Light at Dusk

chambray dress $10 - Marshall's; orange cardigan $8 - Gap
I'm sorry for neglecting the blog, but in all honesty I've collected hardly any content since I've started school. I'm still adjusting to my new schedule, which really is not bad at all. My classes either start at 11 in the morning or 1 in the afternoon, and with the exception of trying to squeeze a meal in between three back-back classes and a three-hour night class, it's been smooth sailing. I'm also saddled with two roommates this year, due to the fact my school accepted much too many students. Even though our suite feels a bit crowded at times, everyone's generally friendly and totally considerate. Last Friday we embarked on a trip to Buddakan during Restaurant Week here in Philly and engaged in some good ol' suitemate bonding.

Like I said, I have two roommates this year, and so I regard any and all alone-time as precious. I'm not sure where the inspiration came from for these photos, but the sun was just starting to set and was casting some beautiful light and shadow in the room. I actually had to sit on my roommate's bed but I'm sure she didn't notice.

As for what's to come, I've discovered that my Art History class grants me free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I love me some modernists, so expect at least one post from the museum. I'm also still working on editing some more concert photos so hopefully they'll be up soon. I hope everyone's autumn is off to a pleasant start. 


Jonathan Saunders Spring 2012

This past Wednesday in my Retail Principles class our instructor asked us to list a few of our favorite designers, brands, or stores. She collected our little pieces of paper and read off the rather obvious pattern of Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, and more Marc Jacobs...until she stopped at mine: Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui, and Jonathan Saunders. She admitted that she wasn't positive she even recognized Saunders' name, and wasn't he British? What's his signature, she asked. Had it not been 7:30 PM, one hour into my latest class of the week, I would have given her a more informative answer than "patterns and ombre," and a recap of his capsule collection for Target.

Jonathan Saunders is a traditionalist, at least in the design sense of the word. The young Scottish designer studied with a major in prints and textiles, so it was no surprise to learn each and every one of his prints for which he is known are created by hand. Even more incredibly, he builds each garment around its print which ensures that both the silhouette and design are each garment exist in perfect harmony.
His Spring 2012 collection took the concept of traditionalism one step further. Full patterned skirts that fell just below the knee and the most prim of frocks referenced the Mad Men era. Elegant baroque swirls in sweet sherbet ombre felt eponymous of spring. My personal favorite, while some considered them boring in comparison, was the small collection of flowing white dresses; I'd wear each one in a heartbeat. Another favorite look was an over-sized cardigan (layered over a powder blue brocade) in a bright fuchsia that, for the record, my grandpa would never wear. Elements of the most reserved sophistication were grounded by some scandalously sheer pieces. Each look was finished off with dramatically winged eyeliner (another personal favorite) and wrapped espadrilles in either stark white, solid black, or saturated primary hues. 



I'm officially moved into my dorm and ready to start my sophomore year of school! There's a tiny bit of cleaning, re-organizing, grocery shopping, and decorating still to be done. Tomorrow starts our first week of classes as well. But most importantly, check out the wicked view of Center City from my living room window!


DIY: Floral Pennant Banner


It's just like me to wait until the absolute last night of summer vacation to squeeze in a project. I was inspired to make my own floral pennant banner after I saw a few for sale on Etsy and though, "it can't be that hard!" It wasn't at all, and since I have some fabric left over I plan on making another one, either for myself or for a gift. So here's how I did it:

The first thing you need to make a pennant banner is fabric. I scoured thrift stores until I came across the perfect floral print in a long vintage Ralph Lauren skirt. It was several sizes too small for me to wear but the print was exactly what I wanted. 

Next, you'll want a template. I cut out a piece of card-stock in the shape of a triangle, but you can use paper, cardboard, or really anything depending on what you want the shape of your pennants to be. 

Trace the outline of your template on the underside of your fabric (just as if you were tracing a pattern to sew a garment). You could use tailor's chalk, but I just used a pencil. 

When you're done tracing one triangle, flip over the template and trace another one adjacent to the edge of the first shape. The result will be a rhombus. I originally intended to make the back side of each pennant in a solid color fabric, in which case I would cut out a single triangle of each fabric.

When the pennants are hung they'll be folded in half, so my banner will be reversible. 

How you string your pennants up is also due to preference. I cut three lengths of thing ribbon in colors that matched the pattern of my fabric and knotted them together at each end. I folded the lengths of ribbon in half, to make it easiest to place the pennants evenly, and distributed three pennants on each half (I just eyeballed the distances).
 I folded the pennants in half, which happened to be marked by the pencil lines I had drawn previously, and creased it slightly with an iron. Using a hot glue gun, I placed three dots of hot glue along the crease, set the ribbon on top of the same crease, folded over the fabric and pressed the ribbon gently into the dots of glue. Then I went back along the edges of the pennants and drew a line of hot glue to hold both halves together.

I let the glue cool, and that's it! I have more fabric left over, and I plan on sewing another banner rather than gluing it. Altogether it took about 30 minutes and I can't wait to hang it up in my dorm room tomorrow.


From Nowhere to Somewhere

Dress $6 - Love21 (altered); belt - vintage; geode ring $5 - H&M; triple buckle flats $20 - Urban Outfitters
"Oh, you look nice. Where are you going?"

Four day until I'm outta here. You can bet I'm counting down the hours. I'm trying my best to be as minimal a packer as possible, though I expect what is minimal to me is excessive to just about everyone else. I could have spent the day in my awesome concert tee (it says "Peter Bjorn and John T-Shirt" ) but I wanted to show my recently altered dress. The sleeves were strangely constructed to begin with, one was too tight and the seam on the other was coming undone, so I did what any reasonable person would have done: ripped them off! No, I didn't really. Just some artful snips with my shears. It will go nicely under jackets and cardigans now without that awkward bunching around the shoulders. 

I have quite a bit on my plate this week, not only packing for school but editing photos to send to my school's newspaper and the bands' PR reps. I've been getting by with a 30-day free trial of Adobe Lightroom but sooner or later I'll have to shell out for the Creative Suite, especially consider my area of study. That shouldn't be a huge problem because this year I'm determined to find a job. In case my store can't transfer me to a location in the city, I picked up several applications while I was shopping on Walnut yesterday from the likes of J. Crew and Anthropologie. I'm drooling just thinking about the employee discounts.



Bless you, Urban Outfitters, for the most glorious Chloe knock-offs I've ever had the pleasure of owning. 



Floral dress (Express/altered) $4 - Salvation Army; black leggings $6 - H&M; black sheer cardigan $10 - Urban Outfitters; black wedge boots $7 - eBay

The romper I wore last week has been transformed...into a dress! It's not a huge difference, but I like the way the skirt falls much more than the shorts. The length falls right past my finger tips, so maybe if I'm feeling brave, especially with the wind that tends to blow off of the river back in University City, so I might be able to wear it without leggings or tights (just a pair of bike shorts to be safe!).  The rain that has been passing through since yesterday has really cooled everything down. I ran outside when I thought the showers had let up, but the sun shining through the clouds was totally misleading and in a minute or two I found myself caught in a sunshower. This sheer jacket was perfect, because once I got outside I realized a cardigan would have been too warm. I had forgotten I owned it, but it's great for the in-between weather Philadelphia always experiences in the beginning of fall. These ankle boots, with their little wedge heel, will be great when it rains, because my flats always get soaked through. It's funny that I'm already thinking about dressing for fall, because I know that when autumn arrives the only think I'll be thinking about is summer.

Speaking of fall, I was reading through the Free People blog last night and happened upon a posting for a Fall Visual Merchandising Internship. I sat up immediately, especially since most of the application deadlines were dated for the beginning of July. I sent in my resume anyway, and this afternoon received a response email that told me they would hold onto my file until they started accepting applicants for winter. I'm crossing my fingers!


Good Morning Mugs

Hand painted ceramic mugs decorated with the most adorable silhouettes. I'm wondering if they're for sale, because I'd love to sip my morning coffee out of that bicycle mug.

*images via goodmorningmugs.tumblr.com



It was brought to my attention the other day how serious I look in most of my photos, and I laughed a bit. I didn't even realize I looked angry! I try to smile, but when it's just my camera and I, I feel so strange, and even more so lately because both of my neighbors have been out and about. With an audience I feel much more self-conscious. I think that is my greatest weakness, worrying about what other people think of me. I feel like I've taken some huge steps to overcome what used to be crippling insecurities, but I've decided that is just what makes me who I am. Did you know I was even afraid to wear these shoes for the longest time? I was so concerned that others would think they were crazy despite how much I loved them. The truth is that I've received nothing but compliments when I do wear them, and that just makes me feel foolish. But it's also a lesson learned. 

This season my mantra has been to wear what I want because I like it. I'm trying my hardest not to get caught up on whether or not something is flattering or if it fits into a certain "look," I just want to wear what I want and leave it at that. I've gone on shopping trips with my friends who get overly concerned over what matches with a particular shade of gray, or whether or not they can wear earring with a certain top. It made me realize how much we over think getting dressed. I like outfits that look spontaneous, with accessories that don't really match but that complement each other, outfits that look a little disheveled, and I think that's an attitude I'd like to start to emulate. But like I said, I'm not going to over think it.

Madewell Fall 2011 Lookbook

I'm totally feeling this Madewell lookbook. Everything, from the footwear to the bags, the way the belts are tied and how the socks are scrunched. Even the models have the hair I wish could have with perfectly messed up waves. What I like even more about these looks is that I could easily recreate them with what I already have in my closet. 


Making the Cut

Vintage floral Express romper $4 - Salvation Army; brown purse $5 - Target; vintage belt; rose ring $4 - Charlotte Russe
To cut the shorts, or not to cut the shorts? When I picked this printed number out of the rack I first assumed it was a dress, but when I got into the fitting room a pair of shorts on the bottom surprised me instead. I don't necessarily mind rompers, I have another great vintage one that I love to wear in the summer, but I'll never not love the movement of certain swingy skirts. I've made similar alterations in the past and turned a romper into a dress, the only hesitation I had with this piece was whether or not it would be too short. In the worse case senario, I determined, I would have to find a similar navy fabric to add onto the hem, which I don't believe would look bad at all. What is convincing me more and more to make the cut as I look through these photos to post is that the shorts aren't as loose as I thought they would be. If they gave more of an illusion of a skirt I would have kept them as-is. I feel like I'm putting too much thought and energy into such a trivial matter. So that's it! I'm cutting the shorts. I'm off to find my sewing kit before I change my mind. Again.

Tea and store-bought scones helped raise me out of my funk that matched this morning's gloomy weather. It has also been confirmed that one of my concert photos is going to be published in my University's paper. Then the PR manager for the headlining band asked if I would give them rights to two photos of their choosing in exchange for credit. Of course that all applies only if some of my photos turn out, but I'm hoping for the best. I feel so credible! I'm almost a bonafide photographer.