Saturday, May 30, 2009

One Stop Beyond

Black tank - $20 General Pants
Black leggings - $10 Valley Girl
Blue rose print jersey 80s bomber jacket - $3.50 op-shop
Brown 90s Italian granny boots - $6 op-shop

So I'm not pregnant, not yet anyway. However, I am still working away on that little project (I was going to say "beavering away" but that seemed very wrong in a Beavis & Butthead kind of way), which has had a rather strange side effect - not on my body, but on my wardrobe. The weather here has just started to give a tiny hint of slight wintriness to come (and I mean slight - I'm sitting here in a tank top at 8pm with nary a goosebump to be seen) and I was faced with the dilemma of needing to buy winter clothes but not wanting to invest in stuff which might only get five minutes of wear if I do actually get pregnant. With the little dude I morphed from human lady to spherical whale creature in very short order - within two months people were asking me when I was due and giving me their seats on buses.

Ok, so I was more than 2 months pregnant here, but not that much more. Alarming!

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but spherical whale creatures don't wear things with structure, they wear black slouchy things made from soft and forgiving fabrics. So I have been trying to collect stuff which might kind of sort of work for a non-pregnant person (me now) or an SWC (me maybe some time this winter) and today's outfit is a classic example.

I think this blue bomber jacket might be The One I have been seeking for a while, certainly I have worn it every morning (for the cold couple of hours before the sun resumes business as usual) since I bought it. It does an ok job of covering up the SWC uniform of loose tank and leggings which I wore for an op-shopping ninja mission to the Lifeline Winter Clothing Sale this morning. Picture a small warehouse full of tables covered in mounds of clothes (all of which are $2 each), and many frenzied women rummaging and grabbing and kung-fu fighting each other for stuff, and you've pretty much got the picture. I rustled up a pile of little things for the little dude, and a large heap of stuff for myself which I then whittled down to a handful of things I'll actually wear. In a land without change rooms the SWC ninja suit was a most perfectly appropriate costume because I could just chuck on whatever I needed to try over the top of my clothes.

I managed to get out of the sale with my dignity mostly intact - there was one gnarly moment when I grabbed a jacket sleeve and actually engaged in a momentary tug-of-war with a white haired lady over a brass buttoned navy blue wool blazer which was not only size 16, but something I would never, ever wear unless by some freaky twist of fate I actually ended up as a retired admiral. At that point I made a tactical retreat, before I could get into some kind of Incredible Hulk-style roid rage and give the next aggressive granny in my path a roundhouse kick to the head with my granny boots. Which would probably have sparked an all-in brawl (tensions were running high in that room) and ended in mass carnage and blood on the floor. Much better to sit outside in the sunshine and review the fruits of my scavenging:

Meet the two dollar leather biker jacket. Battered, needs about a gallon of leather conditioner, a bit long in the arms, but two bucks! Two bucks! I'll say it again, two bucks! No weird pleated bits, odd extraneous flaps, or bulbous shoulder pads, just a classic cut black leather biker jacket.

Khaki is a colour I don't really wear on my top half (or on my bottom half since the Age of Cargo Pants has more or less ended), but sometimes a khaki shirt or jacket or whatever the hell this thing is, comes along and makes me think I need to hit the khaki more often. My eyes are hazel, half green and half brown, and at best they're a kind of swampy shade of...khaki, a bit like this washed silk shirt/jacket:

Click on this photo of me and my lunch and you can see my khaki eyes - if you can see past the antennae of my tiger prawn friend there. We stopped off at the trawlers on the way home from the Lifeline sale (and an adventure playground stop for the little dude) and in a fit of gluttony acquired some spanner crabs and a kilo of mega-prawns for lunch. Very good!

I think this might just be the greatest photo of me ever taken.

Poor spanner crabs didn't stand a chance, reduced to a bowl of shell shrapnel in minutes!

I'm not quite sure what I should do with this oversized 80s jacket. It's made out of that weird fabric that used to exist in the eighties which sort of looked a bit leathery or a bit vinyl-y but was really just a kind of heavy jersey polyester stuff. I thought I might crop it and make it into a jacket a bit like this one from Shakuhachi's A/W08 collection, but then again voluminous all-encompassing garments can be a friend to an SWC in need. What do you reckon?

Unlike my new biker jacket buddy, these leather pants are in no need of leather conditioner - they're ridiculously soft. They are in need of a bit of a clean, so I might save them and their excellent geometric flourishes for a day cold enough to actually wear them.

I only picked up this ikat bag so I had something to cart my finds around in while I browsed/skirmished, but by the time I reached the checkout I'd taken a shine to it and it's tiger-ish neutral tones so handed over an extra two dollars for it. Here it is still stuffed full of little dude stuff from the sale:

A very small stowaway might also be lurking in the bag up there - I know I'm probably jinxing myself buying anything for a little baby but could not resist this tiny wee elephant jumper.

After all, we are the crazy pachyderm people and need to indoctrinate our offspring as early as possible...

PS. Guest photographer today is my magnificent husband, who toddler-wrangled while I shopped this morning, and indulged my spur of the moment crustacean cravings, and took all these photos one stop beyond so that you can actually see something for a change. Bonus: he makes me laugh (and made chicken and leek pies for dinner too)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Order Restored

Well, in the little dude's play area, anyway!

Evidence that the love shack is not usually a giant pile of chaos and madness:


Captain Hugwash & Salvador Darling

Do you ever have that feeling of being at sixes and sevens and not quite knowing which way is up?

Of not being sure from one day to the next exactly what is going on?

That is decidedly the way things are around the shack at the moment, with the movie so close now that we can smell the paint drying on the sets, but still no money in the bank - and my ongoing project to conjure up another little dude-type personage also occupying my mind. Do we have a movie or not? Am I pregnant or not? Who knows! In any case it is playing havoc with my blogging motivation, hence the prolonged radio silence around here.

I bought this preposterous eighties jacket ages ago because it amused me, and because I had grand plans to write a long and elaborate post on the imminent global "strong" shoulder pandemic, from the perspective of one who lived through the last outbreak. As a veteran of a time when t-shirts, bathrobes, school uniforms and even tank tops had great wads of shoulder padding stuffed into them, I feel like I have some useful survival tips to pass on. For a start, looking at these photos it becomes apparent to me exactly why people in the Eighties had such big hair - it was to stop their heads looking teeny tiny in comparison to their mega-shoulders!

Silk top $5 op-shop, Black satin pants $20 Bardot sale, Tony Bianco patent leather platforms $12 op-shop

Sadly this post won't actually be the magnificent shoulder boulder expose that I envisioned, the fact that my photos are decidedly crappy is a bit of a stumbling bloke*. I tried desperately to get a decent picture of this moderately "shoulder-enhanced" (yes, I actually read that in a magazine) black silk top, even resorting to huddling in our shower cubicle in an attempt to scrounge up as much light as I could (don't look too closely, there's probably mould on the grouting):

Back in the eighties I was a little surfie chick, and the big-shouldered look was at odds with my wardrobe of broderie anglaise crop tops, chambray ra-ra skirts and fluro pink short shorts. I used to cut the pads out of my tops and dresses, and keep them in a plastic bag in the bottom of my wardrobe. I sometimes see those bags of shoulder-pads in op-shops, if you see one then snatch it up, because now is the time to stockpile them again - especially the ones with velcro - as I forsee a time when the haberdashery aisles of Spotlight will be emptied of shoulder pads, and people will be hoarding them and guarding them jealously (not to mention selling them for grossly inflated prices on Ebay).

Somewhere in the gloom there, I am demonstrating exactly why the velcro shoulder pad evolved. I am wearing a top with padded shoulders, and then a jacket with padded shoulders, and the padding situation is getting out of control. The stacked pad effect results in a turtle-like neckless look, which is fine on 200 year old denizens of the Galapagos, but dire on me. If, however I unstick the velcro pads in my jacket then, hey presto, the double pad dilemma is solved!

Uh oh! I spy polterwang...

Of course the velcro pad presents quite enough difficulties of its own - they have a tendency to wander, and even escape, leaving the wearer with sadly lopsided shoulders, and sometimes a rogue third breast as well. This mutant tuxedo/biker jacket ($10 op-shop) has velcro shoulder pads, it also has:

- Fringing
- Lace
- Brocade
- Zips
- Elaborate silver buttons

In a word, insanity!

Look closely and you can see the giant fringing on the back.

In the eighties I wouldn't have worn this in ten million years, but now it's nuttiness appeals and I feel all kind of fuzzy and nostalgic when I stroke its fringing and unzip it's pointless zips. It's a funny thing how stuff can gain a warm patina of nostalgia like that - I bought this (objectively hideous) Moschino shirt the other day ($3.50 op-shop) which I would probably have burnt in disgust if it had fallen into my clutches in the nineties. The label represented all that I (in my magnificently disdainful youth) considered naff and tasteless. It's still naff and tasteless, no doubt about that, but now I find that unabashed silliness quite appealing and playful. Look at the print of slot machines full of little smiley faces and peace signs, it's like a pug puppy - so ugly that it's adorable!

On the subject of adorable things (what a segue), please enjoy these photos of the little dude in pirate mode, with hat stapled together from copy paper and cutlass cut from cardboard salvaged from our recycling bin. Such are the desperate measures I am forced to take when confronted by early morning demands for pirate hats and swords from Captain Hugwash** himself!

This is one of his other alter-egos, Salvador Darling:

This is what pirates/surrealists eat for lunch:

This is what a toddler play area looks like after a pirate/surrelist comes through on a pillaging rampage and creates an installation:

And this is what I look like trying to blog amongst the chaos:

Note rabbit-in-the-headlights look of harried blogger photographed against will by fiendish husband.

Actually our shack is usually pretty tidy and pleasant and nice, but things can degenerate rapidly with a little dude on the loose, is it any wonder I sometimes lose the will to blog!


*Yes, I know it's really block, that's just one for the fans...
** Yes, I know it's really Pugwash, but Hugwash is the little dude's interpretation, and I like it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nope, not me!

Just a quick note (in response to a query):

No, that's not my listing on ebay for a Yeojin Bae dress, just some cheeky monkey who's nicked my photo sans permission. The hide of it!

PS. Promise to post properly soon. Still waiting for the seasons to change here.
PPS. My little cease and desist notice worked a treat, and the seller has now removed the offending photo. Thank you!