japanese craftswomen spun the hemp and handloomed the fiber threads into usable fabric which was turned into everyday farm field clothing and household articles. The Japanese did not distinguish between linen and hemp, the two have similar fibers and appearance and are referred to by the same Japanese word, asa. One time, I madeout with a boy named Asa–and this is now cooler. Hemp fabric was the only material available for general use in Japan until the introduction of cotton.

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Beginning in the Edo Period, seafaring Japanese traders sailed up and down the coastal waters trading in used, discarded indigo cotton cloth. This cloth was acquired in Western Japan and then sold into the poorer Northern rural and seaboard communities. Japanese farm women purchased these used fabrics and gave them new life by remaking them into boro field clothing (noragi), futon covers (futongawa) and other useful household textiles.


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In the Northern Japanese islands industrious Japanese women worked with used cotton indigo dyed fabrics to perfect several sewing techniques in order to give renewed life to the secondhand cloth. They created new uses for these discarded materials by layering several pieces of cloth, attaching each together with sashiko stitching and then, if needed, boro patching them. Subsequently, these patchwork textiles could then be reassembled into warm clothing, futon covers and other common household items for the family’s use.

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Sashiko is a traditional form of Japanese hand sewing that uses a simple running stitch sewn in repeating or interlocking patterns, usually piercing through several layers of fabric. From the 17th century onward, creative rural Japanese seamstresses discovered an important feature of sashiko stitching. If the layers of fabric were held together with sashiko stitching, home made hemp and cotton clothing provided much better protection from the elements, lasted longer and even added a creative and individual flare to their handmade garments. As a result, sashiko grew into a widely favored sewing technique and quickly became established throughout Japan for use as a utilitarian and dramatic embroidery.

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The Japanese discovered that cotton was a difficult fabric to dye except with indigo. Consequently, organic indigo dye was widely used throughout Japan as a coloring and designing agent for cotton textiles. Kasuri, katazome and shibori patterns were popular and were often incorporated into the fabrics’ design. These patterns enriched the fabrics, evoking a feeling of joy and sometimes mythical significance, thereby helping to alleviate the routine drudgery of farm life.

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At the time when Japan was struggling to recover from the devastation of the Second World War, the Japanese regarded boro textiles with great shame in that these utilitarian textiles served as an open reminder of Japan’s impoverished past. Today both Japanese and international collectors regard boro textiles as striking examples of a bygone and lost folk craft. These same textiles are cherished and collected for the stories they tell and the windows they open into Japanese folk culture and history.

boro-3122-8shikimonoboro2_1024x1024boro-3122-1I think it’s really special how this style was so looked down on, and now it’s regarded as some of the finest stitchwork and sewing in our history. I always preferred rags to riches, anyway! Hehe.

boro-3120-1I hope you enjoyed this post about being an Indigo Girl!

Historical text and photos from: Kimono Boy and Sri Threads

SumikkoGurashi Style

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I am pairing some sweetheart outfits along with instagrams by adorable blogger-boo Rainbowholic! Particularly- her visit to the pop-up cafe Kissa Sumikko (Cafe Sumikko Gurashi) Since I SO VERY SADLY could not be there to experience this blissful interior myself, I am of course creating my own visit there virtually!

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Reality Studio, Mira Trouser

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Rachel Comey, Slim Legion Pant

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Kurt Lyle, Olivia Suspender Jumpsuit

Pants and jumpsuit are on sale at one of my favourite shops, Mr Larkin!

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57-1-600x600Sumikkogurashi is a character by San-X and touches upon how shy Japanese people can be. All the character friends have some issue in their personality which makes them like hiding in the corner.

She Had Daydreams

On repeat!
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Reading this memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch several times over. Her stories serve as a pill of truth that I’m quite content with overdosing on.

As expected, her LENNY Interview was extraordinary.

I will also note that her TED Talk has become my bible, and continues to kick my limbs into GO.

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Ever since I found the poems of Rosmarie Waldrop, I’ve felt found. She makes me see that there is place for my words and my experimentation and lack of confine.

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Revisiting this shaky-voiced gem.

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Also pretty obsessed with the Fluid station on Soma FM. They play instrumental hiphop, future soul and liquid trap. I don’t even know what those mean, but the soundscapes are really magical and create special worlds of their own. What is Soma FM, you ask? Why, I’ll tell you? 1) It’s one of my top favorite earthly things 2) Soma FM is over 30 unique channels of listener-supported, commercial-free, underground/alternative radio broadcasting. All music hand-picked by SomaFM’s award-winning DJs and music directors. There are stations such as Secret Agent, Leftcoast 70′s, lots of interesting outerspace inspired stuff, loungey beats, soul/jazz fusion/underground 80′s, and way more. The best thing about it is that it’s all music that I’ve never heard or would have found on my own.

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IMG_0255If you’re a part of the fan club, you know Stranger Things is a throwback marvel- addicting as sugar. It was also so beautiful to see child characters that had such conviction and the full spectrum of human emotion. The casting is so great! I couldn’t stop watching! -BARB 4EVER-

La Haute Bourgeoisie with Gucci

643306_in_pp714643_in_ppI am loving the expansion that’s taken place over @ Gucci, thanks to Alessandro Michele! You know, less stiff-faced, stick-assed, Upper East Side snobism, and flirty, fresh, playful modern romance. The runway referenced bourgeois Renaissance, ‘70s sport and ‘80s Italian couture.  This might just be one of my favorite RTW collections ever  (~˘▾˘)~

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I’d do just about anything for these shoes  !  (ಥ﹏ಥ)
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The print details remind of one of my favorite artists (Peter Max)’s artwork

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Peter Max “design for a paper airplanes book” (1971)

643493_in_pp682445_in_pp682467_in_ppPhotos from NET A PORTER