Thursday, November 21, 2013

back in the closet

So I'm not the type to write about fashion (why do I constantly have to discredit what I'm about to say before I say it) but here it goes.

The majority of my closet since about the age of seventeen has consisted of dresses and random pieces from Goodwill and thrift stores.  Really cool dresses that are totally funky and playful and channel my inner Courtney Love from the 90s.  My favorite style, basically.  My "me" clothes, my "catherine" clothes.  My "if-you-insult-this-dress-you-are-insulting-my-entire-soul" clothes.  And that was totally fine with me, and kinda still is, but as I've gotten older (HA-ripe old age of 23) and literally outgrown some of my classic-catherine outfits, or they have fallen apart, I have been dabbling in the "big girl" inspiration.  You know, the "big girl" that wears "everyday jewelry" (you mean there's something other than costume jewelry?) and - GASP - boots?!  Yes, Catherine from Closet's Past, boots.  Turns out, there's a lot of value in a good basic piece.  I can't believe I just said that, but I did.  Clothes that serve as the backdrop for the face, the person - instead of clothes that serve as the main event while the face and person are merely the easel holding up the canvas.

Now before I go on, let me say there is awesomeness in both styles, and that if there ever comes a day where I don't own a pair of awkward weird clogs or a floral dress from the 90s, I give you permission to push me off a bridge.  Okay, I've said my peace.

Something I love about pieces that enhance and support the face and the person is that it encourages you to own yourself.  There's not so much to hide behind.  I love when I see a woman in the most basic, elegant clothes, hair pulled back, no make-up.  Brave enough to simply Be.  Allowing the soul to be what overflows, the energy to be what you remember and feel.  You want to be around the person, not the "idea" or "image" that's being projected.

So in a sea of vintage, thrift store, random clothes, sometimes it feels good to have something *nice*.  Something grounding.  I am all about pieces that are chic, beautifully designed, yet so comfy and effortless.  Like, Carolyn Bessette effortless.  Things you can throw on, hang around in the house in, or go out and still feel stylish and put-together.  But not trying too hard. There is an adorable store in our neighborhood in Silverlake called The Runway Outlet that carries the fruits of local designers here in LA.  It is pricey, but great quality, magical designers, sweet and helpful gals working there, and there's always a great sale rack.  It's next to our favorite wine store, Silverlake Wine, but that's for another post :) I stopped in there today to use a giftcard my honey gave me a few months ago.  My heart quickly got friendly with the racks.

Here's what I discovered:

Black Orchid

Now I got these pants in army green, but couldn't find a picture of them online (oh duh I could have just taken one).  They have a really faint paisley print that you can barely see on the green pants.  They looked awesome folded up on the table and the girl convinced me to try to them on.  I was sure they would be too small...I tried them on and at first was all "ohhhhh noooo these are wayyy too tight" - but apparently that is the style now, and they were supposed to be like that!  I usually don't like skin tight clothing at all, but this....this was something magical.  This was a unicorn.  This was Britney Spears having coffee with me.  They were SO comfortable - they felt like pajama pants, like a comfy hotel bed.  The girl said they fit exactly how they were supposed to, and as I gazed in the mirror I thought "Oh my God! I get to be one of those girls!  This is my time!"  I loved them so much, and right then and there, I welcomed them into my closet.  I took a chance on them, and they worked.  The great part was that they were $55.00, which isn't a lot for jeans- really nice, awesome jeans that make me feel like a Grown City Gal.  

This picture really doesn't do it justice.  The skirt on the bottom of the top reminds me of a ballerina (my favorite thing to feel like) and how fitting that their runway models wear ballet shoes:

I got the pink top, but tried on the other one - wish I could have afforded both.  I am in love with this designer.  And again, pictures don't even do it justice.  There's nothing like the way it feels when it try it on - the fabric is amazing - SO comforting, sleek and sexy.  It feels so effortless and hangs beautifully.  

And now this next designer I discovered about a year ago at the same store, and everytime I wear my top by her, I get so many compliments- and it's the simplest, comfiest top ever.  I wear it all the time!  

So there ya go.  I just became sophisticated.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

'it gets dark so early now'

 *bonus points for anyone who knows where that line is from.

It's officially Christmas time - yes, before Thanksgiving, thank you very much radio!  The days are short and the lines will be getting long...I kind of can't contain my excitement for the holiday season and am proud to say I have saved our Iowa Pine Mrs. Meyer's hand soap from last year - I just can't let Christmas go.

Here are some of my favorite (oh so consumer blah blah) things that I am either wanting or obsessed with or will never let go of:

Mrs. Meyers Iowa Pine cleaning products:

Kate Ellen Metals jewelry - ANYTHING that she makes...

(photo credit - her website!)

I was lucky enough to meet Kate when I modeled for her three years ago.  She's awesome and an inspiration as a female artist.  

This Closet Romantic Sgt. Pepper jacket.  I have been in love with it for two years now and can't find it anywhere - other than in the closet of my future mother in law...

This wall art from Scott Coppersmith Designs.  I want this sooo badly.  We met him at a street fair about a year ago and I've been holding onto the card ever since.  

Art from Phoebe Anderson - I met this girl at the yoga studio I work at.  She was carrying around some of her paintings and I asked for her info.  She has some awesome portraits of puppies and kitties too...and I often dream of a huge painting of Starbelly on our walls...

My lovely friend McLean McGown is  yoga teacher, mommy, nutritionist, and now Pangea Organics Queen - we order our Pangea from her and next up to try is their Balancing Facial Oil for my breakouts.

My honey's clothing brand Californiamor features organic materials and the highest quality screen-printing. Great for holiday gifts!  My favorite is the three-quarter baseball tee :)  They are californiadorable. 

That's all for now...overdosing on coffee and MSNBC...

Monday, November 11, 2013

a love song

I'm getting over being sick and haven't written in forever.  Not because I've been sick, but because every time I remember I have this blog, I'm conveniently stuffing my face with pistachios in the kitchen and I tell myself one day I will become really witty and insightful and have something awesome to say. Something cool.  Something that Meg from A Practical Wedding would say.  Something that would encourage me to put on my broken, sideways glasses (I really really need new ones).  But I'm just here, watching Dateline, with a sore throat and practicing breathing through my nose.

I'm not even sure why I have this blog because I'm a private person and don't really like technology.  I'm not even sure why people like blogs these days. I have one that I follow religiously (mentioned above, ahem) but that's it.  But these blogs where people just write about their lives and we're all supposed to jump on board? I don't know.  I'm not sure what that says about us.   Are we finding ways to connect and build community or are we really just desensitizing ourselves to real human contact and living in a false reality where you can make your identity whatever you want..You can be the person that you wish you were in the aisle at Whole Foods.  You know, when someone's walking by you on the trail and you both do that halfway-hello thing that sounds like a baby meerkat asking if dinner's ready yet.  Maybe?

I just watched a video someone posted on Facebook; it touched a nerve.  It talked about the distress and fear in my gut that I've been dealing with for so long.   The contradiction between things being so beautiful, so full, so intertwined in my soul, and things being so temporary, so fleeting, so foreign - so much so that I'm just a doll dropped into a dollhouse trying to figure out how to fend for herself.  To find the way out.  To get back home.

I'm realizing, through many storms and forests of panic and anxiety, that Home is actually in the impermanence.  In the uncertainty.  In the fragility.  Home is not escaping fragility; Home is inside of Fragility.  Home sits in the eye of vulnerability.  Where my fears rub against my insides, where my love softens my shoulders.  For so long I have been so petrified to be alive because it means one day I won't be.  Holding anything takes strength, owning anything takes responsibility.  My fear is not my enemy- it shows me where my boundaries are, where I feel safe, and more than anything, it shows me the gaping holes that desperately need to be filled with faith.  It shows me where I'm empty, where I need to connect.  It's a love song from the universe to me.  It gets loud when I don't listen, and when I do,  it gets so quiet- so much so that I am drawn closer and closer until we are one again.