polka dots & fireworks

beachII beachVIII

Like any counterculture darling, I’ve always been a little jaded about the Fourth of July. As recently as last year, I was all “okay, but do we really need to celebrate ‘Murica?” I would enjoy the barbecue and fireworks, but only couched in a sufficient layer of irony.

Sometime in the past few months, I’ve turned a corner. And I’m liking it. Yes, America is flawed, deeply so. Yes, some of us are much more free than others. But I’m no longer feeling cognitive dissonance between acknowledging these things and shamelessly adoring good-ol’-fashioned kitsch. I still keep my distance from nationalism, but I don’t think engaging with cheesy cultural symbols is a bad thing.

Everything is problematic. Love the things you love, even (especially) if they’re imperfect. Life is too short for ironic joys.

beachVbeachX

beachIV beachIbeachIX beachXIbeachIII beachVII beachVI

let down your hair (vintage florals & competing shades)

III

II

Let down your hair to me,

I asked,

and watched the sly uncurling.

Silk-bound secrets shook their shackles

and I learned what morning meant.

IV I VII

Let down your hair,

I asked, a tease –

golden secrets winking back.

I climbed her form and kissed her face.

I paused and watched

her bloom stretch on forever.

IX

Let down your hair

“I can’t tonight: the babe is wailing

something fierce, the floor’s unswept,

and don’t forget the winter’s on its way.”

Her face was drawn – not a challenge

but a law.

I shut my mouth and watched

the morning turn to noon.

X

Let down your hair – “it’s too late for that now,

don’t you see these wrinkles,

these sags,

this much-too-softness,

these hollows where once I was firm.

Don’t you know evening

when it strokes your ragged face?”

XIII

Let down your hair,

I whispered,

as though she could hear,

as though her hollows and softness and sags

hadn’t deafened her lovely ears.

As though midnight weren’t on our trail.

XI XII

My darling, my darling, let down your hair

That I might climb that (silver) stair.

 

winterbilly

r I

 

I had a weird half-asleep epiphany last night, and I want to see if it still holds water conscious.

I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer. I dictated my first stories to my mother before I could hold a pen. From first through eighth grade I spent lunch and recess buried in a notebook, because who needs friends anyway. I wrote two novels and dozens of short stories before I graduated from high school. I have been freelancing since I was fifteen, and I even served as copy editor for my hometown’s (shitty little) newspaper.  I am more confident in my ability to turn a convincing phrase than in anything else I have to offer.

And yet so much of my writing on this blog veritably (as we in the industry say) sucks.

r VI

I look through my archives, and the posts are full of all the conventions I redacted mercilessly in my copy-editing days. A ham-handed pretension. A too-cheerful pomp. In short, blog tone. I’m watching my own voice peter out and all fashion blogging’s clumsy conventions filter in.

r V r VII

I write very well when I sit down with a notebook and a shot of absinthe or curl up with my laptop and a mug of tea. I find a groove and carve it smoothly. Somehow, though, when I open wordpress and click “add new post”, something shrivels. Somehow the act of blogging has divorced itself from the idea of Writing.

r III

Writing, for me, is as organic as it gets. I had words before I knew how to have them. Blogging, though, is something I’ve learned. I did not sail into this world knowing how to talk about fashion in a resonant way. I learned, adapted, internalized. And there’s a sad uniformity in a lot of the examples out there. Blog tone is one of those terms that barely needs explaining, that will immediately ring true with anyone on even the fringes of blogging culture. It’s unadulterated pep. It’s pomp and circumstance. And even though I’m loath to blame anyone else for my bad writing, you gotta admit there’s a certain insidiousness to all of it.

Artists pick up conventions from the media they work in. There’s really no disputing that. Genre is symbiotic. I wrote ad copy for a while in 2011, and it took me months to shake the “wonderful! fabulous! BUY NOW!” shtick out of my prose. The longer I blog about fashion, the more I sound like a Fashion Blogger. And I’m really not so into that.

r IV

2015 will be the Year of No More Blog Voice. No more pretense, no more inflation, no more addressing readers as “lovelies” or “bloglings”. In some, it rings true. In me it does not.

I’ve always been about blogging fashion on my own terms. I already subvert quite a bit. This is just my latest hurdle.

r VIII r II

 

pastiche

I

V

I love dressing like a caricature of myself. Some retro girls are less obnoxiously Retro, with nuanced outfits less dripping in cliche than mine. Not me. Sometimes I want to look like I stepped not out of the distant past, but out of a garish ’80s editorial about said distant past. Sometimes I want to hit all the tropes in one: polka dots, peter pan collars, and several dozen petticoats.

II

Yup, that’s a broken foosball table. It appeared in my backyard one day, and I’m too lazy to move it. o.O

XV XIII

X VIII III XII IX XIV VI

 

 

jackie woah

II I

So as of June first, I’ve been living in the most rockabilly house ever. Some Stuff Happened and Josh and I had to get the %*^& out of our apartment on three days’ notice. Fortunately, we were able to find a summer sublet in this Levittown-esque house while we look for a new place of our own.

This house – which we call Pretty House, as opposed to  the old Shitty House – happens to be filled with a bunch of my college friends. I’m living in party central once again – which makes me hella nervous, given that this is a very nice neighborhood filled with Real People. Our next-door neighbor is a freaking surgeon. This house is far too good for a gaggle of 20somethings. Here’s hoping my attempts at housewifery will class up the joint.

VI V III

I miss weirdness. It’s been too damn hot to go all out with anything. In the fifteen minutes I spent on these photos, I was sweating so hard that beads of hair dye began rolling down my neck. I think I can be forgiven for preferring lighter, more whimsical shoots to anything complicated or heavy. But this blog can’t go without the eccentric for long. Provided the weather cooperates, I’m planning a few surreal pagan-tastic shoots over the next few weeks. Creepy dolls all around – and maybe Baroness Samedi will make another appearance.

IV IX

VIII

VII

X

rockabilly religion major

tat XI

I swear to all the gods on this dress, not taking rockabilly pictures the day after getting inked must violate some kind of fashion-blogger dictum. Far be it from me to cross the men (and women) upstairs (and down). And the light in my apartment was celestially perfect today. How could I be anything but a big ol’ inked-up ham?

tat VII

tat VIII

As of yesterday, my passion for performance is forever inscribed on my body. It’s my third tattoo, and my most elaborate to date. Body art feels so, so right. Few things make me feel more empowered than customizing my skin and hair and face, bringing the surface in line with the soul. One day I will be a flabby old woman with her life story writ round her hips and up her spine, and I couldn’t be happier at the thought.

tat IX

tat V

tat I

And this dress. My word, this dress. It’s been months since I’ve purchased something decidedly not vintage, but Hell Bunny is persuasion enough. (True to my slow-fashion leanings, however, I did purchase it from a locally owned store.) I was swept away by this piece’s tackiness. What self-respecting religion major wouldn’t want the Blessed Virgin and Baron Samedi palling around on her breasts? I realize I run the risk of blasphemy here, and I truly hope my gesture isn’t interpreted as disrespect. In my opinion, it’s a testament to the timelessness of these symbols that we in the 21st century can choose how to honor them. No need to confine our reverence to frescoes and chapel walls. I can incorporate the divine into something I love – dresses! – and I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with that. If you’re going to be spiritual, why not ingrain it into your life?

tat IV

tat X

Dress & Necklace: Old Gold Blazer, Belt, & Tights: Goodwill Hat & Shoes: Gifted

tat III

von tease

The bad news is I’ve become a slug, capable mostly of shivering in bed, designing elaborate future tattoos, and eating tortellini. The good news is listlessness breeds inspiration. If you need a little slice of summer to drag you through the last of the hibernation, then ya need a little slice of summer. And nothing channels summer better than the rockabilly beach queen we all deserve to be.

pinup IX

pinup I

pinup IV

pinup VI

pinup XIII

pinup V

pinup VII

Come March 15th, I’ll have a brand-new tattoo on my right shoulder blade. The appointment’s been booked and the down payment made. Soon comes round three of my endeavor to ink every inch of my skin.

Oh, you thought I was going to tell you what it was? That’s cute. You can wait like goddamn everyone else.

pinup XI

pinup XII

amelie

*amelie intensifies*

pinup XV

splatter

bloody XIII

bloody XV

bloody XVII

bloody XII

Today I’m guest posting over at Floral Prints and Common Sense, teaching y’all how to make and style blood-spattered shoes. Head over and check it out (and I highly recommend following Floral Prints and Common Sense while you’re at it!)

meth and moonshine

I nurse a great fondness for psychobilly and gothabilly. Combining spooky Americana with retro silhouettes and histrionic brights is how I feel most myself. (Y’all knew that already, though. Skulls and shirtwaists forever!)

Today I’m taking a cue from o’death, my favorite psychobilly band. Quoth Pitchfork:

It’s like rural Appalachia, were hillbillies to exchange moonshine for meth.

This is what I would wear if I ever (knock on wood) saw them in concert.

fairy punk IV

A couple of months ago I waxed lyrical about how much I love artifice and hyperdeliberation. And I still do – I probably always will – but lately I like my constructs slightly unhinged. There’s a richness in the product of just playing and seeing what happens. Maybe it comes from school being over and me spending more time at my parents’ house in supremely rural Nowhere. I love the idea of my overdressed self against the background of dusty trees and sky too blue for words.

To put it less pretentiously: I enjoy feeling like the wild, witchy mountain girl I sometimes forget I am. Someone who dyes her hair pink and worships trees and apologizes for neither. Rooted simultaneously in the material and the spiritual. Theatrical but grounded. That’s the essence of my kind of gothabilly.

fairy punk III

fairy punk V

fairy punk I

fairy punk II

Too cool for shoes.

fairy punk VI

fairy punk IX

fairy punk VIII

fairy punk XI

fairy punk X

I’ve had this dress since I was fifteen. It’s the shorter, pinker counterpart of my beloved fairy dress. Until today, I’d worn it only once: to Winter Ball my junior year of high school. It was long overdue for a comeback.

Dress, Prayer Beads, & Skull Necklace: Gifted Pink Necklace: Old Gold Floral Vest: Downtown Threads Hat & Tan Vest: Battery Street Jeans

look who thinks she’s so sophisticated

First of all: I don’t think I can, in good conscience, keep saying I have short hair.

long hurr

It touches the back of my neck now, which is a hella strange feeling. It hasn’t, until now, been longer than my chin since last February.

I kind of like it, but I also liked the buoyancy of the shorter version. It was always out of my face, and it had so much bounce and personality that I hardly had to brush it. More than that, I liked the touch of ’20s androgyny it gave me. It seems I’ve transitioned out of that ’20s androgyny and into ’50s hyperfemininity. Nothing wrong with either – I just have to figure out which one I prefer. Anyone have suggestions?

That aside, I fulfilled one of my wishes this Christmas: BRIGHT RED PANTS.

red pants I

I went full-on rockabilly today. I’m tending that way more and more.

red pants II

red pants VIII

She’s so sophisticated that she forgot to remove the broom from this shot.

red pants III

Here’s how old this sweater is: the tag says “made in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong”.

red pants IV

I like maintaining simplicity in the bulk of my outfit and getting fancy in the trimmings. Cool scarf, cool jewelry, cool boots. Solid colors in the middle.

red pants V

I have been wearing these boots EVERYWHERE.

red pants VI

red pants VII

Sweater & Rings: Battery Street Jeans Pants: Gift Coat, Scarf, & Boots: Handed down