Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Giveaway!



This top has always reminded me of Hokusai's Great Wave or View of Mount Fuji. It's a size small (says medium though) and is made of acetate/elastane (stretchy!). I have not worn it in an age, but it always seemed too special to chuck in a recycling bin. So, for those who are interested in receiving a New Year's package, leave a comment on this post! If there are more than one of you, I will draw a name on Sunday and let the winner know who s/he is and if in Europe/elsewhere, send it (and a scarf out of my collection, check here) in the next weeks, if in the States, when I am there as of the 18. January... 

As the year draws to an end, 
I also want to say a big fat thank you 
to all you regular readers (and comment posters)
and wish you a happy new year!
 



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nutcracker


ballet.co.uk

I've got a thing about nutcrackers, but until this Christmas, never had one of my own. The way their huge mouths open so wide fascinated/frightened me as a kid, and still does. At ballet school when I was a tot, I once interrupted a dancer in his routine by innocently opening the door to the studio in which he was practicing. He was in the middle of a jump and it looked like he was coming at me with his mouth gaping, his eyes blazing, his hair flowing out behind him. It took me forever to calm down, and I still recall it as if it were yesterday.

The object was originally designed by often frustrated miners in Germany who made them to resemble powerful people like kings, policemen and soliders thus placed at their service to perform the lowly task of cracking nuts!

Starting with the little ornament below, I may just start a collection...


Friday, December 26, 2008

"Despair has It's Own Calms"



Someone was listening when I was pining for a pair of long black leather gloves! AND to my raving about Werner Herzog's adaptation of the Dracula legend. I loved Bram Stoker's novel, and Coppola's rendition is highly entertaining, but as in the words of one imdb user: "Nosferatu's Count Dracula (sic) is not a charming eastern European gentleman with a quirky bloodsucking habit and a lovesick soul, he is a wily, terrifying, inhuman, obsessive predator". I guess I'm a stickler for keeping to original text. If you are like me and don't require nonstop action and special effects, the stark but and stunning cinematography of this motion picture will captivate you too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Snow Queen


Margaret Tarrant

There's been no snow in Vienna yet, and because I am kind of missing it, I reread a favorite childhood story to get the feel again. It's amazing how much gets lost over time. I had forgotten what a long tale it is, and all about the robber girl, the old woman sorceress and the crow. Come to think of it, it's one of the few stories I know in which a female sets out to save a bewitched boy....



Edward Dulac

The Morning After


Flex, Donaukanal

It's tradition in Austria to serve a simple repast on Christmas Eve and go all out on the 25th. We, of course, couldn't wait, and dished up a sumptuous meal already last night. The weather being beautiful today, a digestive walk along the Danube canal like I took a while ago when I shot this picture would be in order - alas, I simply cannot budge.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Image: majorlycool.com

Things have gotten a bit busy around here lately and outfit pics all turned out lousy - to explain the lack of posts. I'm working until the 24th and will be shopping when not - gotta have enough goodies around the house to make the holidays cosy and warm. This year, apart from gaining the obligatory few pounds, I want to relive a little childhood by listening to The Nutcracker, rereading (or better yet, take turns reading out loud) favorite fairy tales and lying around in my pyjamas all day! 
 
Wishing everyone a happy, fun and relaxed Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chocolatey



All the pre-Christmas chocolate surrounding me 
is starting to affect my outfits!



Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Love Her Umbrella


seen and sneakily photographed  on Liechtensteinstraße, Vienna

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Frills and Hedonistic Principles



After a long absence of outfit posts (it's been too dark in the morning, ditto when I come home in the evening), this is what I wore to our work Christmas lunch at Haas&Haas. The skirt is thrifted, the blouse thrifted and altered, and the shoes old ones of mine which I had reheeled (from stilettos to big fat comfortable block heels!) to be able to wear them more often.

Dining at H&H is highly recommendable (I had delicious pikeperch in a parmesan crust, and Gateau Natalie, a kind of death by chocolate) and afterwards, you can go crazy over their selection of teas, coffees, jams, honeys, chocolates, and gifts in the shop part.

From their website: "The development of the scope and business of Haas&Haas has always been characterized by hedonistic and aesthetic principles". Just my kind of philosophy!


Haas & Haas (tea selection)

My lovely Christmas wreath (gifted!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Christmas Mood




Last year, due to work stress, I didn't visit a single Christmas market. 
I'm certainly making up for it now. 
On Saturday we also had lots of fun at the Christ Church Bazaar!






Spittelbergmarkt

Monday, November 24, 2008

Little Joys


Gloves found thrifting

Sky in the morning

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Green Scarf: Three Ways

This scarf went from a collector in Germany to a newly converted foulard fan in Norway and another in Vienna. The latter was not terribly innovative in her wearing of it, but check out the cool scarf obi and belt the first two came up with. Don't they just make you want to dig up some old neckwear and flaunt it?!


La Gattina

Here is the owner with one of his many treasures:

foulard addict

Sorry to bore you with a repeat photo, but this was my favorite outfit:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Bazaars

I love a Christmas bazaar, with a white elephant table, home-made yummies, second hand books, crafts, and a good old tombola! So, here are the dates for "English-speaking" Christmas events in Vienna, where I plan to stuff my face and buy as many gifts as possible - knowing that the proceeds will be donated to charities! Maybe see you there...

Click on the text in red for more details:

Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, 15.11.2008
10:30 - 16:00
Hotel Le Meridien
Opernring 13 - 15
1010 Vienna

Christmas Bazaar
Saturday, 29.11.2008
10:30 - 16:30
Bundesamtsgebäude
Radetzkystraße 2
1020 Vienna

UNWG Bazaar
Saturday, 06.12.2008
10:00 - 17:00
Austria Center Vienna
(U1 station Kaisermühlen)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Values to Live By

Yesterday, I met a stranger - an artist and gifted listener who asked questions which actually made me have to organize my thoughts before answering. Coffee and conversation inspired a more extended think about some newly developed values that have made my life more interesting and meaningful in recent months - hope this quickly compiled list encourages you too!
  • Respecting nature - even if I don't live in the country, I can do my little bit by buying biodegradable and recyclable goods, such as household products by Frosch and organic cosmetics by the drugstore DM's Alverde which are lovely-smelling and affordable.
  • Producing less waste - I always try to take a fabric bag along when shopping, and give any plastic ones that find their way into my home to charity organizations, since they can really use them! In this country, it goes without saying that paper, glass, metal etc. goes into the appropriate recycling containers!
  • Buying smart - that starts with groceries. At some point, I noticed how much food was going into the bin because it went off. Now I plan my shopping, and it makes such a difference! Before choosing a bunch of herbs or vegetables, I try to think of different ways of preparing it over the next few days so it doesn't get wasted.
  • Buying preloved - I don't want to contribute to mass production and the exploitation that usually goes with it, so most of my wardrobe, furniture and decor is secondhand. If you think wearing previously owned attire is gross, remember that much of it has only been worn once. To others' advantage, rich people often don't want to be seen in the same outfit twice, and ever more secondhand designer store shops are sprouting up in this city.
  • Making and repairing - I started collecting attractive material left in charity shops and have found many practical ways of sewing it up for items needed around the house. Quality obviously lasts longer, and in the rare event that something rips or breaks, I try to mend it instead of using it as an excuse to run out and get a new one.
  • Decluttering - whatever I don't like or use anymore goes to charity too. I learned that from a great friend of mine who regularly gives clothes, books and decor away. Why sit on your stuff if someone else can enjoy it more? If you can't abide not seeing a certain piece anymore, give it to a friend so you can always pay it a visit!
  • Combining - the desire for new clothes and accessories can be strong. For variety, I try to combine my old rags in new and original ways, and incorporate jewelry in my everyday outfits instead of waiting for a special occasion to get it out.
It obviously takes more effort to live consciously, but is infinitely more rewarding than just being a consumer! In what ways do you live creatively and environmentally aware?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Man is least himself...

...when he talks in his own person. 
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth" 
Oscar Wilde

I got home from dancing at 4 in the morning! Hallowe'en has really caught on in Austria, either for commercial reasons or as another opportunity to "let the pig out" for one night as the saying goes here (the traditional carnival "Fasching" occuring one night in February). In any case, the evening was too much fun to think of photographing, but perhaps you have already had your fill of vampires and zombies.

Easier on the eye is is gorgeous Scarlett Johansson below, starring in "A Good Woman" (a nice adaptation of "Lady Windermere's Fan") in dreamy 1930s attire. 

I want a tiny sequined cape just like this one!


Oh, the lovely ruffles and jewelry!

Helen Hunt - the brazen hussy!


By the way, Oscar Wilde fans out there: a new film of "Dorian Gray" will be released next year, with Colin Firth as Lord Wotton and Ben Barnes as the narcissist. I. can't. wait!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Second Hand Shopping Spree

Lately, I've been doing a lot of decluttering, a LOT. What is left over is mostly basics, with black predominating. At 16, I was a subtle Goth - you can't really go wrong when swathing yourself completely in noir. In the meantime, however, much silliness (leopard print coats, tapestry shoes, buckled sweaters) has found its way into my cupboard, burdening me with heaps of rags to recycle time and time again. Put all together, I have probably filled a whole charity shop!

Maybe it is necessary to try out different styles in order to (re-)find what truly suits you, and more importantly, what doesn't. Some people get it right away (like the many lovely young style bloggers out there - envy!), and some, like me, alas, take forever. To hopefully put an end to looking ridiculous and wasting money, I herewith declare that experiments with colors or styles that are not me are over! 

This new resolution was taken privately two days ago, after which I went on a bit of a spending spree and came up with the following items, all pretty neutral and all preloved:


Dolce & Gabbana

Diesel

Top: Marc O'Polo

Silk jumper: Paul and Joe
Dress: Illegible brand

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Confessions



Yesterday, I broke down for the first time in months and bought something new: this scarf. I love it to death already. It's huge and warm and goes with everything. I sat around all evening wrapped in it, realizing that a strict diet of thrifting makes me want to binge like crazy once tasting a bit of newness. Because I loathe trotting around town on a mission (nothing ever gets found that way anyway), I logged onto ebay for the first time and also made my first bid. Yikes! Regrets began as soon as I confirmed (typical). It's a steal though and I made a resolution to only look as things under a certain price in order to avoid temptation, and in future, not bid the same day.

As I suspect some of you are seasoned ebuyers, what is your experience with online shopping? Do you usually get what you expected, and how much do you purchase this way compared to going into stores?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Fog


Photo: joancase.com

This week, a mysterious fog descended on the city of Vienna, obscuring all sight and causing all sorts of mayhem, such as my combining two items of clothing I had been despairing about since quite some time. The one is rather tight-fitting and the other too loose, and thus, neither got worn much. In the weirdness evoked by this mist, I put the two together, et voila - a new outfit!


Turtle neck: Patrizia Pepe
Top with black tube: Esteve
Trousers: gifted
Shoes: Humanic

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lonely, or Just Alone?


Photo: tate.org.uk

Edward Hopper is currently being shown in an exhibition called "Western Motel" at the Kunsthalle in Vienna. Several of his paintings and many drawings/sketches are on display, along with works by various contemporary artists influenced by his work. I was really looking forward to going but ended up disappointed by much of the newer material, of which there was more than by Hopper himself. I liked the videos but was appalled by the installations recreating Hopper's painting settings. At the risk of sounding like a philistine: they were so badly executed, at least visitors should have been allowed to sit in the life-size one and be photographed! Alas, I couldn't find any postcards in the museum shop either.

Has anyone else seen this show yet? What did you think?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recycling Both Ways



Blouse: thrifted
Vest: Mango
Jeans: James
Shoes: thrifted

Yesterday, I came home with three thrifted items of clothing (including this blouse which has stylized roosters on it!) and even outdid my wardrobe resolution of divesting it of as many things as I newly acquire, by getting rid of seven things. Very catharthic! Some of them were things I had recently thrifted, however, which made me realize I am sadly not yet mistress of my sartorial self. Of course, recycling something that only cost a few euros is not as painful as giving away more expensive things, but I would like even this not to happen anymore.

Andrea from A Cat of Impossible Color has synchronistically put a great list together for managing one's wardrobe. I especially like the rule about only investing in something if one can think of at least three ways to wear it and avoiding buying things that require an additional purchase before it works...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Black Friday


Scarf: on loan from Foulard Addict
Blazer: thrifted
Top: Armani Exchange
Trousers: gifted
Shoes: Pura Lopez

It's been about a month since my last outfit post - the guilt is killing me, so here is a reconstruction of what I wore to work on Friday. I bought this 70s/80s? blazer about a year ago and was tempted to give it away several times because the cut seemed so outmoded and I couldn't find anything to combine it with. What prevented me was the great shape it is in coupled with the hope that one day, inspiration would hit. Today, I am so grateful I kept it!

Grape Harvest





Oh, what fun to labor hard outdoors in the morning, and celebrate a friend's exhibit opening in the evening. I think lazing about the day after, ie. today, is quite in order!