Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Art of Doing Nothing

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." - Guillaume Apollinaire

My Dad taught me to always, always, always be productive. I mean, I'm already a pretty productive gal. But it was never directed in the right direction. All winter I planned this summer to be very productive - projects and plans in mind. Amidst all the planning and creative process, I totally forget sometimes to stop and just breathe. No, it's not the same as procrastinating or slacking off. It's just taking a little time to stop, breathe, relax and reflect. This is a very hard fact for me. In my book, stopping means slacking. I'm even one of those rare people who hate sleep or lazy Sundays. But if you don't stop every now and then to just enjoy all your hard work, you might find yourself exhausted and on the floor, having fainted. Planning is good, doing is better but pausing is necessary. I took a day to just go to the flower garden. sit in the shade and read a book my sister sent me. It was pure bliss. But I still have some plans to come. Tomorrow Firu and I will be picking up his sister from Frankfurt, taking her to my place, where she'll be staying for a month. Yaay! Can't wait!

Motel peter pan collar shirt dress via WishWishWish // Sis's shorts // Flattery floral hair bow // Tracce flats // hand-me-down bag

Shopping a blogger's closet has been a favourite hobby of mine as of late. And how thrilled was I when I found out Carrie opened her wardrobe up for sale. As opposed to her posh style and out-of-my-budget-range items she's featured in her blog, the items in her shop were very affordable. As soon as she announced it, I snatched up this really cute peter pan-collared shirt dress - without even thinking. Only after it was shipped did I realise that the size is one size larger and only after it arrived did I realise the button was missing. Haha. Despite all that, I really love this shirt dress. The material is totally suitable for summer, the pattern is actually plaid but looks almost gingham and - the best part! - it was actually handmade in Indonesia! What are the odds?! Still, it's too short for me and I still had to wear longer shorts underneath. Carrie was nice enough to link me to her post of this dress, which is one of the first outfit posts she did. Take a look!

Carrie of WishWishWish

Monday, 29 July 2013

ラクガKING

There is always something so relaxing and inspiring about sipping a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, especially on a midday when the rest of the world seems to hustle and bustle with their everyday routine. I remember sitting in Starbucks on days when I feel like disconnecting with everyone and drawing stuff. It was as if I was teleported to a different world, a world where there just seems to be coffee, pastries and this relaxing atmosphere. Tomoko Shintani obviously feels the same way. She takes a leisure coffee time to a whole new level. Her ideas seem to just pour or leak out of her coffee cups/mugs. It's so funny that she should pick Starbucks as well. They do have the best atmosphere. The best part is she keeps and rinses most of the cups that she used in the whole Rakugaking 'project.' シンタニさん,このポスト読んだら,私はあなたの落書きがとっても大好きだよ!素敵だと思う!

all photos belong to Tomoko Shintani

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Secondhand Clothes ≠ Secondhand Style

When I first started blogging, I told a friend of mine about it and showed him Bonnie's Flashes of Style, which inspired me to blog in the first place. My friend told me that, of course her style was so much better and mine sucked like hell. Her items were all expensive etc. etc. At first, I thought, "yeah, he's right." But now I'd like to beg to differ. People tend to believe that an item has to be mega expensive to have immaculate quality. I believe that isn't always the case. Who's to say that something expensive's worth all its price? Me, I believe in items which have gone through the test of time. That's why I am so much in love with vintage. The best part is, you can get these items in thrift stores or flea markets with a price way less than they were back then but just as much quality. Two weeks ago there was a flea market for ladies at an art studio near the art campus. It's not actually restricted only for ladies but the majority or items are for girls. There were a lot of amazing and adorable items. My hands were itchy to grab them all and run away. Haha. Especially that dress hanging from a tree. Too bad, it was far too long and wasn't affordable with my budget. I did walk home with two lovely items, though.

Primark blouse via Kleider Kreisel // vintage polkadot skirt + brogues // Görtz purse (thrifted)

It was only after I put on this outfit that I realised it was built up solely of thrifted items. But that's the best part! People don't wear what I'm wearing. I'm wearing a one-of-a-kind outfit. And, even after all this time owning this skirt, the cashier at my favourite asian grocery store complimented my skirt. She thought I brought it from home. It is kind of rare to find in Germany, I guess. The two items I got from the flea market are the shoes and the purse. The soles of the shoes are mega comfortable and the purse is big enough to house my necessities. Now this is what I'm talking about before. You can feel the immaculate quality of the shoes just by looking at it. I love the plaid pattern of the bag too. Despite the items being secondhand, the style is a Bivisyani original. It's no secondhand style, it's something that I made anew, though using used-up items. Also, I'm feeling like wearing simpler outfits these days since it's summer. And isn't summer all about dressing down? Though I'm not talking about bikinis or going buck naked. Keep it classy, people!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Mix It Up a Notch: Lacey Plaid Blouse

This was one of the first items I purchased from Vero Moda back when I was in Halle. It reminds me of all these things I loved about living in a small town. It was one of three things I snatched from a huge sale at the end of spring - 3 items for 10€! - along with a blue tank and a tan skirt. Afterwards, I tried looking for that sale everywhere else in Germany but was unable to find it. ハッル,きみサイコ!When I spotted this blouse, it was the only one left. I was searching a plaid top at the time and this was perfect! The shade is definitely summer-appropriate and the lace around the shoulders area is so one-of-a-kind. It's probably hard to see, huh? But it's one of the things that got me sold. I'm definitely looking forward to more wear of this piece.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

An Indonesian Original

Last summer when I went home, I was struck by this batik fever that I must, must, must get my hands on as many batiks as possible. As far as art goes, Indonesia actually has an incredible culture and beautiful artworks in itself, without having to abandon their national treasures and go with a more western selection. Batik is the most amazing! It is so compatible with pretty much everything. It is one pattern that is handmade and typical of a culture - namely, Indonesian - though it is kind of ironic that this pattern we all hold so dear right now used to be an almost mundane pattern of school uniforms or formal attire. That we hold on to it right after someone tried to snatch it away from us. We took it for granted - and probably still do - despite all our big talks about holding it dear. But I try, I try to love it more and more and appreciate this incredible token of culture we have.

Oh, yeah, by the way, there's this exhibition from last week that I love: there were photos on wooden boards aligned on the side of a huge window, leading to a patch of greeneries in the middle of campus. In the middle of that patch was a huge tree, from where the rest of the photos hung. To take a real good look of the photos, you have to climb the tree. It was a way of relating to your childhood, bringing the inner child in you out. Though I can clearly not climb the tree, it was such a warm and fuzzy notion.

Cotton Club top // Batik Keris wrap-up skirt // thrifted Görtz purse // unbranded sandals

This is the outfit I wore to Rundgang last week. Well, for the most part anyway. I wasn't going to make an outfit post out if it but people kept eyeing the skirt with envy - two lady friends of mine complimented it too! - and I just think it's worth photographing. Though I've worn this skirt on the blog before, this styling seems more fair to the skirt itself. It was clearly made for warmer weather and a day in the sun. The skirt is actually a huge fabric with ribbons on both ends and a small hole somewhere in the middle. So you - well, in this case, I - pull the fabric by the ribbons, let it wrap around your waist and tie the ribbons in place. This gives the skirt layers though it's not hot at all. The material is really lightweight and cool for such a hot summer day. I feel like I should've been on a beach in Bali with this skirt, preferably on a honeymoon. Haha. Next time I come home, I think I'd want to go to a batik-making workshop and learn how to make batik. Even only a little bit. It's about time I learn a little bit about my own culture, right?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Rundgang 2013

At the Kunsthochschule Kassel (Kassel Art University), there is a tradition to hold an exhibition collective every summer which will be featuring the artworks of all the students of the school. This year is my first experience going to the event and I have never seen the campus look so alive as this. The university is divided into the fine arts classes, the product design classes and the communication design classes. The arts classes are then divided into plenty of branches, such as painting, sculpture, pottery, etc. The communication design classes are divided into illustrations, photography, animation, graphic design, etc. The products design classes into textile, movie-set, domestic goods, etc. Basically, the students of the arts are divided simply into the years and the design classes into the specialisation. In Rundgang - the name of this major event - all the students take part, though, no matter if you're a first-year or ready to graduate soon.

Typography exhibition
"Homemade: a selection of fruity cakes + Indian Masala Soup with lentil (vegetarian) Right here-->"
Graphic Design shop
Photography exhibition in the basement
Animation class's bar
This year the event was spread into 5 days, starting from Wednesday (17.07.) until Sunday (21.07.). On Wednesday was the opening which started at 7 PM up until 1 AM. The next three days the event went on from 12 to 9 PM. Then it closes today, starting from 12 to 6 PM. Not only did you get to see the ongoing 5-day exhibitions, there were also occasional performances or movies. Every class also opened a bar/café near their classes, parallel to the exhibition they are hosting. There were tasty drinks and yummy food, starting from good ol' cupcakes to vegetarian selections. They had classic alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and pretty cocktails. Too bad I was fasting. Haha.

Friday, 19 July 2013

My Mother's Daughter

Earlier that day I curled my hair. Not with a curling iron, the old-fashioned way with curlers. Though my hair doesn't seem to curl right, it has volumes now. Then I pulled it back and it turned to this. It looks like my mum's hairstyle when she was younger. She always did have volume. I used to think that I too had volume...until I overheard Mum telling someone, I only have so little hair but it rises like dough. But today I looked in the mirror and I see my mother in me. Faint, but sure. She has a smile that can light up the whole world and I miss that. I can make a similar smile but it's not the same. People tell me how different I look from my sister, from my brother. But then they'd see Mum and see that I am, indeed, my mother's daughter. On a side note, this Krombacher's Fassbrause is my current favourite drink, especially the apple one. Saku-chan first introduced it to me. The bottle looks like that of a beer's and the taste is refreshing. It is alcohol-free, mind you. Perfect summer beverage, if anything at all.

Primark dress (as top) // Tally Weijl ombre denim skirt // vintage purse + penny loafers

Are you sick of this combo yet, the purse and the loafers? Well, I'm not. Despite the fact that the bag can barely hold itself together and fit all the things I always need to carry around, it's still my favourite model for a bag. And the shoes? They squeak a little bit because there's a gap between my left foot and the sole of the shoe. But they're both are real leathery goodness, and that's okay because they're both vintage and not made anew. And this skirt? How cute is it! I love the ombré effect and the washed-out denim. It's kind of way too short but too cute to ignore. I actually first spotted it last month but decided against purchasing it. Then I saw it again last week, a few bucks off. Score! Plus, I don't know if it's the skirt or the whole outfit but my roommate told me I looked enchanting, like a fairy. Why, thank you, my good man!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Three Years Later...

Three years ago today, we took a chance. Three years ago today, my life was changed by one simple word that I uttered: "Let's!" Three years ago today, I took a leap of faith. Three years ago today, Firu and I became a couple. It was strange. Three years. That's big, well, for me anyway. Three years ago, I wouldn't've even known if we would last a year, let alone three. Let me tell you something: couples who last long, they don't know how long they'd be together when they first started too. Does it matter, though? So long as you love each other, it should be enough, right, to be with one another? These last three years have been amazing and, though I don't feel it, looking back I know I've grown a lot, so has Firu. He's become my best friend, my guardian and my child. We've been through so much: being kicked out, somewhat LDR, complications when moving, bad haircuts, eternal winter. I know, this is no marriage. But it's the next best thing. And I love every second of it. Here's to another three incredible years! Hear, hear!

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Penny for Your Thoughts, A Million for Your Love

Summer is the perfect time for beaches and nautical fun. To be frank, I've been into the whole nautical theme - the stripes, sailor-theme, etc. - forever. My sister can hardly ever stand it, she gets dizzy looking at thin sets of lines. This is laughable, for the most part, because I've never had my beachy moments or been to lighthouses. It doesn't stop me from loving them. Too bad there's no lighthouse in Kassel...or Germany as wide as the eye can see. But there's a huge lake at the park, with a small island for ducks in the middle. There's no way you can get to the island. There are no boats or bridges leading there. Swimming is out of the question. When the day is warm, ducks perch on the small greek temple-like gazebo built on the island. The island looks almost childish and mystical what with all the ducks covering the island. Today, sadly, wasn't one of those days. It was a bit cloudy and people were staring at me like I was crazy, wearing such short shorts. By they way, I put my hair up because I botched my fringe...again.

H&M dress (as top) + high-waist shorts // Madonna hairband // vintage purse + penny loafers

This look is the summer version of this one. It was inspired by Louise's and Tieka's style. I love how Louise usually pairs shorts with menswear-inspired footwear - though I don't think she's ever paired them with penny loafers. Of course, I added my own touch by wearing something less feminine. Tieka's obsession with nautical theme is widely known - well, for her readers anyway - which I channel here through the dress. Also the reason why I chose a setting near huge waters. Apparently, candy stripes are 'in' right now. Huh, turns out I'm not the only one who sees candy with these stripes. The mix-and-match of the nautical stripes and the candy stripes reminds me of this look. I wasn't used to wearing such short shorts out. But I love the high waist and want to put it up for an outfit post. Plus, it makes me feel rather sexy, not as sexy as this look, though. Also, please bear with me. I'm still pretty much swooned with this purse. You can't see it but I'm holding it together with a bobby pin. Hey, you gotta make do with what you have when it comes to free stuff.