Monday, September 19, 2016

Can Leopard Ever Be Classy?

Look, you can read blogs till you're blue in the face, study different looks, do whatever it is that you do in order to get to your own sartorial safe place, but leopard will always be leopard, and leopard is always going to be just a wee bit difficult.

Sure, it's easy enough to do a handbag here, a shoe there…in fact, that's a great way to sort of build your leopard tolerance up a bit if you're looking to be a bit braver in your choices. But don't let that cute little pair of leopard ballet flats fool you - leopard will always be preceded by its reputation for appearing in such unsavoury places as seedy hotel rooms with heart-shaped vibrating beds, or perhaps on the upholstery of the Louis XIV chairs in Donald Trump's gold-plated boudoir.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stand With Standing Rock

While it has always been my policy to stick to the lighter-weight topical fare of fashion and all things fashion-related on this blog, there also times when you have to cast the stilettos aside and speak up for what's right.

Unless you have been a participant in some sort of underground social experiment that requires you to have no contact of any sort with the outside world, you will likely have already seen at least some news coverage of the growing gathering of America's (and other nations') indigenous peoples at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, ND. This unprecedented gathering of native people was born on the back of the tribe's rejection of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that's intended to transport crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region through to Illinois, with inflated promises of lesser dependence on foreign oil, economic growth, and a healthy dose of "what could possibly go wrong" environmental racism. The pipeline was originally slated to tunnel within proximity of nearby Bismarck, ND, but was re-routed to pass through a portion of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation once it was deemed that a pipeline leak could affect the water supply of a populated area. Naturally, the Standing Rock Sioux are not happy. While the ins and outs of the particulars are too lengthy to cover in this post, you can read a fairly well-balanced synopsis about the issue here.

It needs to be noted here that this pipeline resistance from the Sioux is not just an environmental issue. While you certainly don't read about it in most of the history books in any of our American high school or middle school syllabi (appallingly), it is no secret that we Americans have what could only be described as an heartbreaking and unfathomably poor track record when it comes to the treatment of our native people. And that is probably the biggest understatement you will likely hear all year.

Sadly, it looks like the state government of North Dakota (and the corporations underwriting them) is setting itself up to repeat the mistakes of a shameful past in Canonball, ND.  Despite the fact that the anti-pipeline demonstrations have been nonviolent actions by unarmed people, the governor of North Dakota has declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard, something that even the heavily-armed Bundy standoff never incurred. In a series of actions that harken back to the "good old days" of McCarthyism and racial divide (that never really went away), activists have been pepper sprayed, bitten by corporate-hired attack dogs, and journalists and medics are being singled-out and hauled-off to jail in an attempt to intimidate and keep the status quo - that status quo being big oil and its continued exploitation of indigenous land.

So with that in mind, I urge you all to jump into the fray by joining the Sacred Stone Camp's Global Solidarity Video Project. All you have to do is record your one-minute video and submit it (and yes, you can use your iPhone - I did). The campaign will end Friday (Sept 16th) at 11:59 USA Central Time.

This is the link to their Facebook page with all of the particulars if you want to join in the project, and I hope that you do. I did - here's mine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Weekend Blues with Bonmarché

Once again I'm pleased to be collaborating with UK retailer Bonmarché. Seeing as though I'm not long off of a long-haul flight, the timing couldn't be better for the subject matter at hand. Bonmarché was kind enough to send me a few pieces from their Own the Weekend collection, and they arrived at a perfect time. We are experiencing a bit of a late warm spell here in Scotland, and that combined with having a bit of jet lag makes me want to reach for anything casual that is tried and tested in the comfort department.

There is no better way to do that than with loose, drapey layers; they add dimension to a look, provide warmth when needed, and expand a weekend getaway capsule wardrobe kill nobody's business. In this post, I've created two slightly different weekend looks with their Stripe Wide Leg belted Trousers, and their Stitch Interest Cardigan. I chose to go with a palette of blues because when you have to pack a capsule wardrobe, even for something as simple as a casual weekend getaway, making an obvious choice and just going with it makes things a whole lot easier. These two key pieces really act as anchors, enabling me to create multiple looks out of very little.

Here's the best part. Bonmarché is currently running a competition in which you can win a weekend getaway to London and a luxury train journey, and a perfect weekend wardrobe worth up to #150. 
Sorry fellow Americans, this competition is for UK residents only.