I'm not trying to pad my blog post count (although this makes it the most blogged month of 2009 at 25) but I did forget to record today's outfit. Not much Mayle today. I wore a black box pleat gabardine skirt from Club Monaco (it's the reason I didn't get Amandine--my skirt is very similar and I've had it for about 5 years), my bottle green silk pintuck Lyell blouse from FW 2005, my navy Mayle cardi from FW 2006 with the wood buttons (never knew the name), heather gray tights, gray boots and Odette in Navy. It was getting cold as I left and I also knew that I'd get covered in chalk but I needed something warm. At least the chalk is rubbing off my left sleeve although I have no idea how I managed to get chalk up there.... Leave it to me to make a mess of myself!
So, I finish off the month with 24 posts, not bad considering my workload and Thanksgiving! Today was another crazy day, one with unexpected high and low spots.
I guess the high spots were my cyber Monday finds. Evan reminded me to check some of these out last night. GNC had 35% off for its Gold Card holders so I stocked up on my vitamins and supplements for this month and the beginning of next (as I'll be in the UK). I ended up saving $42. Evan's sister (a doctor) recommended against cod liver oil because of mercury and overdosing on Vitamin D, so I have to look for fish oil which GNC doesn't stock. Co-enzyme Q-10 wasn't on sale, otherwise I'm set for another month. Thank goodness for my FSA which helps offset these costs, acupuncure and my herbs.
My other cyber Monday find was the Inhabit cashmere sale. I like this brand, particularly its more imaginative knits, although I find some of their pieces pill a little too much and their customer service can be dicey (to put it mildly). But the prices were so low--80% off some pieces, plus free shipping, that I couldn't resist. The cold weather has started and reminds me I need more sweater options. So I got the following.
I got this in a dark brown. I liked it before but it was $578 and now $118.
This will be versatile and was only $68 (down from over $300). I got it in a tan and will likely wear it with a variety of other layering pieces. At that price, who can resist.
After logging out and paying, I spotted this one for $98, down from $475. Another soft cashmere piece, this looks so warm, cozy and different. I like imaginative knits and this fit the bill so I took the plunge, again. I got it in a brownish lavender color. It has long attached sleeves under the shorter sleeves so it should be warm.
Then I heard about a Mayle striped sweater, which I ended up getting too thanks to a very dear and kind friend. Of course it was also in a variety of browns! So I'm probably stocked up on brown sweaters now. Inhabit also have another cashmere cardigan for $58 but it is time to stop on this binge now.
Low points--same as ever, too much work, etc. All the things I'm working on are still goals to continue working towards. Still, at least I'll be warm while striving for them.
I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. We headed up to Boston to visit Evan's sister, brother-in-law and nieces and nephew. I love Evan's family and always have a good time with them. I think the ultimate compliment was when his 15-year old nephew eschewed hanging out with a friend because he wanted to spend the time with the family.
For the trip (Amtrak), I wore my Earnest Sewn Ginger jeans, Fiorentini and Baker boots, Mariko top in dove and my grey Vince cashmere boyfriend cardigan with Olympe. Lots of grey and maybe a little warm for the still balmy weather. When we arrived, everybody was in jeans so rather than changing into Ignacia, I stayed casual. As Evan's sister's family mainly eat organic food, I was fine with my diet although I did have a slice of cheesecake which isn't on the list of approved foods.
The next day we did some Black Friday shopping--I got a bar of soap from Anthropologie and two pairs of pyjama pants (for the price of one) from the Gap. We were in the suburbs so nothing too exciting although I did not that the local UO had selections from the Fletcher by Lyell line, including the lace top I just bought. Better than the shopping was my companion--my friend Shari from grad school spent most of the day with us. We shopped, mainly window shopping, talked, laughed and then went back to Evan's family's house where we ate dinner and Shari (who is, among many other things, a yoga teacher) taught some poses to Evan's nieces. For all this, I wore Katia, the thick navy wool cardigan with wooden buttons from F/W 06 that I need to get repaired (I love this cardigan) and my grey boots/grey tights with Olympe.
Saturday I returned (same travel outfit), then went to see some friends who had a baby on Thanksgiving--the child is adorable. We bought them Thai food and I sat in some soy milk although fortunately my skirt was fine (outfit was a gray and black Philip Lim skirt from FW 2006?, Lyell scallop lace top from FW 08 and black Inhabit round neck cashmere sweater with Odette, red tights, grey boots).
Sunday was another sewing day at Alyssa's. For that I spent a lot of time in and out of my Mayle Liliane dress which I teamed with purple tights, grey boots, black cashmere chunky cardigan and Odette.
The penultimate week of classes starts today. I suspect a lot of tired students now that the much longed for Thanksgiving break is over, the temperatures are falling and much work still has to be done. I empathize with them and wish Thanksgiving fell about three or four weeks earlier myself so it could be a decent break midway through the semester rather than a too short preview of the holiday ahead.
Today I did laundry. It was one of those exciting days... I booked my ticket to London, spent about an hour I-M-ing my brother (wonderful, hysterically funny human being), spoke to my friend Shari who I hope I'll see while I'm in Boston (brief trip and Thanksgiving commitments make these things uncertain) and spent the day doing little errands.
I also watched one of my new Criterion DVDs--Carl Dreyer's beautiful and dreamlike Vampyr (1932). It's like no other film ever--scary and beautiful. I watched all the supplementary features too (two documentaries, one made for Danish TV) until Evan asked if we could please watch something else. I highly recommend Vampyr. It features Sybille Schmitz who is the real life inspiration for Fassbinder's Veronika Voss and its leading man/producer started as a French aristocrat, sponsor of the avant garde and ended up a fashion editor in NYC (Harrper's Bazaar and, I believe, Vogue), discovering Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein among others.
Fittingly, it wasn't a dress up day. Earnest Sewn ginger dreams (skinny, high waist) and a brown and white checked silk Steven Alan Dahlia top.
I'm still not feeling 100%. My stomach is bothering me and I've got a bit of a headache. I suspect I ate something not so good and got some kind of low grade bacterial infection. Still, it's nothing too bad and isn't stopping me from working.
So, I wore a dress for acupuncture, albeit with a long sleeved J.Crew black t underneath so I could just roll the dress down around my waist. Today's outfit--Danya with the black t underneath, gray cropped Inhabit cashmere cardi, burgundy tights, JC shoes.
Today was tiring. Lots of student consultations but my students are so nice. One of my students came in wearing Ignacia with red tights and a red jacket and looked very stylish. Another even bought me a coffee and piece of cake. I was so touched by her kindness and so sad that I couldn't drink the coffee (one sip made me realize how much better caffeinated coffee tastes). I gave the cake to Evan.
On that note, my acupuncturist praised me for the way I've stuck to the diet and said not all her patients were as good. I felt so proud--like I got an A on my homework. Hopefully all that work will pay off but it is nice to know that I'm doing well.
The main frustration today: air fares to England are super expensive, way more than normal at Christmas. I am having to foresake BA (my favorite) for the not so great American Airlines (bringing my own food for sure). But when the flight costs $200+ more for economy and BA only gives you 1/4 mile for every mile flown, then there's just no comparison. I may even be able to get the full milage on my BA frequent flier card. Still, I'll have to use those miles--my USAirways ones are about to expire and I have enough for a flight but no time to go anywhere (and no idea where I'd go anyway). I imagine they'll expire well before my conference in LA this spring. So, tomorrow, I'm going to bite the bullet and get my ticket home for the holidays and just grit my teeth for that crowded 7 hour flight over and 9 hour flight back. Thank goodness for ipods and magazines.
As the semester comes to a close and finals approach, I'm swamped. Lots of students coming to office hours, which is great as I get to meet them, but I do wish some had come in a little earlier--for their sake and mine. I didn't feel too great yesterday either--I hope I'm not catching any of the flu bugs that have been circulating around campus.
Other than work, I have nothing much to report. Yesterday's outfit was another Lyell one--the black top with the scalloped lace neck and dollman sleeves from Fall 08, my stalwart Lyell black box pleat skirt and my trusty chunky black cashmere Club Monaco cardi combined with gray tights, gray Fiorentini and Baker boots and my black Lyell little girl peacoat.
If today wasn't acupuncture, I'd be wearing a dress. I still haven't fathomed what to wear and I have to leave in an hour. That autumn chill rules out the gaia pants outfit I'd picked out in advance. I want to give my box pleat skirt (or skirts as I have two) a little break.
As today was going to be one of those days where I sat at home, graded, prepared my materials for this week's classes, I knew I could afford to start breaking in a new pair of shoes. To be more precise, I'm trying to break in a pair of black Chi Mihara ankle boots that I got in the Saks sale about a year ago and have never worn out. They seem like they could be comfortable and may even be a wardrobe stalwart, but they are a little stiff and need to be worn in before I venture out into the city streets.
As pajamas and boots aren't a great look (even for sitting on the computer and typing), I had to dress up a little. So I put on black Rosamelia (I had the ruffle removed), black Gloria cardi (SS 06), blue-green Hue tights and the boots. I still wish Jane had made the body of the Rosamelia a little longer--without the ruffle (which I kept), it is a tad shorter than I'd like. It''s not so much length but proportion--styled wrongly, the skirt is short and wide. But with Gloria, it seems to work pretty well. The boots also help. This is a dress that can be vastly improved with the right shoes and accessories. If Jane had made it without the ruffle so it hit just above the knee, I think it would have been vastly more popular. There's a lot of work to it and the bodice is great, as are the sleeves.
Yesterday was primariily frustrating. I tried to install a new printer driver with limited success (it took two hours because of compatibility issues with Evan's external dvd drive--the one on my laptop has broken). Then we went to pick up a coffee table we bought from cragislist. The coffee table is great--a Pottery Barn one from three years ago that's actually a lot nicer than the updated one and has the big drawer and shelves I need for my papers/book/grading. But our movers got stuck in tunnel traffic--we assumed Queens-midtown but actually it was the Lincoln tunnel. I waited with Evan for 1 hour, then left to hit Trader Joe's. Meanwhile, he waited for another hour before they arrived (fortunately there was a lobby in the building). Then there was the cable outage--first sound, then the sound back but the remote control wouldn't work, and finally, after two boosts from Time Warner, the cable resolved whatever issues it had.
I wore my new Fletcher top and cardigan with my Lyell box pleat skirt (almost copying an outfit from the SS 2007 lookbook), Lyell little girl peacoat, grey Fiorentini and Baker boots and my Mayle Agnes bag. The top is great--granted the silk and lace are a little lower in quality than the Lyell original (which I don't have) but the difference in quality is minimal. There are also two tweaks that make this more wearable than the original--the lace panel isn't as big or as low as the Lyell version and it is a shade longer, so it hits my hips, making it far more versatile. One of Lyell's problems, for me, is that some of her tops are cut too short in the torso--a style decision but not one that I like, preferring longer tops myself. The cardigan is also great--the sleeves are 3/4 whereas the originals were short and puffed (the longer sleeved cardigan which I have was only available in ivory cashmere or brown wool). I think it may possibly pill but no sign of that as yet. I hope it won't as both of these are great--I highly recommend them. They don't look cheap at all and blend in seamlessly with my more expensive Lyell and Mayle items.
We went to a new Thai place in East Elmherst last night--Ayada. It was amazing. Everything tasted fresh and I think it is a new favorite, up there with Sriprathai--although this place was good for the lighter dishes and Sriprathai better for heavier food. It was also cheap--entrees around $8. Amazingly good and the people who ran it were so nice.
I treated myself to an afternoon off and headed into Manhattan around 4, wearing my black and white striped J. Crew long sleeved t, J. Crew double rhinestone necklace, black chunky cashmere double breasted Club Monaco cardigan, denim mini, black leggings, Fiorentini and Baker grey boots and my Lyell little girl peacoat. I first headed to Urban Outfitters to scope out the Fletcher items. The quality of the newer pieces is much better and I got the black top with the lace insert on my covet list (a L, M would fit but I like the drape on the L). In addition they had the cardigan with the star pattern at the top that I own in the ivory cashmere from FW 2005. It was in black, just $58 and was mainly cotton with some wool, so it came home with me too.
I then went to Steven Alan, where I later met up with Cindy. I got a shrunken blazer in a lavender/black herringbone that makes me look tall and thin and a liberty-esqe print blue cami. I wasn't awestruck by the stock--many of the shirts in my size were in colors that were not so flattering--dull plaids, yellow/pink Liberty prints (I wear a L in SA because of my shoulders). I nearly got a plaid shirt but realized it would be spending for spending's sake. After I found the jacket ($195), I put other shirts back and decided to go with the investment piece.
Cindy and I walked around a bit, checked out Save Fashion again (nothing there of note) and got dinner at Rice. Then it was home on the V-train. Somehow the TV isn't working right--no sound. I suspect either the cable isn't right or, more likely, cat interference on the remote...
I made a Herculean effort to complete some of the grading and managed to finish the celebrity class papers (all 40). My students worked so hard with many of them doubling the required page length, adjusting margins and font to ensure they could write as much per page as possible. Many of the papers were really good, so I wanted to give them a thorough reading. Combined with my teaching, this gave me little free time over the last two days.
Outfits for those days: Wednesday--ivory Jemeen, gray tights, gray Vince cashmere cardigan and Lola clogs; Thursday--Hera, Lyell box pleat skirt (another beloved staple--so much so, that I own two), orange cashmere cardigan from Club Monaco, gray tights, JC wedges and my black Lyell little girl peacoat from 2005 (I really love this one).
I watched the finale of Project Runway when I got home at 11 p.m. last night. I was underwhelmed by the collections as expected and unsurprised that Irina won. Not because her work was better, but because the judges for some bizarre reason seemed to want her to win from the start. All the collections were problematic at best--Carol Hannah makes nice dresses but she didn't present a collection and nothing she's done has been wow worthy or that creative, Althea is dull and one note (there is no way she translates street trends...) and Irina is horrible and has poor taste. I liked a couple of the cardigans, some of Althea's pants and jackets and a couple of Carol Hannah's dresses but it really is a good job that they're starting the next season of PR so soon to get the taste of this one out of the viewers' mouths.
Let me preface this by saying that I'd prefer to get some of the Mayle items that are on my wishlist. But these are not turning up on ebay or in consignment stores in my size. And when they have been on ebay, I've been outbid in the last seconds. I console myself with the thought that my fellow size 8s now have these items, but in the interim, I'm thinking about the following items that are actually available in stores for mere mortals to buy rather than randomly available, in uncertain condition and for whatever price the seller deems fit. As you can tell, I am a little frustrated with relying on a secondary market where there's no guarantee the pieces I want will be available and where they could be priced for far more than condition and scarcity demands. I just hope all those people who have some Mayle and don't wear it decide to sell--after all, many of the items I want were made in pretty large numbers and I'm sure most aren't being worn any more (the same, I'm sure, applies to all of us and our covets).
But for now, on with the items that are available. I'm going to stick with clothing here and consider accessories and shoes at a later date.
This first item I've yet to see in stores and may hate in person. So far, I've not been impressed with the fabrics used for the Fletcher by Lyell line, possibly because I own many of the original pieces that have been recut and reworked and can see a major difference between both lines, even when the cut is similar. That being said, I loved the original of this top. I planned to get it, but it sold out in my size before it was reduced. I didn't want to pay full price, in part because the lace was very low and possibly too revealing. But at this price ($68), I may go for this unless it looks like really cheap lingerie.
Speaking of Lyell, I have to second Marti's recommendation and highlight this jacket. I don't think it goes up to my size (it seems to stop at an 8, which in Lyell is usually more like a 4-6) and it is too similar to my brown Lyell tweed coat from 2006. But if I can find it in a bigger size, I might go for it in the black. I have to be careful, though, as I already have three Lyell coats and nine Mayle, so I wonder if I really need more outerwear...
I also like this Lyell blouse. I have to try it on, but it is certainly a possibility.
I tried this cardigan on in J. Crew this weekend. I love the style but I'm not entirely sold on the fabric. I have a wool allergy and this cardigan caused it to play up on the one exposed piece of arm it hit (raging burning feeling). This may sound like the most stupid item to consider, but I think I'd wear it over other items and may not have a problem if I wear it that way. Or maybe I just like the style and want to share it with people who can wear it.
Rachel Comey Retractor's dress from Frances May. I prefer the versions of this that aren't in leopard. While I love the green in Domohoka, I think the darker print would be more versatile.
I taught, I grade, I saw students, I responded to student emails and I got home at 10.15 p.m. and watched Gossip Girl. I'm now about to go to bed after I've done the dishes. That about sums up my Monday. I wore Lilian, Magheeta (ivory), lavendar tights and my Jeffrey Campbell wedges with Ludovine over the top and my J. Crew locket and pinky rectangular glass drop earrings. the dept. secretary (who is so lovely) told me she loved my clothes and how unusual they were--I explained a little about how much I like Mayle and how she closed this year. Then I went back to work.
Gossip Girl name-dropped Tisch a lot tonight. But the image they give of Tisch and its students is so wrong--they aren't socialites but good kids who work hard and are very low key and care about their studies. I have to ask the undergrads what they think of all this when I'm back in Tisch tomorrow.
I recently wore my olive gold Ebba for the first time. As longstanding readers of this blog might recall, I went back and forth on this dress when it was in the shops. Several times I nearly got the marine version, only to have other items I wanted more turn up at the right price. Ebba had caught my eye early on but then when the fall items came in (remember, this was pre-fall), it seemed less desirable than Eniko and the others on my wishlist. Besides, there was the matter of fit. Ebba runs narrow in the hips so I needed the 10 to be comfortable--and I don't carry my weight there. The dress just runs narrow in the skirt.
With last week's warm spell, I pulled Ebba out so I could wear it before it got too late. I paired it with my Vince cardi and a gray pearl bead and rhinestone J. Crew necklace. At the end of the day, I realized how much I liked Ebba. It has an early 60s feel--almost Betty Draper-esque--and it is comfortable, full of those little details that make Mayle Mayle.
So, this is another little hidden gem to add to my list.
I escaped briefly from the papers, grading, lectures and other writing, picking the rainy weekend day to play rather than today's mild sun. After completing some chores, I met Cindy and picked up some baby/toddler clothes for my niece from the Gap (who had their 30% off Give and Get promotion). I didn't realize I had to say something to get the 5% donated to a non-profit so I'm a little miffed about that part of the very fine print. But I got Charlotte three nice items and another 40% coupon off one item on a Wednesday so I'll use that for her final Christmas gift. This means I have officially started my present buying for this year.
After hitting up H&M to look at the (horrid) Jimmy Choo collaboration which lived up (or down) to my very low expectations--tons of remaining clothes, by the way if you like that kind of club-wear or bad 80s redux--we went to J. Crew where I nearly bought another bracelet. I have decided it will have to wait until the book is in the mail, which should be imminent. Cindy got a great cardigan and we headed to Inven.tory for the latest Save Fashion. The stock was a mess and pretty much overpriced/not my tastes (again), but I did pick up two pairs of Devotte sandals (same style of flats--one brown, one bright blue) for just $45 each. They are also very comfortable and will help me eke out my Africana flats for a couple more summers (I hope). We checked out INA which had no Mayle and Tokio 7 which had one tiny and very worn black cardigan. Then it was dinner at Spice with Evan and Adrienne, before Ev, Adrienne and I headed off to see An Education, which was great. I had two minor quibbles--Peter Saarsgard's accent was a little all over the place and the final letter--which was wrong in so many ways that I can't go into here lest I spoil the film for anybody. Great clothing, however (definitely some dresses I'd love to own like the purple frock worn in Paris and some of the eveningwear), and the main actors were great. The period details were pretty good, but not Mad Men perfect.
And for all this I wore Margarita in black, with a black J Crew long sleeved t-shirt, my Vince cashmere cardi, Fiorentini and Baker grey boots, purple tights and Ludovine in black. Cindy wore her Amalfi Federica, her new cardigan, black tights and black Belle shoes.
Today, I'm writing lectures. Then I have a pile of grading waiting for me--the ones I want to leave til last are, of course, the ones I have to grade first. As for clothing? Pina in black, my Vince cardi, Devotte brown flat sandals. I still need to get some shoes/ankle boots for the winter or fall that are comfortable enough for teaching, not suede and work with skirts. I just can't wear the Lola clogs all day long--at least not yet. They have taken me over 2 years to break in and I think they're nearly there.
It's too easy to sit here and bemoan the things that have been tough, tiring of simply frustrating--the near miss on the ebay auctions, the coffee table debacle, even the grading. So here are some of the things I've enjoyed, in no particular order:
1. the Mad Men finale. I can't recap it as well as my dear friend Ben (whose blog, Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner is on my blog roll and offers amazing, self proclaimed irresponsible recaps). But I love the show, the clothes, Pete Campbell's confession that he wasn't really sick, Trudy Campbell's hats, Sally's precociousness, Don's story, Roger's rougueishness and Joan for being Joan (and she looked so great in her black capri pants, grey cardigan and white shirt). I love the 1960s and have published a lot on the era and its media--so many transformations in gender and society--possibilities changed, styles mutated and the world appeared to transform itself at least twice from 62-68. The transition between early 1960s style and elegance and mid-late 1960s mod Swinging London youth fascinates me--so much great stuff, the world quickly forming and reforming so each moment is as distinctive as it is ephemeral.
2. South Park. Eric Cartman episodes are always sublime, as are Butters ones, for that matter. But this week's Dances With Smurfs was one of the better ones, complete with its surreal Glen Beck parody. Following from Butters as a pimp and the dead celebrities episode, this half season has been one of the best, filled with rare treats. Even the weakest episode offered the thrilling spectacle of Eric Cartman singing "Poker Face" while playing Rock Band with Kyle and Kenny.
3. The Girl Can't Help It. The screening for my celebrity class this week made me realize (again) just how underrated Jayne Mansfield was--as a comedienne, singer and screen presence. She is no Monroe but that's because she is herself--funny, smart and completely in control (as seen in her perfectly sharp enunciation). She has none of Monroe's vulnerability--she's together, smart and in on the joke. That's tougher to romanticize but she comes across as a lot of fun and as the obviously smart woman she was off-screen. My students must be aware of my fondness for the Tashlin-Mansfield films: I also screened Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter earlier in the semester. And that's a film that any fan of comedy or Mad Men, for that matter, should check out.
4. Criterion Collection DVDs 50% off at Barnes and Noble. Undoubtedly the best DVDs around, although their collection is limited. I have already bought four Criterion DVDs this semester so I was a little miffed about missing the deal on these (especially as one was Fassbinder's FDR set with the great Veronika Voss). But I made up for this by getting 12 more discs--including upgrading my copy of Vampyr, finally getting The Rise to Power of Louis XIV, three more early Godards, an Ozu double set, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Scarlet Empress and The Third Man. Some are for teaching, some for research purposes, and others are just for me.
5. Sewing with Cindy and Alyssa. Such great people and so much fun to use another part of my brain and get away from work.
6. Bored to Death. The best new comedy of the year and one that completely captures Brooklyn (or at least the Brooklyn I know).
7. Acupuncture. Always wonderful, sometimes more than others. Next semester's schedule allows me to go twice a week. Hopefully it won't be necessary, but it is currently a great and necessary part of my life. My acupunturist, Juliette Aiyana, is truly gifted.
8. the weather--early in the week, that is. Sunny and warm. I love hot days in November.
9. Jim O'Rourke's The Visitor. My copy finally arrived from amazon (on back order since before the cd was released). His first CD in about 7 years, this is recognizably him and therefore I know I'll love it as I get to hear it more. It sounds beautiful but as it is all one track, it is going to require more plays before I feel I know it and can listen to its textures.
On a final note, my apt is so hot that now I'm wearing the olive-gold Ebba and bare legs, no cardigan. At least inside I can enjoy my pretty Mayle when it's cold outside.
I graded today and applied for two jobs that I likely won't get. I couldn't believe the day escaped from me so fast. I might post again later today, but so far, little to say.
As for the outfit--today is the tweed Josephine dress (FW 05, I think) with FW 06 black silk Georgina blouse, Vince gray cashmere cardi, purplish Hue tights from 04 and gray Fiorentini and Baker boots. I'm about to add Navy Odette and run out for dinner.
So, time for a rare Thursday update (8 hours teaching plus travel times doesn't really allow for much of anything else). I can't believe the semester is nearly over--my classes for next semester are filling up already and I'm barely digging my way out from the last of the midterms/paper proposals.
So, not too much to say. I wore Clothilde with some black skinny pants,Vince gray cardi, JC shoes and Olympe today. I really need to get another pair of skinny black pants as these are now a little too loose.
It's getting to be the busy time of year/semester. Yesterday was acupuncture (good although I confessed to my acupuncturist that I was a little down about my lack of success/progress), then German Cinema. For the last warmish day, I wore my silk top from SS 06, Lyell scallop skirt, gray cashmere Vince cardi (my stalwart cardigan) and Ludovine with blue tights and the Jeffrey Campbell wedges.
Today was a day full of work, errands and some frustrations. I started applying for jobs in between teaching/prep/writing/grading, and have to finish this by Friday as the deadlines are fast approaching. I missed the gym due to an ebay auction (a frustrating loss) and an increasingly complex craigslist furniture purchase/pick up. Everything was ready to go with a coffee table we're getting (one with drawers to maximize storage) until the seller emailed to say that her building only allowed furniture to be moved between 9-4 and needed to see the mover's insurance and bonding certificates. A flurry of emails followed but the net result--moving the table tonight--was not to be. Then I went to meet one of my grad students at 6.30, treating myself to a grey pearl bead and grey rhinestone necklace from J. Crew's sale and two plates ($3.95 each) from anthropologie.
Net result; no coffee table, no completed job apps, no gym, and no completed book (still trying to finish proofing). I also have that nagging sense that NYU really should have given me a research assistant this semester---I really do need one.
Oh, and no Mayle either today (unless you count Olympe, which I wore during my trip to see my very nice grad student). Earnest Sewn Ginger skinny jeans, silk plaid gathered Steven Alan shirt, and a black round neck Inhabit cashmere sweater.
It's that time in the semester--midterms are in, I've got a lot of grading to do, and the next round of testing begins. I'm digging my way out--I return the grad papers tomorrow-and hopefully I'll be able to do more of my own writing soon. I want the book out of the way and I want the reward I'm going to give myself, be it the cardigan or bracelet.
It's hitting me that the year and the semester are winding to a close. How did that happen? Still so much I promised myself I'd achieve this year remains undone, as yet unaccomplished. Just 8 more weeks left to get it all done. That's my real test.
Today was beautiful---warm, sunny, low 70s. I figured that I should wear something I won't have a chance to enjoy in future months. So I wore my black silk Josie romper (which I'd only worn once around the house) with a silk gingham Steven Alan dahlia shirt (love those puffed sleeves), Monogram clogs and Emmanuelle jacket (with my prefall cardigan in case I needed something in the classroom). I got several compliments, which was interesting to me as I wasn't sure what to wear underneath Josie (the t-shirts I'd tried had necklines that were too high, too low or just wrong). So now I have another idea of how to wear this, rather than on its own (not really appropriate for teaching, or November, no matter how balmy). I love warm November days--I love that it's possible and not even that rare in the North East, but hate the fact that these warm spells are now so very brief. Tomorrow, acupuncture, German Cinema and mid-60s weather so I think I can get at least one more good springlike outfit in before the weather chills.
About five years ago, my friend Alyssa taught me how to sew. She does things properly, so I learned how to make pillowcases first (matching the stripes on the upholstery silk, setting in invisible zippers, cross stitching over the edges to prevent the fabric fraying). Then she taught me how to make patterns, muslins how to do French seams. We started draping but then she had her apt. remodeled--a process that took years. We're now back sewing.
This afternoon, we had our first sewing circle in a while. I'm planning on making a few dresses and have new fabric, as well as some cashmere from Beckenstein's, some lovely silks from Mood (including a Marc Jacobs collection green print that I want to make into a short sleeved dress) and some wool for a tulip skirt. I've got the lining, the zippers and thread and am ready to go. I spent the afternoon tracing and cutting out a fitting pattern, looking over my old fabrics (most haven't dated and still look as beautiful as when I bought them) and thinking of ideas that I hope to pull off. It's nice to be creative again and do something that energizes a different part of my brain.
This afternoon's outfit was a favorite from last fall--Yves in rose, black tights, gray Inhabit cashmere cardi and my new Jeffrey Campbell wedges. You need to be able to move in clothes when you sew--and you need to be able to hike them out of your way so they don't get cut up.
That about sums it up for today. I got dressed, realized my passport wasn't where I thought it was, turned all my drawers, piles of sweaters, bags, belts and shoes out onto the bed and other available surfaces. Finally, it turned up (it was in a make-up bag in the very basket I thought housed my passport).
After that, I graded. Then we got Thai food from Srirprathai, watched some of this morning's 90210 (the real one, the good one that's getting into its greatest years--the sophomore, junior and senior college years where the show gets increasingly crazy). Then it was back to grading.
For this scintillating Saturday, I wore navy tights (because they were in my hands after going through my very overstuffed tights drawer), a long sleeved black topshop mini dress from around 2004 and bracque, which now buckles on the second hole! When we went out for take out, I combined it with Olympe, my grey and red Steven Alan hat and Fiorentini and Baker flat gray boots. I did put on red Chanel lipstick for the first time in many moons. I was worried it might be a little harsh and aging but I actually think the reverse was true--I'll have to see how it looks in daylight.
I should have stayed at home all day and graded today as I have papers from two classes to grade, 15 grad student and 40 undergrad essays. But I was being interviewed for the Cinema Studies blog so I got up bright and early and found myself back in Tisch only 12 1/2 hours after I left last night.
After that, there were errands to run. My desk copy of one book on transnationalism and German cinema never arrived, so I bought one from the campus bookstore. Then I stocked up at GNC (fertility blend, coenzyme Q-10, multivitamins). At this point, I feel like I'm taking more herbs, vitamins and supplements than anybody should, but I hope it all does its work. Then I checked consignment stores for Mayle. Not much out there--some of the cardigans I saw literally had been worn out by their original owners. They had finally lost their shape, the color had faded and they were likely only accepted for resale because of the label. I'd far rather spend the money on the cardigan in J. Crew that I have my eye on. But I'm also going on record here--I vow no more J. Crew necklaces or cardigans (or anything for that matter) until I finish the book which I am effectively copyediting right now. It's all but done (one full day or two is all I need), so I have to finish it this week and then I can celebrate. It needs to go so other things can find their way into my life.
Evan is at a conference in Boston. It was really lonely coming back to an empty house last night at 11 pm and I just ate and crawled into bed with the cats. He should be home in the next couple of hours but I have missed him.
Today was one of those days where I realized that I had to manage the little things that had been stressing me out. So I answered emails, cleaned up my desk, filed away old lecture notes, and realized that it was dark before I knew it. I didn't make it to the gym which means I must go on Friday. Overall, today was not a remarkable day, one of those that barely warrants blogging about.
Clothes-wise, today I didn't wear Mayle. Instead it was my black and white striped long sleeved J. Crew t worn beneath my Roland Mouret for Gap short sleeved black mini dress. That was one of the best designer collaborations yet it was so low key as to be almost invisible. One day I'd love to own a real Roland Mouret dress. The sleeves on this gap one are amazing and the dress has held up really well to a lot of wear. Much better than any of the CFDA collaborations since, which were not helped by the strictures of white shirt/khakis. In my opinion, it's far better to let designers work in other fabrics and colors, particularly those that are more flattering and stand u better to repeated washing and wear.
After talking to one of my students today (she's writing her midterm on fashion blogs), I'm vowing to be a better blogger. So:
1. I will update most days, even if it's brief (Thursdays are so crazy and are likely impossible).
2. I will post photos--I can borrow Evan's camera until I get a new one.
3. As this is, in part, supposed to be a fashion blog of sorts, I will keep a better record of what I wear, maybe even a photographic one.
To that end, I wore my Helen today, with my Lyell scallop black silk skirt, a long gray Autumn cashmere cardi, gray hue tights, my new Jeffrey Campbell eleven strap studded wedges and Ludovine. I changed into my black and white stripe long sleeved J. Crew t with the Lyell skirt when I got home tonight after German Cinema.
I also popped into J. Crew (again) before acupuncture. I picked up the black stone and rose gold necklace, earrings and bracelet as all were on sale (pictures tomorrow, along with Peeps and Blue in their Halloween garb). Speaking of acupuncture, it was intense today--amazingly good then the feeling from the needle in my forehead was so strong that I thought I'd pass out (not sleep) or even die. It was crazy--I fought it which I know I shouldn't and wish I hadn't. The sensation was so strong that I still feel the after effects nearly 9 hours later and I actually felt a little nauseous and shaky afterwards. I wish I'd let it go, fallen asleep and let the needles do their work. Yes, I am a wimp. But it was another reminder that this is strong stuff, good stuff and that it really works. I'm hoping to go twice a week soon, as soon as my teaching schedule permits.
We did our own variant on Halloween this weekend. Evan was sick so we stayed at home Saturday night with the cats and played trick or treat with them. The trick was dressing them up in a variety of Target cat Halloween costumes (and one small pet devil wig) and then rewarding them with treats after taking their photos. It was easier to bribe them with treats first, however, as the joy of food and full stomachs made them easier to handle. The exception was Peeps who takes afer her mum and loves being dressed up. She also dislikes treats so she was the easiest to handle. Photos will follow, I promise!