nananananana, you say it's your birthday

strapless dress and belt: Target
ballet flats: Charlotte Russe
tights and camisole: Express
bracelet: gift

Camera, Set Design and Catering:

I woke up this morning to an extra special surprise. 

No, the surprise was not that another year had snuck upon me in the night, thank you very much. Save the old lady jokes for my next birthday.

What I found was that Laura had transformed the dining room into a breakfast tea party, complete with handmade ruffled streamers, wildflowers, an awesome cyanotype banner, and the most delicious maple and pecan scones, which I would eat every morning if I could. I have no idea how long she planned for this! My mother, Laura and I had a nice little tea, and some early gifts were opened. Verdict: excellent way to start off a birthday.

Later, we rounded up the rest of the family and le boyfriend for dinner at a Japanese restaurant in town that we'd never been to, which turned out to serve pretty great food. I played it safe with the sesame chicken, since I wanted to be sure I'd actually be able to eat my meal, but luckily I ended up getting to sample mostly everyone's food. (My fellow acid reflux sufferers, you understand my reluctance.) Sorry not to have pictures of the beautiful plates and decor to show, but unlike braver bloggers, I can't envision a scenario in which I would not get scolded for taking photos in a restaurant.

Ended the night with a combination red velvet and yellow layer cake, also Laura's creation and also delicious, then did the post-cake gift opening. Oh, so many lovely things have come into my possession today, I cannot even tell you anything except that I am a spoiled, spoiled child. (But you will surely be seeing them in later posts!)

Turning another year older, not so bad so far!


cinematographic: leeloo, the fifth element

Unlike the usual utopian/dystopian depictions of the universe in science fiction stories, the vision of the future in The Fifth Element is a vision I can actually believe. Well, except for the clothes! Real people are just not that awesome.

Whether you love or hate the larger-than-life comic book adventure style of this often tongue-in-cheek movie, the design aesthetics are undeniably excellent and so far from the muted color, minimalist or all black directions most others choose to take. This genre is notoriously bad about civilian clothing, so it's inspiring to see something markedly different. (This is what happens when you have Gaultier designing costumes!) They also aren't without humor (see anyone in a uniform.)

Best of all are the little pops of brilliant color in every scene, from bold reds, blues and yellows to pure neon orange.

I get such a Barbarella vibe here.
This is how I always pictured Coruscant, from Star Wars. A big mishmosh of city levels with the rich, new construction just piled on top of the old buildings, until the bottom levels are totally unusable except to the most desperate.
I would wear this, ngl. 
You think this is just your basic ribbed tank combo...
Until he turns around. Gotta say, cutouts in menswear? I approve. I am also digging that puffy 80s crop jacket he has in the previous pic.
I would pay so many cash monies for this technology. Instant makeup!
Zorg seems to be into shiny upholstery fabric for his suits. 
She is also wearing a transparent neon green vinyl miniskirt, in case you were wondering. So...much...clubwear....
Do I really need to say anything about the awesome stylings of Ruby Rhod?
My dream hotel room, right there.
I am pretty sure this guy's entire getup is sheer lace. Make of that what you will.
When this movie came out I desperately wanted her hair. Alas, it really is not possible without major professional help.
I see that even here, we cannot ever fully escape Trek-style costumes!
That look right there communicates how I feel about this movie, too. I've got a soft spot for you, The Fifth Element.


ruche summer resort lookbook

I always enjoy flipping through Ruche's lookbooks, and this one's even got a video attached. Resort wear isn't usually my thing, as I always end up doing maybe four beach/pool days per year no matter what I plan for, but many of these pieces are just really comfortable-looking late summer wear. Glad to see a lot of pale pink and polka dots, which I haven't been seeing much of elsewhere right now. Anyone else getting materialistic about those brightly-colored sundresses in the middle? 


currently coveting

This lovely little blouse from ThreadSence. I'm not usually one for florals, but there's something about the color combination in this fabric pattern that's still very feminine without looking like it belongs on your grandmother's wallpaper. This would be a definite go-to item for a windy day at the beach.

ThreadSence's summer lookbook has some other appealing pieces, too. I love those slouchy off-the-shoulder tops.


violets are blue, roses are mauve

skirt and shrug: Target
blouse: borrowed from my mother
gladiator sandals: Nine West
purse: Nine West, borrowed from Laura
jewelry: gift
sunglasses: gift


The swelling around my eyes went down enough that Laura could shoot one of the outfits I wore this week--although not enough that I wanted to go anywhere but my backyard! (Benadryl, thy drugs are quick.) At least the yard is looking beautiful these days; last summer's landscaping project ended up a little bare at first. It's filled in nicely now, though Laura insists there can never be enough rose bushes. (My father would prefer the yard become all-vegetable. It's an ongoing battle of wills.)

As for me, my dream yard (and house!) is the set from Practical Magic. I mean, look at this house. And some closeups of the featured home based on the movie design. If it's inevitable that Laura and I turn into the Aunts someday, I want a place like this to putter around in my old age. 

(She'll be Frances, obviously. If I'm anyone in that movie, it's probably the awkward kid Antonia, though, haha.)


cinematographic: irma vep, les vampires

a summer spree: crime, that is
(Sometimes, I'd really prefer to edit these collages in my own programs and not the Polyvore function. Look at all that extra white space!)

I'm sorry to show two collage posts in a row, but I couldn't do an outfit shoot this week due to an allergic reaction to some eye makeup remover. Visine, you have never done me wrong before, but wow. I'm looking rather like I've been punched in both eyes here. So...recommendations for another makeup remover, anyone?

Beauty disasters aside, this particular collage was inspired by a favorite picture from the early days of film. Les Vampires, a 1915 film serial created by Louis Feuillade, follows crack journalist Phillipe Guerande on an investigation into the sordid activities of a secret crime gang calling themselves The Vampires. Intriguing as any modern mob movie, the film is shockingly original, intelligent, and sometimes just plain fun. The world of The Vampires as depicted here is grim, a desolate, surreal Paris overrun by crime, but this is no joyless drama. Tricky, inventive characters, downright hilarious plot twists and periodic comic relief from the heroes and the villains lighten the mood considerably.

Silent films have a bad reputation amongst general audiences due to the often slow buildup of plot, but the payoff in Les Vampires is totally worth the wait. Since the serial is 10 hours long, capping the whole story would make for a ridiculously long post. Instead, here are the major characters and some highlights:

Phillippe Guerande, journalist. With an amazing hairstyle, there.
Irma Vep, femme fatale and a major player in the Vampires gang.
Mazamette, undercover agent. Well, sort of.
The Grand Vampire, in disguise, with Irma Vep.
Juan-Jose Moreno, head of a rival gang and enemy of the Vampires.
The color changes in the film communicate the time of day. Blue is for night, green for outdoor daytime, sepia for indoor daytime. Next time you see a modern movie that overuses the blue and orange filters, you'll know just how old that trick is.
The iconic ballet scene.
This man performs some pretty impressive stunts throughout the serial, scaling walls, shimmying down drainpipes and hopping rooftops, all without wires. 
Now how could that face be anything but innocent?
I'm told I look a bit like her. What do you think?

I'll almost certainly be returning to this film in another post. Irma Vep's various menswear-inspired costumes are too lovely not to show.

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