Making Outfits

After a lovely post-Thanksgiving lunch on Monday at Tiyana’s mom’s place, complete with burek, ajvar and knedle, I set out to visit a dear friend who had asked me for help in making sense of the contents of her closet.  Truth.  She wanted me to construct outfits from her work-appropriate wardrobe, namely 15 collar shirts in various colours and patterns, 10 pairs of gray or black pants, 2 midi-length skirts, 50+ pairs of shoes and very few accessories, all laid out on her bed when I arrived.   No easy feat given how (in)appropriately we all know I dress for work.
Between laughs of despair, we succeeded in making three outfits, getting rid of numerous redundant pieces and making a list of items in which she is to invest for the fall (a colourful blazer, loose-fitting silk button ups, patterned neck scarves, patterned tights and a black pencil skirt).
Below is my friend’s first progress update.
Cher Superfora,
This past weekend I had a very helpful session with my personal Superfora consultant regarding my wardrobe, specifically its suitability for, and application to, the workplace.  I learned about patterns and began the slow process of learning to recognize when plaid and stripes can go together.  I learned a bit about accessories but will still require google tutorials regarding what type of necklace (if any) goes best with a boat-neck top.
I am sorry to report that Day 1 of my life of Improved Outfit Coordination did not go as well as I had hoped. My intention was to start the week off right, with a cheap and cheerful red top, a black skirt and an edgy silver belt (a metal one that would let people know that I mean business, in the agressive, confident 1987 pre-market crash sort of way).  Just as I was about to put on my outfit, however, I realized that my legs felt pokey (note: pokey is a euphemism for whatever adjective best describes a dangerous jungle).  Given that I allocate only about seven minutes for dressing each morning, there was no time for hair removal, and the skirt went back into the closet (okay, fine. It went onto the floor.)
Feeling defeated (and late), I resorted to an old standard: striped button-up shirt and grey pants. In a last-ditch effort to include something special in my outfit, I added a dull silver belt. It helped, but not really. Not enough for Superfora to be proud of me.  I improved things somewhat, later in the evening, when I traded the work pants for black cigarette pants and put the belt around my waist, on top of the striped shirt (which I left untucked). I now appeared less boring and more appropriately dressed for a serious night of 1990s RnB singing with my beloved choir. (Side note: we had a special guest tonight. It was Buck 65. I wondered if he noticed my belt.)
Tomorrow I shall try again. I can’t promise that I will shave my  legs (winter is coming, after all) but I will maybe dare to pair patterns. (Not of my own choosing. I’m not ready for that yet. Tomorrow I will go with Superfora’s vest/shirt suggested combination.)
As promised, I will continue to update you on my progress.
Best regards,

I will post photos of the outfits sometime next week.


Swoon’s Musical Architecture

One of my biggest crushes is Callie Curry, the artist also known as Swoon.  This past spring, I watched a talk she gave at the Pratt Institute, an independent TED event, and I have been hooked ever since (thanks, C).  In it, she explained how using art and will to produce something unexpected can create perceptual shifts in people.  She likens the element of surprise to creating cracks of possibility in the world’s surface that can lead to positive change.  She explains these ideas more clearly and eloquently, so watch the talk yo!  You too will succumb to her charm.

This blog post isn’t going to be a mini biography of hers because I know you can do a better job of hunting down that information than I can.  Instead, it is to share why I think she’s so stellar and to let you in on one of her amazing upcoming projects.  She’s talented beyond belief, yes.  Many artists are.  But she’s also determined to do good, be it through her charity work building houses in Haiti or through her street art.  She uses her talents to creatively reach out to and connect with others.  And she’s just so damn likeable.

She is currently embarking on a new project, with sound collaborator Taylor Shepherd, called musical architecture, whereby they plan to build an interactive public sculpture in New Orleans. The sculpture will take the form of an inhabitable house with the purpose of giving back to the citizens of New Orleans by allowing them to use the house as a musical vehicle.  Watch the 2-minute video about the fantastical project here:

Only 2 days left to donate.

(Image of the quarter-scale model of the musical house via Kickstarter)

My New Ride

I got a new bike.  A men’s Miele road bike.  Even before the cash had left my long fingers, I had decided to immediately trade out the original black tires and ugly 1980s foam handlebars.  I was dying to personalize this beauty and make it mine.  Back at home, I mentally ran through the colour spectrum settling on electric blue tires and matching grips.  Kinda over the top but it’s my first road bike and I want it to be flashy.  The bike store owner instinctually wasn’t feeling the blue and after testing it out myself, she was right.  Her suggestions for accent colour alternatives were lime green, white, fuchsia or red.

Trying out various colour combinations, the other store customers were absorbed into the decision process too.  I wasn’t into the lime green (too popular) or white (too boring) but we all agreed that the bike looked slick with red tires and grips.  Many liked the fuchsia as well, which I opposed because I didn’t want my bike to look too girly.  The frame is baby pink; my attempts to avoid a girly looking bike were basically shot from day one.

I opted for the red.  She looks like a cinammon heart and cotton candy explosion and has aptly been named Candyland.  Here she is.

My next bike post will focus on how I dress for riding when everything I own is short and tight.