workhorse

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Just simple shots I grabbed after work, but I LOVED this outfit. This dress is the hardest-working garment in my closet. It’s shown up on the blog at least once a month since I got it in March. But seriously, it’s the best. Vintage, perfectly fitting, only $30 at one of my favorite brick-and-mortar shops.  And it goes with anything. Any season, any color. I’ve spent so long collecting loud, loud dresses that I’ve forgotten how nice it is to have staples.

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Dress: vintage, via brick-and-mortar store

Shoes: vintage, via eBay

Everything else: thrifted

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pearls before swine

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Can we talk about what a bombshell I feel like? I can practically hear the records scratching and spinning while some Hollywood rogue dips me at the waist. He ignores the rip in the fabric of the universe my time-traveling has created; I ignore the fact that he’s probably a figment of my imagination. We’re all good.

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This is Josh’s favorite dress on me. He badgers me to wear it basically every morning. But I have to keep at least a few garments sacred. As ostentatious as I am on a daily basis, even I save a dress or two for truly special occasions. A little mystery and a little novelty never hurt anyone.

I pulled out this one on Saturday night for the birthday dinner of one of my best and oldest friends. Josh went full top-hat-and-tails and stroked my fishnets under the table. I’m used to my position as the most formal of my circle. It was nice, just this once, to look around the table and see bow ties, made-up faces, and sweetheart necklines. We’re already kindred spirits, but this time we actually looked the part.

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Dress: Downtown Threads Tights & Shoes: Old Gold Pearls: Battery Street Jeans Hat: Gifted

Happy 21st, Lizard!

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thinking too much as usual

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I’m becoming unbearably preppy. Suddenly red plaid is all I crave. Sometimes I worry that I’m losing my costumey edge, but then I remember that everything is a costume. Deliberate or not, if it affects social perception, if it carries any kind of connotations at all, then it’s a costume. Getting dressed is fun on an artistic level – colors and textures and cuts, oh boy! – but also on a sociological one. What does this piece say, why does it say that, and what other statements might you be able to wring from it? Red plaid, for instance, screams Christmas – but why? It’s kind of thrilling to be able to bypass people’s logical minds entirely and hit them right in the associations. They’ll identify my outfit as “Christmas-y”, but flounder to explain why exactly that is. I’m not claiming that I know, either, but I know what the connotations are and how to play with them. Tell me that’s not at least a little bit magical.

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I took these photos in my dad’s Kung Fu studio. I’ve always appreciated how the bay window looks out on a miniature panorama of seasonal variety. It’s especially interesting in the winter, when the valley below is icy and stark, but the plants inside stay green. I enjoyed playing with that contrast for this shoot.

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This outfit looks very much like something Marlen of Messages on a Napkin would wear.

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Oh, and I made my first Etsy sale yesterday! This vintage Lanz of Salzburg dress. Here’s hoping it starts a trend!

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Skirt (worn as strapless dress): Battery Street Jeans Top, Vest, Tights, Socks, Hat, Scarf, Shoes: Gifted Coat: Second Time Around

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inner child stirred awake

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For the past few winters, I’ve been grasping at the “effortlessly toasty” aesthetic, rife with peacoats and Christmas choirs and suspiciously absent the slightest hint of a runny nose. You know what I mean. Let’s pretend our hems never drag and our gloves never soak through, even in the tyranny of a Vermont winter. More importantly, let’s not pretend we don’t curate our lives. I’ve been hearing a lot about how presenting only the bits you choose to share is somehow disingenuous, how the needy public is somehow owed the admission of private pains and flaws. A lot of bloggers seem to wonder if they’re “faking” by only displaying their most polished selves, by not sharing unflattering outtakes and two-a.m. pajama-clad selfies. If that’s faking, then I’d rather not be real. Who decided that anyone gets to ask for more than what I’m willing to give you? Keeping part of my life for myself alone preserves my sanity.

You’ll get some pretty pictures today, of course, but that little screed has been on my mind for a good while now. Yes, what I share here is real, but it’s augmented. It has to be – what art is any good 100% raw? I’m honored to have such a platform for my  work, I really am. But at the end of the day, I don’t think any creator can afford not to distinguish between spectators and friends.

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I’m not as unfriendly as I sound, I swear. Really, it just comes down to one more reason why I love clothes so much. I get to display exactly what, and how much of it, I want. I get to speak clearly without opening a vein.

And today I’m speaking “inner child snowed awake”.

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I’m really enjoying feeling like an overly starched storybook schoolgirl. Cliche can be a lot of fun to mine.

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Coat: Josh’s Dress & Sweater: Classy Closet Belt: Downtown Threads Boots: Battery Street Jeans Hat: Old Gold Tights: Gifted

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scraps of warmer days

New items in the shop! As usual, click each image to visit its shop listing.

etsy dress II

etsy blue I

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I mentioned this in the last post, but I’ve got a new page for y’all to subscribe to: my modeling persona, Gloria Mundi. I’m trying to reinvent myself as an explicitly pagan model. I’m still interested in other genres too, of course (who could ever turn down a pinup shoot?), but I’d like to start from a pagan place and occasionally branch out. Gone are my days of taking every job I was offered. I think I have enough experience now to be more selective. I’ve started actually curating my ModelMayhem page, rather than posting shots from every single shoot. I’ve always believe that modeling is an art, and a respectable one, and I ought to start presenting it that way.

I leave you with two Dressember ootds!

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dressember black I

sticking it to seasonal depression

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Say what you will about the dogma behind it – I really $&*$ love Christmas. No matter what you believe, having a huge-ass celebration during the darkest time of the year can’t not be good for you. The ancient pagans knew what’s up. Crit-failing at serotonin production? Make your own, via light-up trees and garish sweaters.

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My ugliest sweater, worn with unironic pride.

Fortunately, I don’t have to rely overmuch on color lately. My life is knit with other joys. It’s been over six months since I left college, and I’m actually starting to make something of myself. I’ve settled into my “jill of all trades” status, and I’m seeing success on a few different fronts. My Prague Revue column is up and humming along. My poem “wherein we luminesce” is currently enjoying the front page of Cowbird. Later this month, my short story “How to Leave a Cult” will be published on elephantjournal.com. And I spent much of today revamping my Model Mayhem account and creating a Facebook page for my modeling persona, now known as Gloria Mundi. There’s so much in my head – so many dark, glitzy, gritty nascent explosions – and I need as many media as I can possibly find.

Also, I would like to start going to church. Any church – I’m not married to any dogma or other. I just enjoy being in the presence of people who believe in something with their whole selves. I guess I’m religious by proxy. I’m drawn to all faiths, regardless of my personal opinions on their doctrine. I’m not in school anymore, but I loved being a religion major, and I’d like to carry that into my post-college life.

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And I’m doing it all while dressed like a goddamn sideshow act.

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Dress: Old Gold Hat & Sweater: Gifted Coat: Savers Belt & Tights: Goodwill Shoes: Danform Pin: Battery Street Jeans

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dressember quickies

Remember when I posted OotDs almost on the daily? Over the year and a half I’ve run this blog, I’ve phased out of straight-up outfit posts. Those certainly have  a place, but photography and scenic design have started to interest me nearly as much as fashion does. I want to use clothes to portray something, not just show them off for showing off’s sake. I’d rather do more creative shoots less frequently. Mirror shots are seriously overplayed.

But…they’re a godsend when it’s too cold and dark to take any real photos but you desperately want to stay relevant. I’ve been taking two-second snapshots in the mirror at work to document my Dressember process. I’ll run it through again: I’m wearing dresses every day for a month to promote the International Justice Mission’s campaign against human trafficking (and please consider donating if you can spare a few). And today I thought I’d commemorate what I wore this week.

Also, I figure it’s nice to give a look at what I actually wear day-to-day once in a while. I’m not always quite as ostentatious on a daily basis as I am in some of my shoots. I post when I have something special to show, and though I like all these outfits, I’m not sure that any of ’em would normally make the blog.

Tuesday, doing my ice-princess thing: 

Sweater: Replays Dress & Hat: Old Gold Tights: Goodwill Belt: Battery Street Jeans Shoes & Scarf: Gifted

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Wednesday, a premature Valentine: 

Dress: Old Gold Sweater: Classy Closet Belt: Downtown Threads Tights: Goodwill Brooch: Battery Street Jeans Hat & Shoes: Gifted

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Thursday, channeling warmer days: 

Dress & Belt: Battery Street Jeans Coat: Handed down from Mom Hat: Old Gold Tights: Goodwill Shoes: Gifted

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And Friday, hoping to scare up some snow by going full elf.

Dress: Classy Closet Peacoat: Second Time Around Tights: Spirit Halloween Belt: Savers Necklace: Old Gold Hat & Shoes: Gifted

dressember elf

savage secretary

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I’ve been unbearably prim of late. I can feel my wannabe-Suicide-Girl cred eroding, replaced with pleats and starch. I’ve returned to a phase I first wrote about last April: tightly controlled, highly stylized. More than that, though, I like being utterly badass while I’m doing it. I’ll always be a Suicide Girl on the inside. I can dress like a secretary and still crack a few metaphorical whips.

I envisioned some of these shots in a dementedly chipper kind of way. Like I’m patting my bottle-blonde hair and presenting Bob Barker with the very latest in offensive technology. This might be a fun character to come back to.

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My father teaches Kung Fu. He opened his studio when I was eighteen months old, and I grew up surrounded by deadly weapons. I revisited it last week for these photos. Who says precious isn’t powerful?

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Dress & Sweater: Classy Closet Hat & Necklace: Old Gold Belt: Downtown Threads Tights: Spirit Halloween Shoes: Gifted

~

Let me remind everyone that it’s not too late to enter the Eye Bleach Sweepstakes! Send a photo of your creepiest doll to eyebleachsweepstakes@gmail.com for a chance at fame and fortune (i.e. $25 to my Etsy shop).

the living artifact

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On Saturday night, during the season’s first real snow and attendant howling winds, Josh and I stayed in and played a ferocious game of Scrabble. On Sunday, as we drove home listening to Carmina Burana after hitting an antique store and wandering the Shelburne Museum, I came to the realization that my mental age is about seventy-five. Yes, I also go to goth clubs and aspire to ink every inch of my skin, but I really do revel in the antiquated. Old things have a magic embedded in them that the novel just can’t touch. Like Jung’s collective unconscious, manifest in cloth and grain. Do you ever look at a fin-de-siecle chair and think how many people have died in this?

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We are the result of a million generations’ blood, sweat, and tears. The least we can do is pay a little homage. So I took these photos in one of my most natural habitats: surrounded by cross-century absurdities.

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The Shelburne Museum evolved from the personal collection of Electra Havemeyer Webb, noted nominally-endowed eccentric. She had an eye for absurdity that I can only hope to emulate one day. This photo wall shows her in private life. I like the juxtaposition: me with my whimsical forebear.

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Teapots and hatboxes (dot tumblr dot com).

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Dress: Classy Closet Coat: Second Time Around Belt: Downtown Threads Tights: Gifted Boots: Handed down from Mom Socks & Scarf: Gifted

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windy witch

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A storm was stirring around me as I took these photos. I decided to work with, not against, the wind. Being outside in gales and gusts always makes me feel even more a witch, like maybe my energy will turn indistinguishable from the maelstrom beyond. And maybe I’ll be really lucky and not get a house dropped on me. When the wind lifts my hair and hands, I like to pretend I’m summoning it myself.

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This outfit makes me feel like a vagabond. Like a delightful louche. Like a creaky soul who can’t wait to be old. Like the girl who sings along with her accordion on Church Street. Like someone with magic hidden in all her corners.

My kind of witchcraft is about communion. The alchemy of connection. Interaction with other people, with oneself, with philosophy, with the natural world. It’s the “je ne sais quoi” produced when beings collide. And that means it can be everywhere. I don’t need a church or a coven (as much as I love them). Just to listen. To find magic everywhere.

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Dress: The Classy Closet Coat: Handed down from Mom Vest & Boots: Battery Street Jeans Hat & Necklace: Old Gold Tights: Gifted

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