Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seize the opportunity

The blog's going to be fairly dormant due to end-of-semester crunch time and camera woes.  But I still know a good photo op when I see one.

Melissa likes handmade clothes, and shoots for a Renaissance or Gypsy feel.  (Read more about Gypsies, or Roma as they call themselves, here.)  The repetition of brick red tones, and the subtle integration of dramatic elements (leather vest and hood) into an ordinary outfit, give her the feel of a modern-day fae that travels through time or passes through parallel universes.  Makes life feel a little less mundane for us onlookers in boring, "regular" outfits : P

Speaking of opportunities, I'm still having fun with dresses and leggings while the weather holds.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fun with Tights

As I predicted, it's getting harder to update this thing regularly as the semester progresses.  It's particularly hard to get a critical mass of photos in a short amount of time, meaning that the first person I photograph in a week has to wait several days before seeing their pic online.  I may start using "running posts", uploading photos as I take them.  And/or taking more photos of myself, since it's easier to set up a tripod than to troll the streets, find someone who's dressed cool but not in a hurry, and work up the courage to approach them.

In any case, first up is Alise (pronounced ah-LEES), one of those folks who stands out in the workaday bustle of a public place because her outfit is made of awesome.
Alise says she wears whatever makes her feel good.  I agree--sometimes it's worth foregoing the comfort of jeans for the smartness of a dressy outfit and makeup.

Next up is Quincy, an art student at UI.  Although this particular outfit is as crisp and dramatic as a magazine ad, she gets her chic from the most humble and accessible of sources.  She trolls thrift stores, has clothing swaps with friends, and "dress[es] like the people I love."
Same pose, different expressions.  They were both cute, so I didn't want to choose one over the other.

Quincy and her classmate Jordan have an exhibition called "Intimacy" coming up next month.  It's described as "a collaborative exploration of romance and webspace, exhibition and inhibition, shame and celebration".  The exhibit runs from Nov. 1 to 5 at the Market-Dubuque Display Space (122 E. Market St.), and the reception is 11/4 from 6 to 9.  I'll try to make it if I'm not babysitting!

Finally, I too had fun with tights this week--or, more precisely, leggings.  I've had a couple pairs of leggings around for awhile, but few tunics or skirts to go with them.  So I recently splurged on said tunics and skirts, and spent this past week wearing them aggressively, to convince myself I hadn't wasted my money.  (Funny how buying one article of clothing to match another has a snowball effect . . . that's why I prefer versatile pieces.)  Unfortunately, I photographed only one of the outfits:

Yes, that's a skeleton behind me.  My roommate Rezo uses it for homework for his Drawing class.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nightmare week over!

Just finished a huge slug o' deadlines, and was finally able to squeak in some fashion photos.

I passed Margaret at the bus stop, and I was struck by how well her haircut framed her face, and how dignified the cut and pattern of her tunic were.
Margaret was happy to pose for me, probably because she's an avid follower of The Sartorialist blog.  She says she's inspired by vintage fashions, particularly from the 1930s.
Come to think of it, although the tunic style, flip-flops, and skinny jeans are very 21st century, the poise conveyed by boat-necked tunic and handbag make me think of a self-assured '30s lady attending the opera.

I'm a sucker for anything reminiscent of the Desert Southwest, so I was coveting her copper bracelets:
As part of my post-deadline decompression, I also treated myself to a fun outfit and a much-needed haircut.  My face is missing in the first picture because it looked ugly.  Looked like I didn't have a chin : /
Most of this outfit is a plug for locally-owned Midwestern boutiques.

Boots: Rockstar and Rogers, Manhattan KS
White tunic: Revival, Iowa City
Vintage belt: White Rabbit, Iowa City
Pink clay pendant: Prairie Pond Studio, Lawrence KS
Blue and brown wooden pendants: Beadology, Iowa City
Silver ring: Rockstar and Rogers

Finally, gotta love the blowout while it lasts.  I sure as hell don't do that to my hair on a regular basis . . . or at all.
I like how this angle and the poofy shirt make my boobs look enormous : )

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Critical Mass

My apologies to Rosa, the German exchange student I photographed last Thursday.  It's been a hectic weekend, so I'm just now uploading.

Rosa gets fashion inspiration by watching what people on the street are wearing.  Apparently we're similar in more than just name!

Today I slipped into a classroom about a minute before the session started, and was able to get a quick photo of Nateasa.  The scarf with bright earth colors atop the mustard sweater makes me think of sumac leaves turning red against a tallgrass backdrop.

Nateasa works at RSVP, a stationery shop on Iowa City's Northside.  I'll have to check it out!

Jenny had another very cute ensemble.  She managed to pick several statement pieces and combine them in a way that enhanced, rather than detracted from, each other.  Jenny says she likes to go for a youthful look, but she's pulled it off in a way that it still looks sophisticated.

Finally, a lady at TSpoons Cafe in the mall exemplifies the rustic dignity of a military-inspired look. 

She puts me in mind of a '40s bomber pilot.  Not that I'm a militarist by any stretch, but I can't help my aesthetic attraction to the fashion version of military wear.  I especially love the buttons!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friends and such

Jody, a beautiful, smart, and fierce classmate, lays the smackdown on a half-page color ad in the Daily Iowan (the UI student rag):

Seriously, check out the link above and prepare to be appalled.  UI Health Care is targeting girls in their late teens for plastic surgery advertising.

We'll definitely see more of Jody if she allows it--she's perfected the art of elegant simplicity, and looking like a million dollars in Goodwill finds.

My roommate Alli, an adventurous fashionista, has a new haircut and a fun church outfit:

Alli's an expert at wearing neon-colored tights without looking outlandish--she lets just a little bit show, and it matches something else she's wearing--in this case, some of the butterflies in her scarf.

And, like the Cancer she is, she gets beer for the menfolk . . . looking every bit like St. Pauli girl.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Productive Friday!

I saw this lady on the bus, and I was glad she wasn't in too much of a rush to have her picture taken.
Zuri says she accumulates random articles of clothing, and throws on whatever strikes her fancy in the morning.  Organized chaos--it works!  There's a lot of color and texture contrast, but most of the colors are subdued, so the outfit as a whole isn't overwhelming.

Kaye, who works at The Wedge Pizzeria in the ped mall, goes for soft, comfortable clothes.  That just happen to be awesomely chic.

Kiera, meanwhile, likes to be "outta the box".  What caught my eye was the iteration of stripes, and the different shades of blue, both highlighted by solid, dark colors.
Her outfit reminds me that wearing even a couple small embellishments can really spice up your day.  It makes you feel like you're manifesting something more exciting than real life usually is. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starting to overcome my shyness . . .

At least enough to ask people's names.  (I asked the very first time if the ladies wanted their names associated with the pics, but they preferred not.)

It reached the high 70s today, perfect for in-between fashion.

Brittany, left, is going for comfort right now, but trying (successfully) to inject some cool.  Her little sister Mallory's byword is hippie chic.  Love the necklaces and brown leather footwear!  (A little blurry . . . maybe I need to buy a monopod.)

Rebecca, in the ped mall, prefers sensible clothing, with an injection of fun and culture.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Can always find someone well-dressed at the Tobbaco Bowl.

It was getting dark, so the outside pics didn't turn out.  At least you can see bit of the hip, yet unpretentious, interior of the Tobacco Bowl:

Adrianne is a budding photographer (check out her website), and recommended that I troll the interwebs for a variety of photo-editing programs.  I neglected to ask if any of them work for old Macs.

I love this outfit because it's casual and understated, yet the blocks of color are structured and pleasing.  The graphic on the tee, olive-green earrings, coarse-fabric hat, and fun rings (which you can't see in this photo) add just enough detail to make the outfit interesting, without being overwhelming.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

These boots are made . . . you know.

I've been waiting for the right weather to try this outfit.  It never got above the low 60s, and my legs would be cold for the first few minutes every time I stepped outside.  With plenty of layers on top, though, you can get away with bare legs in the fall.

The shorts are almost too short for my taste--I'll have to apply Fray Guard to the rough edges to keep them from getting any shorter.

I started noticing this type of necklace--random tarnished pendants on a metal chain of generous length--in magazines a couple years ago, and I hastened to emulate it.  Pendants found at antique stores, gifted from friends, or revived from pre-teen jewelry boxes are far more pleasing than a contrivance at Express or Maurice's could ever be.  The bronze arrowehead is from a childhood friend in New Jersey that I've lost touch with, and the men's spinny ring was found on the ground by my best gentleman friend.

A couple friends of mine excel in this tomboyish, salt-of-the-earth style as well: one in Lawrence, Kansas wears a silver St. Christopher medallion almost every day, along with her punk/metal T-shirts; and another in Norman, Oklahoma wears Southwestern necklaces over T-shirts with the collars cut off.  These two women have far more claim to salt-of-the-earthness than I could ever hope for.

First Photo Expedition

The White Rabbit is an indie/vintage boutique in downtown Iowa City.  In addition to used clothing, shoes, and accessories, they have a wide array of craft items, many locally made: prints and notecards, artwork, clutches, hair accessories, jewelry, journals and notepads, and much more.  Many of the items are made locally.  Check out the website:

The shop moved into a larger location across the street over the summer, and a new addition is a coffee bar.  The two ladies sitting at the bar (left and right below) and the server (middle) obliged me with a group photo.

The lady on the right has a business called Drainbowland, and the server has one called Candida Etc.

The lady at the register posed with her luscious tattoos:

She made the self-deprecating claim that she has no sense of style--"I just wear whatever's clean."  Even without the tattoos, I beg to differ: the understated neutral shirt helps ground a whimsical, bright-colored skirt and pair of tights.