Saturday, February 22, 2014

virginia frances sterrett @ CF, band spotlight (The North), and a sudden craving for white go-go boots


Hope you've had a nice Valentine's day. I know I did -- even though it involved more window shopping and laughing at things with friends on Twitter than it did cuddles and flowers. But still, there was plenty of chocolate, and that's all that mattered to me in the long run.

This is going to be another one of those posts that cover a variety of things, so without further ado:

This past Wednesday another post of mine was published over at College Fashion, featuring outfits inspired by both Virginia Frances Sterrett's illustration for Old French Fairy Tales and some trends seen at New York Fashion Week.


I've never really been much of a pastels person, so it was interesting to see how they played out on the runway -- especially when paired with metallics, a trend I absolutely adore. If you want to stay updated on Fashion Week season, fashin over at Livejournal is pretty consistent.

♡ ♡ 

Anyway, moving along now to newer things -- I never thought of creating the following section over at this blog, but for this band, I must. I don't know how often I'll lend my posts to this category, especially since I don't go out of my way to discover new bands as much as I used to, but I know there's some great groups out there that deserve more attention -- so let me know if you have any recommendations!

Band spotlight: The North

via @TheNorthBand on Instagram

I came across The North a few weeks ago on Twitter, and have been enjoying their music since. They recently had a gig over in Sheffield, for which they gave tickets to those lucky enough to be nearby, and quick enough to message them on Facebook in time!

They're described on their Reverbnation page as sounding like Kasabian, Miles Kane, The Stone Roses, Oasis, and Paul Weller. If you enjoy any of the aforementioned artists, I guarantee you'll enjoy some of the music The North has put up for streaming and download. Confident that 2014 is their year, this band certainly sounds promising to me! So far my favorite tracks are "Spiders", "Into the Fire", and "Out of Line".

If you're in the area, I'd keep my tabs on them and go to one of their shows if you can. Oh, and have extra fun for me, who is unfortunately all the way in sunny California. (Bad time to not be across the pond, huh? Don't even get me started on the excruciating wait for my favorite artists to play here. I'm not about to name names, but...)

You can listen to The North here, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Life stuff:

+ I'm seeing Lana del Rey in April! Maybe I'll see you there?

+ I'm still debating on whether to go to the St. Vincent show in March (whose latest album was, by the way, really good). I might have to pass on that one, and tighten the purse strings a little, because...

+ laptop screen broke. While the laptop itself still works, I can't see anything, so I've synced the data and have been accessing it on a desktop computer. But until I get that repaired (or get a new laptop entirely, since I've been encountering problems with it for a while now), I'll be unable to do any artwork or personal outfit posts. I miss my webcam. And Photoshop. God, I miss Photoshop.

+ I'm going for lighter hair -- a lighter brown, which will be a nice change from my super-dark-brown-to-the-point-it's-pretty-much-black hair. I have a specific shade I'm going for, but I certainly wouldn't mind if it turned out lighter than my ideal result. After years of reading reviews, I finally tried out Palty hair dye -- I highly recommend it if you have stubborn, dark, Asian hair like me that has completely refused to cooperate with American brand dyes. I don't think I left it in long enough, because it still looks the same unless you're in the sun (I tried out Raspberry Macaron), so I'll try again once I've let my hair rest for a while. But I'm definitely impressed. One thing I noticed after my experience with Palty is that, unlike with the several American brand dyes I've tried, Palty didn't dry out my hair, and left it feeling baby soft!

+ A few thrift/vintage stores in the Mission district have caught my eye, and I'm making some plans to go vintage store hopping sometime soon. I've got this 60's getup in mind, and a few pieces from which I'll be on the lookout for. (Why would I go to vintage stores looking for something I could get at any other store, anyway?) When I fall upon the 60's for style inspiration, I usually drift towards its shift dresses, hairstyles, and eye makeup -- not once have I considered the footwear. But the moment I looked over to its signature shoes, I've been thinking a lot about white go-go boots. I haven't had any luck locating something similar anywhere else -- most of my search results yield to boots of questionable quality and durability sold at costume/Halloween stores. No thanks.

+ Still on that topic: if there's an outfit I'm dying to recreate/channel, it's this one as worn by Suki Waterhouse in 2012 at London Fashion Week. It includes a refreshing, modern interpretation of go-go boots I certainly wouldn't mind seeing in my shoe cabinet:

+ I've been wasting time playing around with sets over at Polyvore. It's equal parts entertainment and torture. I don't know why I do it, though I suppose it provides me with ideas when I'm blanking out in the morning, and am in a hurry to catch my train.

+ I'll be writing up the next post for my personal style influences section soon. There's so much I want to showcase, so it's hard choosing who and what to feature next!

What I've been wearing: As much as I love my skirts, I'm definitely going back to wearing pants more often. I've also been painting my nails. I'm awful with nail art and being creative with my nails in general, but I've been wearing this metallic/holographic nail polish from Wet & Wild I got on sale a while ago, and it certainly amps up anything I wear it with, such as my favorite turtleneck.

What I've been inspired by: Ming Xi's street styleDevon Aoki, can you say no to Devon Aoki?! And monochromatic outfits, such as this number from Richard Nicoll's Fall/Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection:

What I've been listening to: The Raveonettes, Natalia Kills (have you seen her new video yet?), The North, and Drowners (who recently released their first album). There's also this cover of Leonard Cohen's "Memories" by The Last Shadow Puppets that I've only just come across now for some reason and, as you've probably guessed, haven't been able to stop listening to. 

What I've been reading: Still not reading anything outside of what's required for class. Since my last post, I've finished Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus (which I enjoyed) and Willa Cather's My Antonia (which admittedly put me to sleep in a few parts). Right now I'm reading Leonard Cohen's The Favourite Game, and yet another reread of The Great Gatsby for my American literature class. There are a lot of books I've been meaning to read, and the books I've been recommended is an exhaustive list  that only continues to grow -- but I'm always welcome to hear more, if you have any.

Friday, February 14, 2014

personal style influences #2: miles kane

"I’ve always loved that music, I’ve always loved clothes and I’ve always had my hairstyle – it ain’t anything new for me. If it’s become fashionable and mainstream, then it’s good that people are getting into the stuff I’ve been into for years. As long as I’m leading, I’ll be all right." (source)

Miles Kane

Ah, Miles. 

My dearest friends know how much I've come to adore not only the man and his music, but his fashion sense as well. (A sincere apology, by the way, to said close friends for the fact that I can never shut up about any combination of the three). In terms of my personal style, I owe Miles major thanks for gearing me towards embracing a few elements at last -- especially leopard print.

I love turning to musicians for fashion inspiration because of how forward and fearless they tend to be with their sense of style. When I come across music I really love, it tends to influence what I wear to a certain degree. It can be as minor as the music I'm listening to while getting dressed dictating what I walk out the door wearing, or as major as adopting a new look entirely.

With the help of Miles, this time around didn't just consist of a nod to particular pieces and ideas -- the impact on my wardrobe was quite significant, as it oriented me toward things I wasn't confident enough to try in the past. 60s fashion has always been a favorite of mine, but Miles was the main catalyst that brought me from admiring it to actually wearing it. I'd say he's near the top of the list when it comes to those who've greatly influenced my style in the past year -- if not at the very top. 

Though he dons sharp mod style and feathercut hairstyles reminiscent of the 60s, his fashion sense seamlessly embeds into our day and age, and continues to evolve like that of his music career. Former member of The Little Flames, lead singer and guitarist of The Rascals, and half of The Last Shadow Puppets duo, Miles is now taking Europe by storm as a solo artist.

That being said, I'm still waiting for him to tour here in the US so I can see him perform live at last. Hopefully, if we get to take a photo together, we'll both be wearing something sufficiently daring. And with the flash off. Flash isn't exactly the most flattering setting -- the last thing I want is to look bad in a photo with one of my favorite musicians -- and besides, the patterns he wears are delightfully flashy enough.

Channeling Miles

Plenty of menswear, but probably not the sort you're used to seeing around the office. Now, perhaps if said menswear were done with the workweek and hit up the bar for happy hour, then alright -- its discipline is headed in the right direction.

Pieces: Think tight. And I really do mean tight. If you thought your pants were tight, it's probably nothing compared to the pants Miles wears in a variety of colors and styles. White, red, dark blue with white pinstripes, animal print -- he certainly has an eye for trousers with character. Other garments include turtlenecks, classic polo shirtsleather jackets (and pants), and many suits. Simple coats, classic trench coats, coats with a touch of sheepskin, a touch of fur, or a full-blown fur coat.

Patterns: This deserves its own section because of the sheer amount he wears. Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, polka dotsleopard printchecker, heart patternspatterns I don't even know the name of...I've probably missed a few. Or twenty. Basically, if the pattern exists, chances are Miles has worn it. And he's probably paired that pattern with another pattern -- not that he doesn't already have a shirt with both of them on it.

Shoes: Loafers. (Jimmy Choo, Gucci, and Saint Laurent are some brands Miles wears.) Chelsea bootsOxfords.

Accessories: Necklaces, bracelets and rings. Sunglasses. Also, I'm not sure if this counts as an accessory per se, but if you happen to have a boat...

Beauty: He has sported several hairstyles through the years, and currently wears his hair short. Oh, and he had a brief eyeliner phase.

Colors: Well, a lot. (See: patterns section above.) Black, whitered, and blue seem to be staple colors -- think of men's 60's mod fashion. But why bother with simple color combinations when you've got an entire legion of patterns in your arsenal?

However, since it might take you time until you're comfortable leaving the house completely decked out in patterns (I can't even begin to tell you how long that took me), you can always fall upon those staple colors and pair it with a pattern if that's more your style. At the end of the day it's about you -- and Miles doesn't want you to forget that:

Follow Miles:

Monday, February 10, 2014

personal style influences #1: kiko mizuhara

I've decided to start a new series of posts over here at my blog! As the title suggests, these posts will cover various people who have come to influence -- or continue to influence -- my personal style.

I had originally planned to make a single post with a long list of all of those who have done just that, but because my style is ever-changing and something new comes at me quite often, I chose to opt for writing individual posts per person instead. Besides, the possibility that I would encounter a new huge influence after I'd published my post was all too likely.

That being said, I hope you enjoy them! First on the list is model and actress, Kiko Mizuhara.

Kiko Mizuhara

I first came across Kiko several years ago, while leafing through Japanese fashion catalogues. Several months after that, I saw her performance as Midori in the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami's best-selling novel, Norwegian Wood. Having recognized her from various photoshoots, I wanted to take a look at her personal style, and I liked what I saw. I even got a haircut modeled after hers at one point! It matched my style at the time so well: I was going through some sort of minimalist phase, and I loved how easy it was to manage.

The photoshoots I first saw her in were very clean cut in nature; they involved a lot of neutrals and simple pieces with the occasional pattern thrown in. Kiko's personal style, however, is more on the fun, sportier side. I've never been into sporty-chic garments (I honestly just look like I'm going to the gym when I'm wearing them!), but Kiko's style helped me to warm up to those pieces. I'm especially fond of the tracksuit-inspired top she's wearing in the image to the left. It works so well with dark denim and a classic red lip.

Channeling Kiko:

Pieces: Graphic sweaters/tees, denim, horizontal stripes, oversized sunglasses, sporty hats, thigh highs, menswear-inspired ensembles. Kiko tends to settle for more relaxed/loose tops and pairs those with tighter-fitting bottoms, such as skinny jeans or tights that show off her long legs. She also wears a lot of patterns and embellishments.

Shoes: Sneakers (either in bright colors or black or white), and platform shoes. The chunkier the heel or platform the better!

Beauty: Her hair is straight, and parted at the side or slightly off-center. Kiko's makeup is usually minimal, and it complements her fresh, simple hairstyle. If she's wearing lipstick it's likely a matte or satin finish.

Colors: Bright yellow, bright blues, neutrals, black and white.

Follow Kiko:

@ Twitter
@ Instagram

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

vincent van gogh @ CF, art update, and some lists

February already?

I still remember last February so well: finally braving wearing heels on a regular basis, getting really into Elementary's first season, allowing myself to pick up drawing again, and listening to some great songs from The National, Barbarossa, and The Raveonettes.

What will come from February this time around and what will I associate with it a year later? Hmm. Well, hopefully if I update here regularly enough I'll have something to look back at. At the very least I'll be here every other week since that's when my posts over at College Fashion are put up! Speaking of that...

My third article over at the Fashion Inspired by Art column was published today, and this week I've featured one of my favorite painters as well as my favorite painting, ever: Vincent van Gogh's "Almond Blossoms".


Looking for transition pieces for that article and New York Fashion Week starting tomorrow reminded me of something I realize every year: that I never know how to dress myself in the springtime. And don't even get me started on summer. I love my skirts, but I've come to love them paired with fleece leggings and boots.

Personally, my wardrobe and my taste align better with the colder months (going to university in San Francisco pretty much means it's always going to be chilly to some degree), so when I start seeing racks and racks of sheer tops it's a bit bewildering. Might be easier this time around since I've warmed up to brighter colors at last, but there's something about fall/winter fashion (and season) that will always beat spring/summer for me. (Then again, I live in California. If you're in an area where it's snowing and storming right now, feel free to tune me out.)

Oh, and speaking of spring, I'm in my second week of my spring semester right now. As much as I love sleeping in and staying up too late, it's nice to be back in some sort of routine. I'm only on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays so it's less exhausting than my previous semesters -- so far, at least. It looks like just enough work to keep me busy without interfering with internship stuff and working towards other personal goals. What are those goals, anyway?

I don't know. I feel like I'm on the cusp of something, something I can't quite pin down, and it's been leading me to do (or consider doing) a variety of things:
  • Open commissions for my art? Being on Society6 is nice, but I still don't make enough. We'll see.
  • Start doing outfit posts? The themed one for #JoanWatsonAppreciationWeek was fun so I might do more. Plus, my webcam is finally working more often than it isn't.
  • Write things that combine my interests in fashion and music and social justice? I'm always talking about at least one of those things, and one of the best ingredients for any project is passion. What could I turn that into?
  • Start an all-girl band like HAIM (even though I can't play an instument)? Alright, I'm kidding. (Or am I?) But I can't stop listening to them lately; Days Are Gone is such a fun album! Take a look at them playing live below -- I dare you to keep still during Danielle's guitar solo and not to smile at bassist Este:

Band lifestyle daydreams aside (something my friends and I never shut up about) -- who knows where I'm heading or what's ahead, really? I just need to make sure that I handle whatever's approaching and that I handle it well, so that it doesn't overwhelm me. Two days on campus might not be a lot of time, but the work that comes out of it is another matter entirely. It will inevitably push back a number of things.

I'm still drawing now and then to keep in touch with my current creative streak. Here are some drawings I've done since my last update: two of Joan Watson and one of model Suki Waterhouse. Click on the thumbnails to view the larger images on their original posts on Tumblr:


Anyway, that more or less sums up what's been going on. I'll be back soon.

To end this post, I've come up with a sort of summary to close most of my updates with.

Till next time!

What I've been wearing: these heeled chelsea boots, faux leather jackets (I already had one, but I couldn't resist buying another when it was only $7!), BITE BEAUTY's high pigment lip pencil in Rhubarb. Also, I'm trying to go back to wearing jeans after months of alternating between skirts and black jeggings.

What I've been inspired by: various shades of blue (particularly navy), Este Haim's skater dresses, Hana Haley's photography, Liu Wen's street style, and especially Alexa Chung's hair. I'm thinking about changing my super dark brown hair to a slightly lighter chocolate brown in time for spring. My hairstyle has grown to resemble Alexa's so I've been drawing ideas from her, and I'm awfully tempted. (I've even started wearing my hair wavy. Maybe if I'm lucky some Charlotte Olypmia kitty flats will pop up in my closet overnight.)

What I've been listening to: HAIM, London Grammar, The Last Shadow Puppets, St. Vincent. St. Vincent's coming here in March, to the Fox Theater in Oakland -- maybe I'll see you there?

What I've been reading: For pleasure? So far, nothing. I've yet to pick up my reading habit again. I'm taking two literature classes at the moment so books from there are all I'll be reading until I come across something I just have to pick up. I have a Goodreads account where I keep track of my books, though.