08 June, 2011

On environment, inspiration, and being a sponge...

Kimberley at Wildfox is killing it. Always. But lately she's upped her game and feathered in more personal posts with her usual photo-heavy/word-light fare. As such, my addiction to her blog has reached a worrisome new level. Nine weeks of bed rest is really just a blog-stalking enabler, and Kimberley is my unwitting prey.

Anyway... she recently posted a fantastic piece on personal inspiration and the response from readers was just as great. I love reading about the big and little things that inspire others in their everyday life- so this post was so so sooooo much fun. I'm going to plagiarize myself a bit now and use my own comment to her as explanation on how inspiration works for me.

For my part, I feel like a big sponge when it comes to inspiration. I tend to soak in a bit of everything that I surround myself with, so I try very hard to curate my life as much as possible surrounding myself with the people and things that make me happy, that I consider beautiful or lovely in some way, and that trigger deeper inspiration in myself. It tends to be like a spiraling train of thought that revolves around fashion but rarely ever starts there.

Architecture, Paumes books, mood boards and collages, biographies, my precious family, my happy little plants and flowers, the things that make me laugh, endless education, squishy-faced animals, shades of pink and cream, Paris and the sandy dirt in the parks there, the gardens at Versailles, the beaches back home, finches and little old birdcages, goldfish, Montana spray paint and home-made stencils, fancy teas, the artwork on our walls, the artwork we find on walls outside, Kokeshi dolls, little tiny taxidermy animals, cherry blossoms, fine pointed Sakura pens, charcoal and watercolors, travelling, music, farmers markets, my lovely little home, creating vignettes, rose oil, coconut lotion, spa days, Mexican hot chocolate, grapefruit Perrier, lemon Pelegrino, dark dark chocolate, origami paper, kissing, photography, heirlooms, cooking, carousels, re-purposing, warm weather, fruit and animal patterns, lychees fresh from the tree, pom poms, tutus, stripes, polka dots, quirks, people watching...

These things (and so much more) make up my life. They occupy the space in my head and (if I'm lucky), allow me to catch glimpses of a collective consciousness that will become a trend two seasons from now. They help me to anticipate as accurately as I'm able. And what is apparel buying if not anticipation? We clear our minds, cross our fingers, and try to see the future... Blogs inspire me too. Growing up in an age of zines in place of blogs, I can say that the blog age is 100x better. It's instant gratification, and comradery. Being someone extremely sensitive to their environment has both its benefits and drawbacks. When my home or work space is not a reflection of my (pathetically) artistic temperament, it's difficult for me to control my moods and impossible for me to be either creative or productive. But when the space around me is balanced with the visuals, sounds and smells that make me happy... oh my gosh, every door is open, the roof floats away to reveal limitless possibility and life is extraordinary.

Thank you Kimberley, for being an inspiration. Thank you for giving us behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life and your collections. You have become an invaluable tool in my trending forecast pocket and I am SO incredibly grateful to you for that. You are as lovely as they come.

04 June, 2011

That time of year? I'm homesick. Yet again...

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."  ~Kahlil Gibran

This stupid quote really set me off today. I mean, it's a beautiful quote... obviously... but it just got me to thinking about what "nature" means here in California- and what it means back home. It's like two separate worlds, and two separate definitions. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know what "nature" means anymore.

My nature is wet with warm water, constantly growing, and in ten thousand shades of green.

Here it's cold rain, parks, oak trees, apples and oranges, poppies and lavender, snakes, acorns, deer, mountain lions, dry, brittle hills in varying shades of brown- or struggling to turn green just briefly a few times of year. Seagulls, hard grey sand, cold dark water, sea lions, and kelp...

These things still feel so foreign and alien to me. I can never quite get used to the dryness of California soil, and the weird smell of California beaches. And I often feel guilty for raising my children here and for these things being what they're now used to. I just really miss my island. I'm sad that my children aren't running barefoot through soft, muddy, jungly trails like I did- never ever thinking about snakes, or mountain lions, or poison oak, because they don't exist there. I miss the big, soft, warm sand that you can push your feet way down deep in, and floating in clear, clean salty water before rinsing off in cold fresh water ponds. I miss jumping on my horses in the back yard and seeing the faces I've known my whole life all over town. I want to scream at myself, ACCLIMATE ALREADY, this is home now!!! But when will it really feel like that?

03 June, 2011

A few of my favorite marinière moments...

There are a few French basics that never go out of style: Repettos, K. Jacques, ballet flats, slim black capri pants, Bensimon's, Gitanes, and the perfect striped t-shirt - "la marinière." It always looks just right, and you can never have too many.

Unconvinced? See: Coco Chanel, Jean Seberg, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Edie Sedgwick, and just about every other iconically chic woman in the world. It's an adorable culmination of all things clean, classic, striped, nautical and timeless.

I love this look, skirted for Spring, with tailored shorts for Summer, layered with a crisp blazer and jeans for Fall, and hiding under scarves, wool trousers, and warm trench coats for Winter.

Here's what I know about the French favorite... "marinière", or the Breton shirt.
The long-sleeved striped cotton garment (traditionally, the stripes begin around the breastbone and it has a boat neck). You know the one, you should probably have 2 or 3 — justifiably, as all are different (to the keen eye, at least).

The Breton striped shirt originated in Brittany— a French province that occupies the peninsula between the English Channel and Bay of Biscay. It's the traditional garment of choice among French fishermen— which may explain its nautical affiliation. And incidentally, the shirt bears a striking resemblance to the Brittany flag.

2010's infatuation with Military fashion was saturated by ARMY and Air Force styling, meaning naval-influenced pieces went largely overlooked. As the military trend winds down for spring 2011, and we turn to new influences - the nautical may be overlooked entirely. But I don't despair. In fact, I tend not to think of the marinière as a strictly nautical or military trend. I prefer, rather, to see its timelessness. Its long-lived contribution to fashion and its perfect palette of simplicity, comfort, fun, and easy elegance.

Photo source

01 June, 2011

I have a new life goal...

Recreate THIS!

My poor little piano is making a super sad face right now because it had no idea what it was missing out on all this time.
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