April 24, 2015

the Zodiac Dresser, Designer Edition: Aries by Moschino

This year, I'm taking a different approach to my Zodiac Dresser series and rather than create my own outfits inspired by each sign, I'm relating each sign to a different designer. 

Bold, brash, sporty and youthful, Aries is well represented by Moschino F/W 2015.  (photos from www.style.com)

Aries is not a subtle sign but loud, daring and completely enthused. The youngest sign in the zodiac, Aries loves chasing after novelty. Similarly, Moschino's references to 90s pop culture are not only obvious, but also incredibly trendy. 

The extremely active, sporty nature of this fire sign is also paralleled by this collection. Much of it clearly borrows sports-wear fabrics and silhouettes such as the jersey above or sweatpants below. 

Moschino's signature color is bright, primary red, just like the color associated with the fiery Aries. 

As essentially the baby of the zodiac, Aries is well-suited to Moschino's youthful aesthetic with its penchant for simple silhouettes, cartoon imagery and bright colors.

Aries also loves to buck convention and despises routine and formality. Much like Bugs Bunny, this sign gets a thrill from subverting or ignoring societal norms. The outfit above takes the standard skirt-suit form but instead of using traditional formal fabrics and accessories, it uses sweatpants material and sneakers. The resulting look, though casual, remains commanding and innovative. 

Like this overstated outfit, Aries likes to get their point across very forcefully if need be. So in case you didn't get it, not just the outfit above but every garment in it exclaims "TEDDY BEAR! TEDDY BEAR! TEDDY BEAR!". Like I said before, Aries is not subtle; in fact, this may be the least subtle sign of the entire zodiac. 

What are your reactions to the Moschino F/W 15 collection? If you could, would you wear any of these looks or pieces? I personally would love the Looney Toons pieces since I grew up watching those and still just love cartoons as well as sporty clothes. Oh, and did I mention I myself am an Aries? 


Oh, and how do longtime readers feel about this new format for this series? Do be sure and check out my Instagram where from time to time I may post an outfit and describe it as "very this-or-that sign". 

April 23, 2015

Zodiac Dresser: and in conclusion, Pisces

Welcome to another installment of my Zodiac Dresser series in which the zodiac guides my outfits. For the third time, we've come to the last of the twelve zodiac signs, Pisces. A water sign symbolized by a pair of connected fish swimming in opposite directions, I liken Pisces to a lake: calm, deep and often surprising. 
90s dress by "My Michelle": Rumors ; cowboy boots by Ariat, courtesy Country Outfitters 
I picked this dress to reflect Pisces' highly artistic and sensitive natures. This outfit is currently a favorite of mine and it inspires me to paint because anyone dressed like this would look great next to an easel, amirite? 
my beloved goofy 70s cloisonné fish from my mammala * cube and quartz earrings by Elaine B. Jewelry  
The Botticelli print on this dress, like so much Renaissance art, is full of symbolism and hidden meanings but also an obvious sense of harmonious beauty. Similarly, Pisces has a depth of soul and emotion often coded and hidden beneath a tranquil aura. Though caring and refined, this sign also fits the stereotypical artistic temperament in its tendency towards melancholy and escapism.    
this super versatile belt was thrifted in Raleigh last month 
Much of the symbolism and narrative coded into the paintings reproduced on this dress speaks to the intertwined nature of life, death and regeneration. Pisces comes very last in the zodiac and is associated with the life/death cycle, hence why this sign is represented by two connected but diverging fish. 
not exactly chambray shirt: Nordstroms 
tranquil depth of soul,
a melancholic dreamer:
artistic Pisces.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed the conclusion of this astrological calendar. This will also be the last Zodiac Dresser outfit I'll be posting for the time being. However, I will continue a slightly modified version of this series which focuses on designers who most embody a particular sign.  

April 05, 2015

Aquarius III

Today's post finally gets around to celebrating Aquarius as part of my Zodiac Dresser series in which I find inspiration in astrology. Although symbolized by the water-bearer, Aquarius is actually an air sign I liken to an ocean's breeze: calm, refreshing and cool. 
Aquarius outfit
I always associate Aquarian style with psychedelic prints because this sign is arguably the most New Age of the zodiac. Aquarius is open-minded, avant garde and intellectually edgy. The combination of air and water imbues this sign with both the intellectual curiosity of the former and emotional depth of the latter.
60s vintage skirt by Tarri
Appropriately enough, the focal point of this outfit, my skirt, was gifted to me by one of my favorite Aquarians and it used to belong to her mom back when she was a school girl in the sixties. This skirt has made me say to myself "Melina, when you find yourself justifying a garment because it has shorts built in for modesty, that garment should not be worn to your office job, sorry."  

vintage Wrangler boots: thrifted in Utah
Another way in which this outfit embodies the spirit of Aquarius is because it is not only groovy, but also kinda nerdy. Like all air signs, Aquarius loves new ideas, intellectual pursuits and the world of the mind. 
junior boys' Ralph Lauren shirt: 2nd-hand ; 60s necklace: thrifted in Oregon; stud earrings: by me
(If I didn't have such severe metal allergies, I'd wear this vintage necklace ALL the time. Thank goodness for collared shirts at least, amirite?!)
Aquarius outfit
Aquarius is the sign I associate most as a dreamer. 
air and water mix;
Aquarius, the dreamer:
bold ideas, free heart.

Are any of you born under this sign and, if so, do you find yourself attracted to groovy, psychedelic styles at all?

January 26, 2015

the Zodiac Dresser: Capricorn III

This year, like last, the Capricorn inspired post for my Zodiac Dresser series comes a bit late which is kind of ironic considering the scrupulous, no-nonsense nature of this sign. 
50s dress: thrifted in Oregon * tights: Target *scarf: grandma
The last earth sign in the astrological calender, I liken Capricorn to a mountain peak: tough, ambitious and enduring. It should come as no surprise, then, that Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the ancient Roman god of obstacles and discipline. 
necklace: thrifted in Oregon * belt: secondhand 
I chose this brown, 1950s dress because Capricorn is known to be conservative and is associated with the color brown. 
shoes: 80/20
grounded, steady, strong,
always climbing up that hill:
stubborn Capricorn

Are any of you readers Capricorns? Do you tend to dress more conservatively?

January 01, 2015

My Tidy Apartment and 10 Organizing Tips for the Pathologically Messy

Confession: I'm a recovering slob. See, growing up with two neat freak parents (love you!), being messy became a form of rebellion for me. But guess what? At a certain point, you have to stop living your life as a reaction to your family and make the choices that actually benefit you the most. And for the first and only time* I will admit it: my parents were right all along, being organized makes life easier and better. So now that I strive to keep my home tidy, I'd like to share my insights with you while also giving you a glimpse into my space. 
my living room 
1. Find your specific motivation, write it down and remind yourself frequently. My main motivations are being able to host and craft in a pleasant and inspiring environment. By hosting and crafting often (sometimes simultaneously) I am regularly reminded why being tidy matters. 
vintage tin collection 
2. Put like with like. This seems pretty obvious because it's kinda the definition of organization, yet it seems to allude many. This goes for decorating and organizing. For example, all my lanterns and ceiling danglys hang from one general corner, creating a stronger visual statement than if they were spread throughout the apartment. 
I call that my owl-cove. 
3. Make it a daily habit. Anticipate, schedule and commit to about 30-60 minutes of tidying/cleaning up after yourself every.single.day. As tedious as this may sound, having tidy habit maintains a consistently (vs. sporadically) nice space and is much less stressful than marathon cleaning sessions.
4. Start each day by making your bed. Look, it takes all of 5-10 minutes but it makes you feel semi-accomplished right away, looks SO much nicer and establishes the habit of picking up after yourself.
my dresser: top right painting is by me, others by Georgia 
5. Pick up after yourself right away, not later. When you take your jacket off, don't slump it on the chair, hang it up. When you're done eating, put your plate in the sink/dishwasher right away, not an hour later. Procrastinating will not magically clean up your little messes, but could result in them accumulating into one big, seemingly insurmountable mess!
my japanophile collection (in my bedroom) 
6. Use (a) regular cleaning schedule/list(s). It might help to keep separate ones for daily vs. longer term chores. This will keep you on track and on task. Plus, checking off items off a to-do list makes everyone feel good.
curious table, gift from a friend
7. Identify and target your specific weaknesses. My biggest weakness? Leaving clothes all over the place-- big shocker there, right?! My tendency is to try on a bunch of different outfits before going out and leaving the rejects strewn about. So now I work extra hard to counter that negative habit by immediately folding and storing unworn garments once I'm dressed.
gallery wall 
8. Pare down as much as possible. This is easier for some than others, especially collector types such as myself. At a certain point, however, too much stuff overwhelms you and makes it harder to appreciate the real gems. (This trope comes to mind.) If you are a collector, ask yourself: how many of __ do you really need? Can you set a limit and then commit to a one-in-one-out policy? As you keep collecting, your tastes should become more refined and therefore, fewer items should pass the muster. For any given item, determine if having a photo would suffice. I know I feel much better about parting with even beautiful garments if I've blogged them. These days, you can try selling your stuff first but thanks to craigslist and thrift stores, you can make sure useable items don't go to waste. For items of sentimental value that you secretly don't want/like but feel guilty about parting with: would seeing the item in the hands of someone who truly cherishes it maybe better serve the memory?
cabinet of curiosities 
9. Make furniture your friend, not foe. The curiosity cabinet above helps my tchotchke collection stay both manageable and appreciated because everything is artfully grouped together on display. Maximize vertical space with shelves. Buy furniture which is collapsible or with hidden storage. Raise your bed so you can hide out-of-season clothes. Avoid bulky furniture which lacks storage potential unless you truly have the space and/or they are exceptional pieces. Take inspiration from the interiors of boats and Airstreams.
craft pegboard and clown collection 
10. Keep your creative stuff organized! Use drawers, shelves, cubbies, peg boards, wheeled carts and bins/boxes to achieve this and remember to keep like with like. I used to believe the common misconception that "I'm creative so I can't be organized." Yes, creative people often have a lot of tools and materials with which they work and experiment in messy ways. However, you'll find it much easier to find what you need exactly when you need it if everything is in its right place. When you're not actively in process, clean up after yourself until next time.
#skulls #bones #taxidermy #plants #decor #outside #morbid
skull collection on my balcony 
Well, I hope you've all found this list helpful and inspirational. If you have your own tips/suggestions/success stories about organization, please share them in the comments! You can see more photos of mi casa here.


December 23, 2014

The Zodiac Dresser: Sporty Sagittarius

Welcome to my last post of 2013, an installment of my Zodiac Dresser series in which I explore astrology through outfits. Today's post is inspired by Sagittarius, symbolized by the Centaur, a mythical half-archer-half-horse lending this sign a deep sense of physicality and sportiness. I've taken an abstract, "vibes based" approach to inspiration for this outfit and focused on Sagittarius's masculine, sporty and casual qualities. 
jeans: thrifted, originally Diesel * shoes: New Balance
The final fire sign in the zodiac, I compare Sagittarius to embers, warm but not intense like the youthful explosiveness of Aries or Leo. There's a casualness and independence to Sagittarian energy that's cool and breezy while simultaneously friendly, jovial and generous. Sagittarius has the enthusiastic spiritedness of fire combined with the wisdom and cheer of ruling planet Jupiter.
detail of vintage track jacket, found in free pile. pretty badass, right?
This sign is associated with the color royal purple; in Roman myth, Jupiter was ruler of the heavens and god of abundance and fortune. Accordingly, this sign is often considered to both be lucky as well as bring good luck. 
and now the backside...

lucky ruler of the stars,
wise archer, half beast.
Are any of you born under the sign Sagittarius?

November 20, 2014

Zodiac Dresser: Scorpio III

Welcome to another installment of the Zodiac Dresser, my series dedicated to astrologically inspired outfits. Today's post celebrates ScorpioScott P. Yates Photography helped me capture the sensual moodiness (or is it moody sensuality?) of this water sign in industrial Manchester. (Photos by Scott P. Yates, duh.) 
vintage 50s dress, handmade: thrifted in Eugene * tights: Oroblu *shoes: Clarks 
Crimson and other deep shades of red are associated with Scorpio, a sign notorious for being jealous, emotional, lustful, sensitive, mysterious and artistic. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto,  a planet named for the Roman god of the netherworld, hence the darker qualities of this sign.  An astrologer friend of mine once told me that the purpose of Scorpio is to bring the darkness to the light. On a personal level, this is one of my favorite signs exactly because of its beautifully dark aspect. I have moon in Scorpio, meaning my id operates much like this sign and I find it a constant source of artistic inspiration. 
scarf: grandma 
Dark undercurrent
of Pluto's death and rebirth:
sensitive Scorpio. 

Thanks again to Scott P. Yates for these photos. I'm happy to hear from any Scorpios in the comments. 


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