7 things for October (and the rest of fall really)

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So here we are; already October. Fall is in full swing and by “in full swing” I mean more rainy days than not, leaves that go from a wonderful red to a rather unflattering brown and that week of desperation towards the end of the month when it’s all dark and gloomy but too early to start making Christmas plans to cheer things up. Here are seven things that will get me through the month, and probably beyond, in no particular order.

  1. Reading The Tale of Genji. It is finally happening, the reading has begun and it’s exciting, inspiring and it’s 1400 pages long so I’m gonna have something to do when staying in.
  2. Feeling warm in my knitted kimono jacket. This is not something I made recently but this is the time of year that I bring it out, plum-coloured goes with this season like “whoa”.
  3. Scenting myself with Accord Oud from Byredo. I’m seven years to late to the Oud-game, and lord knows I have tried a lot of them on. As I used my samples last month I was, much to my surprise, taken by this one. I don’t even know how I ended up with a sample of it to begin with. “Never say never” is the moral of the story.
  4. Wearing my double monk strap shoes. I think I got my first monkstraps when I was twelve and I had waged a campaign to get them, it’s a kind of shoe I really like. But it can be hard to find a pair that fits my feet. The boy’s department might have something from time to time but they are often too wide. Every now and again I come across a pair in the women’s department. On the top of my double monk wish list you will always find brown suede ones but a pair of funky black ones with a bit of fake snake it just the kind of thing that works with 90% of my closet (as it is a cabinet of curiosities TBH). With these shoes being the foundation of my outfits I will prioritize short tight skirts paired with very clean-cut shirts and sweaters.
  5. Applying red lipstick. At the moment I’m back on the Chilean sunset from Victoria BeckhamxEstée Lauder but that is subject to change, when it comes to red lipsticks I’m a slut. But honestly this particular lipstick looks good with the plum kimono and that.
  6. Painting my nails in a dark red. This particular one is called Bordeaux and I also bought a so-called gel like top coat. It does give a nice finish though, but is still easy to take off.
  7. Checking the time on my watch and not being bloody distracted by my phone. This is not the watch I have dreamt of, it is not even a watch I really want but it’s a watch that is a reasonable size and that I can live with. I prefer leather bands to start with but finding a watch that is small enough for my wrists at a price that is small enough for my current budget is tricky. So this is my compromise for now, a Casio.

What do you do to get through October?

-Suss

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Cover-loving & Colour-blocking

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Get used to this cover because you will be seeing it a lot the next few months. I’m really excited about reading this book and this cover brings together some of my favorite colours, and provided me with a template for an outfit.

I am currently obsessed with a few things actually, but a nice grey unstructured winter coat is very high on that list. Or like why don’t I have a grey cashmere kimono jacket already? That would also work really well for me. Or both. My grey in the mix was my big old grey scarf that has been taken out of storage and been used a fair bit because the mornings have been on the cold side. I did not have red trousers (although I have had some in the past and contemplated many more.) Pink blouse? Check. Although falling to pieces because of poor quality and intense “wearage”. And then that green!! Love it! This jacket is one of my fave pics of clothing and I swear, it goes everything. The skirt you see me wearing in this rather unflattering  photo (but still the best of the ones I took: I only go into Zara to take sefies nowadays) is made of an old dress that a friend bought for a fancy dress party. Welcome to my life; where friends ask me to help them make thrashed second-hand dresses into outfits and “pay me” by letting me have the outfit when they have thrashed it some more. IMG_4492

A totally fair deal by the way. Some of my best pieces of clothing has been made of fabric people intended to throw away. This has got a bit of shimmer to it, gold speckles.

In addition to preaching the usefulness of an absinth green jacket I will also tell you that I have found that a red necklace is a very useful accessory. I say the more ethnic looking, the better. I had one for years, it was painted wood and I literally had to touch up the colour on it (with nail polish) from time to time because it wore off I used it so much. Then one day it gave up. This is my replacement for now. I need something a little less dazzling and a bit chunkier I think.Over all this outfitr had great colours, and they looked excellent worn together like this.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, or anyone, that this combination of colours got me going.

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Exhibit A: I’ve had this on my wall for like to years now and I bought it for a reason. I have one dress that I made before buying this that I have already showed you. Now that it’s a bit colder I’ve brought out another crazy creation in the same colour scheme, but this has a bit of wool in it so I only wear it fall/winter.

Exhibit B: This dress also has purple in it so it goes with everything. The red is really a tomato red, same as with the skirt, but oddly enough it’s a shade that works for me. So the dress, again sorry for the bad picture, is pretty basic three-quarter arm, it’s got pockets because when I make dresses and skirt I try to make them with pockets when I can. This fabric is very nice and soft, something that my mum found in a drawer somewhere. It may come from a flea market. What you cannot see in this pic is that there is a 10 centimeter trim on the bottom, in the same fabric but flipped around so the pattern goes against the rest of the dress which is a very nice contrast actually. I should wear like a pink coat with this dress is what I’m thinking now, or a pink cardigan. I always need a cardi.

So yeah, a lot of crazy colours going on. In patterns or individually, I just bring it to the max with these ones,  and I have a feeling that some of this might actually be trendy right now, like pink and red together, I saw that in Vogue. I need a pair of red trousers, I think tomato red culottes would look awesome on me. I also kick myself for not buying the tomato red Filippa K dress that I tried on a few years ago. I have regretted that many many times. I also need to go out and buy a new  pink blouse because I don’t know how to dress without having one on hand. The light grey coat might happen. Although mostly I’m excited that it’s gotten a bit colder, I have shifted the items in my closet and some of my dearest dresses are back in rotation. I’ve missed them.

-Suss

 

Wednesday&What I’m into right now

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As much as I love Byredo candles, and will buy them again, for once I decided to try something new. Having seen Overose candles around I decided to splurge on one of them. They are not cheap because apparently making a decent scented candle that cost less than a pound of flesh is impossible but it’s worth it. We can get the “similar to Byredo look of the label” comment out-of-the-way immediately. I agree, it does look like one of theirs. This scent though is a lot more powdery then anything I have ever gotten from Ben Gorhams line. It smells like the inside of a posh Italian ladies handbag, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. I have a thing for that. On the box it mentiones amber, benzoin resin,labdanum, vanilla and sandal wood. Also it mentions Himalyan Spikenard and I don’t even know what that is but it sounds cool.  I once had a candle from Caffé Florian in Venice that smelled like this (or maybe it was a room spray?). I know I’ve had at least one candle that was similar and that one was a collaboration between a Swedish company and an artist that lives in Milan (I’m referring to Liselott Watkins). I should have stocked up on them. There is something about this candle that to me smells very sophisticated and un-Swedish. I find it very easy to pretend I’m elsewhere.

Another way to be transported to another place, and time, is obviously books. I’m currently reading Gengis Khan by Frank McLynn and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t think that he always strikes the balance between detail and flow in the way I would have liked but who am I to judge? I don’t write books and I give people too much detail always. The point is: of course Gengis Khan is not the brute that we kind of imagine being uninformed about that period in history, and certain people within the Chinese history have done a good job of telling the story of how the were occupied by uncivilized horsemen (they would do that, wouldn’t they? I get that). But in this case there is more to the story. That said he was not a peaceful ruler by any measure. I’m just saying that everyone back then was savage AF quite literally. There is another connection to the smell of an old Italian Ladies handbag, or at least to Caffé Florian, as Marco Polo turns up. That old Venitian scoundrel.

The cover of this book is a beaut, all glam and disco. I’ve already matched it with one outfit. Maybe I should play that old disco tune Gengis Khan by whoever that they play on radio sometimes?  For a full on thematic reading I mean. (This is the one I’m talking about, and no, I won’t play it). However I also have matching earrings now as I got stuck with part of  one in my scarf and long story short, my Bollywood earring bought in Bethnal Green for 50p have now become somewhat smaller but hopefully a little more wearable. We’ll see though because even though I changed the part that goes in the actual earlobe when I got them I can feel it itching when I’ve worn them for 10 minutes.

The reason that I was wearing them in the first place is because I’ve been watching the Mindy Project and I.am.hooked. It is the perfect antidote to all the sad books and as an added bonus Kaling wears patterns and amazing earring like a boss in that show. In fact she is one of the bosses, if you run your own business or part of it you get to decided the dress code. But it’s a show with fast talking people who are obsessed with junk food, alcohol and revel in being inappropriate. And in all of that every now and a again there is a little nugget to think about in terms of feminism, relations,friendships etc. I think that maybe it has a little of what made Gilmore Girls so popular but I have never really watched that show so I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that people drink reasonable amounts of coffee in both (i.e. by the bucket).

Related:

Overose candles 

-Suss

 

7 kimonojackets every woman needs

At this point it is a well known fact that I love a kimonojacket. I’m partial to jackets(and coats) in general which is because they are easy to use and easy to make. When I advocate that people have a kimono-wardrobe I’m only half joking. They make a lot of sense and since a dramatic sleeve is supposedly very trendy now I find myself being a)on point fashion wise and b)in a position to advocate that a kimono sleeve is the kind of dramatic sleeve to consider. They will not go out of style anytime soon.

  1. The actual kimono. I have a vintage one bought in Paris. I’ve used it many times as a dressing gown but also as outerwear. However no pics that I can take of myself will better illustrate the usefulness and beauty of a kimono than these of Life in a Cold climate.
  2. The instead of a blazer one. I have made, out of an old linnen tablecloth that I dyed blue, a jacket and a pair of trousers in a sort of matador style. This is the closest thing I have to a suit. I probably should get a suit to look professional and further my career or whatever, but this works really well and I get a lot of compliments. It is more likely that I at some point make another set like this in pinstripe. Very useful as separates and packs a punch when worn together. Shown here in a more relaxed way with a t-shirt.IMG_3245
  3. The up-cycled one. There is this tradition of mending jackets using Japanese embroidery which was part of what inspired me to make my patchwork jacket that I’ve shown before. I’ve also made a dressing gown from an old worn out Missoni sheet. Due to a combination of cat and my own clumsiness whatever I wear to loaf around the house needs to be washable in 60 degrees. This one is and very soft too. It is more in the ethos of the Japanese tradition then an exact replication of it. As kimono jackets are easy to make they lend themselves to all matter of recycling of materials. I also have one made out of an old tartan blanket from IKEA. Oh and the one I made out of my parents 70’s curtains is well-used. IMG_0494
  4. The leopard print one. I do not have one of these, not yet. It is something I dream of, one of those mad ideas that I get, and the lack of a good leopard print is what’s stopping me. It needs to be just the right size print for it to look good, leopard print is tricky like that. One day it will happen, and it will be glorious.
  5. The Halston rip-off. Halston, that 70’s designer genius, made a kimonojacket in suede. Oh, to have been alive then to see it. ACNE made a similar thing a few years ago, being very open about where the inspiration came from. At some point I will make one in fake-suede. It will look very sexy in say a mint green or a teal with some jeans and a red lip( ha! I wear red lips with everything because RED LIPS!). I’m sure it’s a manrepeller but I do not care, that jacket will happen.
  6. The knitted one. As previously mentioned, they are easy to make. I am no knitter but I do know how to “knit one,pearl one” and that’s all you need. Then I made the different panels(back,two fronts, and the sleeves) in a rather coarse yarn that was only part wool and stitched it all together. It didn’t take that long as I used size 8 knitting pins(that is huge btw). I have a velvet ribbon in the same colour as a belt. Very good as outerwear, mine is in a deep plum so I use it mostly during autumn.
  7. The high-street one. They are often in fashion and buying a nice one with a floral print to use as a cover up during summer is a great idea.

-Suss

7 Thoughts I had when reading The daylight gate

Welcome, welcome to the inside of my head. Where thoughts whirl around like leaves in the autumn breeze and the most unlikely connections are made. As I read The daylight gate by Jeannette Winterson I had several ideas of potential blogpost. We’ll see if any of them will be written, I’m just giving you a tiny glimpse of my creative process here (I’m in a period of reading books about creativity and that is also an influence).

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1. I went from the ashes into the fire; the similarities between this and Mary by Aris Fioretos

I started this to give me a break from the beautiful, but utterly heart breaking, book Mary which is about a student involved in the uprisings in Greece in the 70’s. She is accused of being a communist and then sent, without a trial, to an island where she is tortured as to confess her actual name and her co-conspiritors. To lessen the burden on my heart I decide to read a book about witch trials? Not my smartest decision especially since both of them devote plenty of pages to detailed descriptions of the toture. Even though both these books are fiction they have roots in reality. Gutted.

2. The idea to read Shakespeare’s The tempest

In this Shakespeare makes an appearance, when two of the characters travel to see the play The Tempest. The bard himself is visiting to with his new work and changes words with our leading witch.  I’m back in the drama reading mood so it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. That I should read A winter’s tale and Winterson’s rewriting of it.

Oh, this might be an even better idea as A winter’s tale is mentioned too in this book and Winterson did a reprint of this for the Hogarth series to commemorate the 400 year anniversary since his death. But not really the time for it? Or is it? Reading about winter in summer?

4. It’s time to bring back the cocktail I made named after John Dee.

Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer (and at one point the owner of the biggest library in England) John Dee is cast a role in this piece of fiction as mentor of  Alice Nutter. The Virgin queen  referred to Dee as “My Nobel Intelligencer” and reading about him in another book inspired me to make a cocktail with that very name. In fact I reread that post and, spelling error aside, it’s isn’t all bad. Might translate.

5. I should write a list of books about Witches.

I have read a few in my time. But honestly it will have to wait until I’m done with Witches by Stacey Schiff which I’m also reading.

6. “It is the elixir that I have instructed you to wipe over your entire body once a month at the new moon”. So something about skin care?

So this elixir is supposedly a mix of mercury and magick(ye old spelling) that keeps Alice Nutter looking far younger then her years. One should put no such things on the skin in real life. A nice retinol however? I do not know much about skin care but I have a fair few empty bottles at the moment and maybe it’s time to report on that. The short version would be that the argan oil from The ordinary may be cheap but the scent is off putting.

7. “She was dressed in magenta”. I should be too.

Supposedly Nutter’s wealth comes from her invention of a magenta dye that so impressed Queen Elizabeth I that she got a royal warrant. Nutter wears the colour often in the book, Winterson points it out. And magenta feels like a nice colour right now, isn’t everyone kind of over hot pink? It should be noted that when I did research the inter webs claimed that fuchsia and magenta are the same colour but the difference in name is due to process. Magenta is a synthetic dye imitating fuchsia as I understand it. And as the plants they imitate have several colors there seems to be a certain disagreement of definition.

In the end I think this book is a horror story, which doesn’t appeal to me as much. Although the writing is nice, Winterson put it to better use in the other books I’ve read by her.

Things mentioned in this post;

My cocktails inspired by John Dee (in Swedish)

Magenta

-Suss

Weekend&how you should lobster-ify your life..

Lobsters are the hottest crustaceans around right now. Not since Schiapperalli collaborated with Dali on a dress have they been this hip.

Probably it’s mostly Dolce&Gabbana are driving this trend, those lobster earrings are everywhere. And where they go, people will follow(apparently).

1.Wear it;H&M has this t-shirt. That’s an option if you want in on this trend. A better way is to just read either Consider the lobster by David Foster Wallace(I’ve ordered a copy but it hasn’t arrived yet) or Husmoderns död och andra texter by Sara Danius if you are fluent in Swedish. Again; books are not something I think of as an accessory but I often have one in my hand so I might as well look trendy while I’m at it. The former I have not read yet but it comes highly recommended, the latter is absolutely brilliant. Danius is the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy for a reason. The notorious eighteen knew what they did when the asked her to join(if the members of the academy were available like movie star cards in the 60’s (or Pokémon cards)  I’d probably be willing to trade quite a few of the others to have her and historian Peter Englund).

2. Eat lobster rolls; This is one of the things that Gwyneth Paltrow and I agree on, this and the usefulness of grey cardigans.  I’ve learned the hard way that I eat like a neanderthal and thus have grease stains on several delicate items of clothing, as lobster rolls always are served with a dollop of mayonnaise on top. I need a bib, and more lobster rolls. I lament my silk blouses but I really think it was totally worth it. Mayonnaise!! Always make sure to put some finely chopped chives in the Hellman’s mayonnaise you serve them with. Or make your own mayo and use elderflower vinegar(I’m sure Gwyneth would approve; I made the vinegar myself )

3.Watch Last week tonight with John Oliver; they have a mock supreme court with dogs. But when President Trump got to elect a member to the court they chose a lobster as a symbolic representative in their mock-court. Because lobsters are trendy. The could just have chosen a cat, a parrot or a pig. They didn’t. They chose a lobster. Just sayin’.

-Suss