lunes, 31 de marzo de 2008

Keeping it simple


I've been finding quite a few articles in qute a few blogs on how important it is to understand the need of buying basics. I don't happen to be, as it seems, the only one who confronts their closet every morning wondering what to wear that striped skirt with or what the hell to do with that printed long blouse.
Although I love the mix'n'match that some people seem to effortlessly get in their daily outfits, time has told me I feel more comfortable and more like myself going for a boho laid-back look rather than all crazy. Don't get me wrong here, I love crazy and sometimes it is so much fun to make people turn their heads in disbelief or even in disaproval. It is also amazing to go for combinations that sound terrible on paper but that work oh so well in person. At the end of the day, clothes are what you wear as an outer expression of your inner world. It is my personal and humble opinon that everyone's style should never be determined by anybody but them.
That also makes me think about the blogs that have inspired me to start blogging. If there is one thing that I would celebrate about them, is originality. It is hard to be original. People around those who dare to act, speak, dress, think according to their own personal beat will always face criticism from those who feel threatened by them. I have always wondered how many great things haven't get done in this world because those who could do them were too scared to face the intimidating world that would be waiting them in disaproval.

I had been stalking (for the lack of a better word) quite a few blogs for a while now until I ran into Aisha's Coloured Bleu blog and decided to start blogging myself. The beauty of these blogs is that by posting in them, we reveal what we are about and become enriched by what others are. In that sense, I'm loving Fabi and her Diary of a Thirld World Fashionista. She writes and thinks about what its like to be herself in an environment that doesn't exactly encourage that. Her last post about the intolerance she faced at work when others discovered her blog and the way she decided not to stop that from doing what she loves to do. It's been really inspirational now that I've started blogging and I'd like to say thanks to her for that. If there's a strong sense of community between fashion bloggers around the world, I think its probably safe to say that that sense becomes even stronger between those of us who live among those whose idea of fashion is a top as tight as it could be and jeans and where its not about choosing what you want to buy for your wardrobe but finding something worthwhile.

Anyway... going back to the original idea of my post - Basics. I went shopping yesterday, with a very set mind on buying a few basics I really needed. I ended up spending a bit more money than what I had originally planed but then realized that since all these iterms were going to be worn probably quite often, they should better be made with good materials and I nice cut. I'm pretty happy with the results. I actually like them so much that I like how they look together, not a basic boring outfit in my opinions. I think I'm starting to grow up as a shopper, realizing the importance of quality over quantity and making more smart buys than before.

I ended up getting a pair of short flat black boots (Basement), a high waisted black trouser (Joaquim Miro) and a couple of basic single coloured tops by MNG. I'm terribly sorry about he boring unoriginal photos, I was actually kind of just testing with these ones but my camera's battery died before I could take some of the photos I really wanted (basics worn with non-basics). Oh well, I still wanted to post for the day, so here it is. I never imagined I would get so excited about buying such un-exciting clothes.

sábado, 29 de marzo de 2008

bye bye summer

Looking at different blogs I've got to admit I'm starting to feel a bit jelous about everyone puting their tights away, showing legs and shoulders, looking a bit more cheerful and finding new sources of inspiration for the summer to come.

Down south its a whole different story. We just kissed summer good-bye a week ago and light cardigans and scarfs are starting to make their first appearances of the year. Sad thing is, I've got some thrifted items I'm not ready to put away yet. Like this dress.

I don't really wear colour usually. Everyone around me knows I tend to go for fall colours the most, although I am trying to add some bits of red, turquoise and purple lately to my wardrobe. This dress, however, is a different story. It's got neon pink and blue and white and black stripes. I think its a bit too much for me, but its still a fun dress to say bye bye summer in.

I wish I had something summery to do today. Instead I think I might clean up my room a bit, it gets pretty crowded with all kinds of garbage during uni.

viernes, 28 de marzo de 2008

LoveHate: Leggings

I am well aware that leggings have been around for a while, I'd have to be living under a rock for the last couple of years not to. They've been everywhere, haven't they? In different lenghts, colours, patterns, materials (with the new lamé or latex ones being the new "it" item)... I don't think anybody suspected they would be around for so long. People wear them in winter, people wear them in summer. Some people wear them underneath skirts, some people wear them underneath long tops... and some, well some seem to think leggings are just like thin trousers (they're not! are least not in my humble opinion...).

Some people love them. Some people hate them.

I love them and hate them. For years now, I've been refusing to buy myself leggings. "It's just a passing fad" I would say to myself. "They look tacky" I would explain to people when asked about my refusal to accept leggings as acceptable clothing items.

Even though I hated leggings, I still had to admit some people could really pull them off. I specially liked them when paired with a laid-back boho outfit, rather than going all rocker-sexy. But my refusal to wear leggings continued. There were indeed times when I realized a nice pair of leggings would look rather cute with an outfit. What did I do in those tricky situations? I bought dark tights and cut the feet off. Talking about stuborn...

I've got to admit it, my disaproval for leggings wasn't really the leggings fault. I just hated how they looked in most people around me. I guess that's because this image became (and still is) a very common sight in Lima:


But one day something changed. I'm not really sure what it was. I suddenly entered this store I've been going for ages (and they specialize in dark opaque leggings that I had until then hated) and saw what I thought was the most amazing discovery of my life. A pair of long black leggings.

This is my personal attempt at making them fit my style. I really do hope it turned out better than the picture above...

Sweater: Benetton, Tunic top: MNG, Leggings: Kidsmadehere

Sandals: random market

Jacket: Benetton, Top: random market and I sew the little mushrooms in it, Bag: Elle, Leggings: Kidsmadehere, Shoes: MNG

Hopefully my first attempts with leggings have managed to go slightly above the leggings-heels-miniskirt combo. I tried to come up with a combination for warmer weather and one that I can manage to wear now that winter is starting here in Peru.

I've got to say it, I love leggings now. They're versatile and fun, and quite quite comfortable.

I still haven't changed my mind about the usual combinations involving leggings, so guess that makes my relationship with them a love-hate one.

lunes, 3 de marzo de 2008

Winter in Peru

Again... I guess not every blog entry can be about fashion.

As I said in my first post, I'm from and live in Perú. It is, in so many ways, a wonderful, interesting, colourful country, but it is also an extremly poor country, where living is hard and next to impossible for many. It is a country full of contrasts, and while life is easy and pleasing for many, racism and class segregation still exists in people's minds. Ever since the Spanish Colonial time, Peru has been divided into those who have and enjoy and those who lack and serve. This became obvious during our last presidential election, when Ollanta Humala, an anti-democratic candidate with homofobic and pro-war comments nearly won. With a radically demagogic approach, Humala became a strong political force at the time, praising himself as the new leader of the indigenous revolution.

Politics are not the only problem here.

Winters get terribly cold, not so much in Lima (the capital), but mostly in the Sierra (the long stretch of mountains that are the Andres). The living conditions most people endure in the mountains are close to those of extreme poverty. It gets a lot tougher during the winter, when their lands freeze, they lose their crops and their animals die. As you can imagine, the ones that suffer when this happens are the children. Every year children die because of the cold while those in a more comfortable situation stand in indifference.

You can read a bit more about it here.

I'm planing a trip to Cuzco (up in the mountains) for next week, and my and my aunt have been knitting several little sweaters for babies and young children that I'm going to leave a shelter there. I also plan to travel a bit to the more remote towns and give away some sweaters to children of families I meet.

So that made me think. What if I used the fact that I just started a blog to get people into helping Peruvian children during the winter? What do you think? If I happen to get positive feedback (I'm still not sure how to get this out there since I just started my blog and don't really know how I'm doing with readers), I'll be glad to give anyone interested my adress so they could send sweaters, scars, socks, etc. I'd be glad to go up to little towns in the Sierra to deliver them and make sure they really reach those in need. I could even take pictures of the children wearing the donations so everyone could see where their efforts are going.

This is a photograph of a little boy I took on one of my last trips to a small town near Cuzco. If you are interested in how to contribute, leave me a comment and I'll reply with my adress or any other information you might like.

Ferraby Lionheart

I have to confess that, despite the subheading on my blog, I mostly want to keep it about fashion.

Living in Lima, Peru, finding interesting clothes and style inspiration is a hard task. I'm guessing this has to do with quite a few things, related mainly to the level of poverty a big segment of the country lives in, but I wouldn't blame it just on that. I would say it probably has much to do with fear. Fear of originality, uniqueness, and independence. In that sense, this post by Aisha, inspired me to start my own blog. I've never met her, even though we live in the same city and study at the same university, and I just discovered her blog today, but I share her views and impressions on Lima.

So, I said I actually intended to keep this blog about fashion, didn't I? But not today, not for my first post.

Today I'd like to talk about Ferraby Lionheart.

His music feels like getting home after a long tiresome journey. With a voice that is both soothing and strangely unique, he's quickly become one of my favourite finds ever.

With the large amoung of buskers trying to break into the musical scene, it's very easy, as a listener, to get lost somewhere between the good, the not so good and the plain mediocre. In that sense, Ferraby truly stands out as a true pearl. Thinking I might be exaggerating? Get his debut album, Catch the Brass Ring here or check out his myspace and decide for yourself.

If that's not enough to help you decide your mind, here's some audio-visual goodness for you.