School’s out, but the uniform’s still in season

I have this photo from the Paul Smith autumn/winter 2011 collection reblogged on my tumblr. I tracked the picture through to the original source here at Miss Moss, and from there to the Vogue website. The whole collection is admirable and includes all of the things I’ve come to love: menswear fitted to women’s bodies, neutrals dotted with strategic color placement, scholarly aesthetic, cardigans, loafers, long and messy hair, and blazers.



If it’s good enough for Diane

I just came upon the blog of Erin Gates, called Elements of Style, and my little aesthetically voyeuristic heart is aflutter. Browsing through random posts in the archives, I came upon this list of “10 rules to live by” as given by Diane von Furstenberg to Elle Magazine:

Diane’s 10 Rules to Live by (from Elle Magazine)

  • Trust yourself. “The secret to feeling attractive, and to being attractive, is the confidence that comes from knowing who you are and what you believe in.”
  • Accept the passage of time. “The older you get, the more you should learn to love life and appreciate the beauty that comes with age.”
  • Document your days. “Carry a camera and create an inspiring visual diary of your life.”
  • Your suitcase symbolizes your life. “The best way to know a woman is to open her luggage. If she knows how to pack well, it means she understands , and cherishes, how to live a simplified life.”
  • Fashionable friends. “Choose fashions that make you happy. I hope the clothes I design will become my clients’ best friends. That way, when they open their closets, they will always encounter someone special.”
  • Dress your personality. “Always choose styles that also accentuate your personality. Don’t use fashion to try and project a different persona. Authenticity is key.”
  • Use your feminine power. “My mother taught me that being a woman is a privilege because the world revolves around us! It is a precious gift, and its power should be used in a subtle and respectful way.”
  • Your handbag is your guide. “Before leaving home, check your agenda and organize your bag according to what you have to do that day. Keeping everything in order makes life easier.”
  • Indulge yourself. “If you are like me, and don’t want to resort to Botox, book regular massages. I’m sure it helps to keep everything firm and in it’s place!”
  • Lead a balanced life. “The best regimen is to keep moving! Never stop working, travelling and seeking adventure. Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol and sugar and get to your yoga class!”

This is probably the most straight-forward and practical list of “rules to live by” that I’ve ever come across. I especially like the subtle fashion advice that your clothes should be like your best friends and your style should reflect your personality. I could say so much about that, but I’ll save it for another piece I’m working on still. ( ^ _ ^ )

Play it again, mes amies: June et Lula

I stumbled across a simple music video of “Goodbye Suzanne” by June & Lula. At first I thought they were just a couple of cute French girls, singing in English, and then I heard the lyrics:

Oh no Suzanne, you don’t wanna leave me
Come on Suzanne, I know you’re afraid of me
If you leave me you know I’ll break your legs
And if it’s not enough I’ll smash your neck

Cute French girls singing creepy songs in English? J l’adore! Ha, and it seems to be a trait of their music, so you should check it out if that’s the kind of thing you like. (^__^)

I can’t swim, but I can look good in a 2-piece

UO swimsuits Feb 2012

Some of the swimsuits that I’d get if I actually planned on wearing any this summer. I’m quite fond of the galaxy print of the upper left one, and the horse print just somehow works for me on the one-piece; actually, the only one I would alter is the lower most right one… I’d extend the top across the other arm too, just for symmetry’s sake.

Ha, ha, years ago I was too embarrassed to wear a two-piece swimsuit. After spending time in a bikini and even topless on a Mediterranean beach, well, ce n’est pas un problème maintenant. Winking smile

What food looks like at the Poverty Line

I stumbled across this forum post on the China Daily boards that attempts to show how life looks like for the average person living at the recognized “poverty line” across the world through the universal medium of food. Here is the prelude to the pictures:

Starting from the oft-quoted $1 per person, per day U.N. figure, we attempted to calculate our own national figures, creating a visual portrayal of items found in a given country that could be bought by a person living at the poverty line. For developed countries, where there is relatively updated household consumption data, we focused on the average daily amount that a person at the poverty line would spend on food. For developing countries, we used the average amount that a person at the poverty line earns and spends each day.

Click through the link to see the pictures.

Project 365: Film reviews #1-10

So I decided, on a whim and within hours of hearing about this version of Project 365, to try out the challenge of watching a different film everyday for a year. Now, honestly, I have seen some of the movies already, multiple times in fact, but I’m counting them because I never get tired of watching them! (HtTYD, my animated love, I cannot wait for your sequel in 2014~~) The only limitation I have placed on myself is not to count the same movie twice on the list. Even if I watch several movies in one day, usually when I’m vegging out on the couch for whatever reason, I am only counting one movie on the list for convenience sake.

Inspiration for this project came from this list of Project 365 ideas and awkweirdme’s tumblr collection of reviews on their project 365 films.

#1 我知女人心


Translated as “I know women’s hearts” or, as it is listed on IMDB and Netflix, the Chinese adaptation of What Women Want. I enjoyed the updated story, making good use of special effects and taking into account the more common use of cellphones these days. Unlike some adaptations (cough American cough) this Chinese version actually takes into account the cultural difference with the family relationships and work environment. I had recently seen Shaolin with Andy Lau in it and was impressed by his performance, then seeing him in this movie impressed me even more. Okay, I was watching for Gong Li at first, but then I was watching for Gong Li and Andy Lau together, and can I say – they’re brilliant.

#2 The Saga of Gosta Berling


An old movie from the Twenties, that I originally saw in a little Brussels movie place with French/Belgian subtitles and a live piano player. This time I streamed it off of Netflix and it had English subtitles and a different soundtrack. I enjoyed the strings music in certain parts more than the piano I remembered, it’s just more dramatic and suited to a black and white film than piano can be at times. And it was nice to read the subs in English and know that my French really wasn’t that bad, that I understood it pretty well the first time around, and yeah, the wording really is that exaggerated, ha..

Apparently a big selling point of this movie is that it was the one that made Greta Garbo famous before she was gone to Hollywood. For me, I much preferred the actor Lars Hanson, who played the title character of Gosta Berling. In silent films, some people stand out through the sheer force of their ability to portray a character through only their body language and this guy is one of them. I think I should rec him to Bangable Dudes in History.

#3 The Art of Travel

I wasn’t terribly impressed with this movie. I didn’t even particularly like any of the images Google pulled up, so no picture, and I’m unmotivated about screencapping the movie myself. That is not to say that the movie doesn’t have some beautiful shots or good characters. The protagonist is travelling for more than a year with the same group of people and still doesn’t come to the life-changing epiphany that he reaches at the end of the movie, which he could have had during this yearlong period if the movie showed more of it. I felt like it was cut short to give more time to the development of the romantic relationship and eventual “tragic” ending of it that then, finally, leads to his personal epiphany. The movie does end on a humorous note, however.

#4 Silent Predators

I can’t even explain… it just came on the TV before we sat down for dinner and we paid half-attention to it while eating. Very predictable and such; in general, we enjoyed critiquing the character’s bad decisions more than anything else. “Don’t go NEAR the rattling noise!” “Snakes are poisonous, duh!” “Roll up your car windows!”

#5 Red Riding Hood


It’s pretty, and I gotta admit that I guessed wrong about who was the wolf (but eventually I was right! Sort of, uh…) I like Amanda Seyfried’s costume the most, especially that striking red cloak. In the close-up shots, you can see the woven texture of the cloak too. There is a little implication of cannibalism at the end there with the whole grandma/wolf scene that you know from the story. I think maybe there was more to that scene that they may have cut out of the movie for the sake of rating.

#6 The Countess


A little.. bit.. creepy. I think the story was elaborated for the sake of the movie, but I suppose with a little hand waving it doesn’t detract too much from the historical aspect of the story. Overall, a mediocre film in my opinion. I mentally downgrade it because of Julie Delpy’s consistent French accent when she was playing a Hungarian (was it?) countess.

#7 Eddie Izzard: Circle

I like Eddie Izzard. One of the comedians whom I can watch repeatedly and still laugh out loud over the jokes. I like his habitual act of retelling history with James Mason or Sean Connery impressions and randomly flippant explanations to things. And while I’m not a fan of the way he does his makeup, I love his outfits. I believe he would call it “executive transvestite chic.”

#8 How to Train Your Dragon


My reigning animated film favorite. I can’t wait for the sequel in a couple years. It’s heartwarming, no one important dies, and they threw all of the best features of your pet dog/cat/reptile into one scaly, flying, white beam-shooting dragon. Actually, one thing I really adore about this movie is that Hiccup loses a limb. Most likely this was done for the symmetry in his relationship with Toothless, but come on, that’s rare for the main character to be permanently disabled in such a way. Off the top of my head, in the realm of fiction, I can only think of Aquaman, Batgirl, and John Watson as characters who dealt with a form of disability and were still amazing BAMFs. Hiccup is the child friendly version of a BAMF, ha…

#9 28 Days Later…

Cillian Murphy is Irish? I like his Irish accent much better. The themes and imagery of this movie are pretty graphic and depressingly realistic, a little difficult to talk about in a short space. It’s better than 28 Weeks Later from what I vaguely remember about that film anyway. This was my first time watching this movie, so I wasn’t even entirely sure there were zombies for a while. Although, dang, they move really fast.

#10 127 Hours

This movie squicked me. I watched it from behind the screen of my DS because I couldn’t stand to watch it with my full and undivided attention. Definitely a serious movie. You’re left feeling a little awestruck this guy was able to do all that and walk out of there. Not only does he cut off his own arm, he still has to find the road and people to help him. Talk about a will to live; I might’ve been tempted to sit down after finally getting out of that canyon, but he keeps going. That’s what made the difference between living and dying.

(pictures sourced from google. wording added by me.)

Reinvention is good for the soul

Approaching the eve of my birthday and crumbling under academic pressure, I am motivated to try to turn this blog into what I would actually like it to be: a portal through which I can share my creativity and interests with others. I always seem to become distracted and forget about the blog. I need to remember that this is for me first and foremost, and if I want to see myself grow in this way, then I have to put in the time and effort for it.

Things I want to chronicle:

  • my favorite TV series
  • great movies
  • fanart
  • reviews of things I use/do
  • my changing aesthetic sense
  • scrapbooking
  • analysis of books that I’ve read
  • inspirational people
  • places that I have/will visit
  • interesting historical events
  • languages
  • how much I love my kitties (most of the time)
  • things that I make
  • my writings

Here’s to a fresh start! Bonne chance à moi !