Saturday, 30 January 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: High-Waisted Camel Shorts

My relationship with these shorts actually started out 3 years ago, when I bought a pair of boots secondhand from Kleider Kreisel. The owner of the boots offered to throw in an item for free with the boots! What are the odds of buying something preloved then getting another one as bonus? That never happened to me before. It just so happens that I fell in love with these shorts then too, but barely had the budget to get two items at once. So it was perfect! At first, it was a loose fit around my waist, so I used to wear them exclusively with belts. But, when I came back to Indonesia, I quickly went to the tailor to have them taken in. Funnily enough, afterwards, I gained so much weight it became too tight on me...yeah. I love the structure and colour of these shorts, which is perfect to be worn in autumn as well. It's quite high-waisted too, which accentuates my figure. Here's to losing weight and gaining posture!

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done!

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I am waaaay too excited to be writing this post. If you've been following this blog for a while, you might realise how long I've been harbouring feelings for Book of Deer. In fact, I talked about this collection when the lookbook pictures were released—not without a drop of lust for it. For years I've been thinking that I had absolutely no budget to purchase a BoD item. I don't know why, maybe because I had to pay rent, etc. before. However, a couple weeks ago, BoD was having a final sale on the Country Kitchen collection—actually still is—and I couldn't resist, as it is my favourite collection thus far. And I still cannot believe that I have—not one, but two!—BoD pieces in my room right now. Right now! Granted, I actually spent money that I didn't have, literally. To be honest, I only purchased the blouse—again, limited budget—but, when the package came, I found the skirt inside the envelope, too, along with a card from Eilidh, telling me that she wanted me to have the skirt for free. I flipped completely out! I squealed all the way to bed that night, after 9 hours of exam and a long trip home, feeling higher than the clouds. 

Book of Deer blouse + (free!) skirt // hand-me-down purse // thrifted loafers // photos by Cynthia

I know, I know, this styling isn't exactly original. This is exactly how these two pieces were styled in the lookbook as well—and by many, many girls before me—but Eilidh did send me the skirt to—and I quote—"complete your Book of Deer look." It just felt right to wear both these items together the first time—although this was technically my second time...that week. And I couldn't resist! All the details are just far too adorable for words and too perfect for one another. I've always thought BoD has an incredible quality just by looking at it. But, after wearing it, I finally know that to be true. The feel of the fabric against my skin is just pure comfort. And how cute is this mitten pocket! I never knew about the bow detail at the back and fell even harder in love with it. No matter where I go, people stared at the uniqueness of my outfit and I can't help but to think—finally, "That's right, I'm wearing Book of Deer!"

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Lessons Learnt: Blogging

There are certain things in life we learn from doing and certain things we learn from other people's experience. Unlike school subjects or college classes, the topics of these lessons aren't specifically disclosed. You have to know which lesson to learn and which wisdom to take out of it all. One of the things you can do to become a successful person in life is to acknowledge the lessons you've learnt and, if possible, share them with other people. Sharing knowledge, as opposed to popular belief, can actually make you smarter, wiser and a better person. Plus, it can be so much fun! Here's to lessons learnt and me sharing them with you.

Today is the 4th anniversary of this little ol' blog! Can you believe it? When I started out, I honestly didn't know whether four years later I would still be here—although, well, four years ain't that long—but I'm glad I'm still doing this. You can actually still read my first post in 2012, which is so different quality-wise to what I've been doing lately. Hopefully, you have noticed the growth as well—so that it won't seem all-in-my-head as much. You may think I'm hardly the blogger to give "tips" on this topic, seeing as how few experience I have in terms of sponsorship and haters—or whatever else other bloggers normally go through—but I feel like I've learnt quite a number of things throughout the past few years and I'd like to share them with you all.

Show Your True Colour

The first few months of blogging, I was afraid of its unwritten rules: How far should I expose myself before I lose my readers? Should I post about anything other than clothing, since I don't understand fashion very well? Was it okay to reveal my love for Japanese animation and culture? Back then I was exposed almost exclusively to fashion blogs which are so glamorous and brand-oriented that I wasn't sure I would fit in. Almost like moving into a new school. But, over the years, I learn that it's actually quite all right—necessary even!—to be different, to be myself. It's what makes people flock to read your blog, what makes it so unique. There are tons and tons of different genres of blogs out there and boxing yourself to just one is ridiculous—should be a crime even! So embrace who you are and who you want to be and let that shine through your posts.

Quality Over Quantity

Now this is something I've been struggling with over the years. I admit there have been times when I feel guilty about not posting according to my schedule—which was too packed for a uni student, actually—so I went ahead and came up with a crappy post. I don't know if you could tell but—I kid you not—I still cringe when I see these posts even months or years later. The exact opposite goes to my high quality posts. Whenever I see them, I smile in satisfaction and pride. That is why this year I'm making it my policy to spend less time publishing posts and more time planning them and putting my heart into them, so that only the best quality posts make it to the blog. Not only that, the time I don't spend on writing snafu posts can be used to create a new layout design or preparing better contents. Because, hey, everything in life worth having comes with hard work and process. So it's okay to make your readers wait a while to give them something worth waiting for.

No Harm in Bragging

Before I moved back home, my blog has always been a kind of private place for me, despite wanting to be discovered. I didn't feel comfortable sharing about it on my social media, convinced that it would be perceived negatively by my acquaintances and friends. It would seem like I was being a self-absorbed bitch who wanted to flaunt her vanity. But, it turns out, sharing my posts and blog-related photos on social media attracted people with pretty much similar interests as myself. It let me befriend plenty of bloggers and illustrators, who I only looked at from afar before, unsure whether saying "hello" would have been an appropriate gesture. Not only that, it has also brought more people to my blog, more people to care about what I have to say and enjoy the photos that go with it. This blog is part of who I am now and one should never feel guilty about being themselves. Of course, everything in moderation.

Kindness Goes a Long Way

This is something I've learnt only recently, probably in the last 12 months. Not only in blogging, actually; this tip will help you in life too. Last year has been the year for me to spread more kindness to everyone I meet, both online and offline. It has also been the year I apologised for my previous mistakes and rekindled friendships which have been lost. It has helped open several doors for me throughout all the time I've been blogging—despite the facts that people come and go in this trade. It has allowed me to befriend many amazing and inspiring people, which has been rather rewarding in its own way. Also, I'm a true believer that being kind does not chip away something inside of you. Sharing kindness and giving it to others doesn't cost you a thing—if anything, it gives you more than you've given away. And, chances are, people who receive your goodwill will feel the need to reciprocate or pay it forward. When this trade happens often enough, little by little you become friends. See how far you've come?

Be Kind to Yourself

Yet another item that I've learnt only recently. This has so much to do with point number two. When I first started blogging, I posted almost everyday on account of how little I had to do and how bored I was. It was new, fun and exciting! I was addicted. But little by little, I felt more and more pressured to post as much as possible in the course of a month or a year. Sometimes it became stressful and started to drown me. The weirdest part is: I'm not even being paid to do this. It was all a kind of binding contract which I thought I had with my readers—but you guys don't care when I post, right? That's when I started to think about it really carefully. What have I got to lose if I post less? Will something bad happen when I do? Who has anything to gain from me posting so much? Just in case you didn't know the answer, it was the negative for all. So let yourself rest when you need to, or when you hit a wall. It's okay to step away from the laptop sometimes and forget about this world. Don't let the blog control you; make sure you control the blog!

I know most of you have probably been in this world longer than I have, so if you have anything more to share, please do leave them in the comments below! It's always inspiring to hear stories of people doing the things they love. If there's anything to take away from this post, it's this: you blog for yourself first, before anyone else!

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Ethical Fashion: Péro by Aneeth Arora

In the last decade, the fashion industry has developed in a global way. It has spread all over the world, not just in Europe and America, but it has also influenced Asia, for instance. Living somewhere some people consider as a third-world country, this is something which I have observed firsthand. Now the fashion industry is no longer centred in one place—namely Paris—it has various centrals, as proven by the amount of Fashion Week held all over the world. And, quite recently, I found an ethical fashion label which comes from the unlikeliest place—for me anyway, India. So here is Péro by Aneeth Arora!

Aneeth Arora is actually a textile designer, using materials and street styles from all over India, to create the best pieces. Aneeth makes use of local seamstresses to manufacture each and every one of her designs by hand. She also sources local materials for all of her collections, leaving nothing to pure chance. Péro's main concern is to create wearable items, inspired by the locals in the rural parts of india, creating an effortless effect to the wearer and compatible to be worn anywhere in the world. Although she has a clothing line, Aneeth prefers to think of herself as a textile and dress maker rather than a fashion designer. She is very passionate and meticulous about her textiles, attracting many designers to want to collaborate with her. One of her work has recently been exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Their F/W 2015 collection is my favourite! When my eyes stumbled upon it, I instantly fell in love. Her items are incredibly unique yet not over-the-top, as some labels can be when they try to be different. This collection in particular is made entirely of wool, which was sourced from all over India. It was inspired by military uniforms, which symbolises alter-ego, without making the whole collection look too masculine. In fact, I spotted some cute dresses among them, which I wish I could own too. This collection was in collaboration with Princess Pea, which—according to Aneeth Arora, also "symbolises the alter-ego of an Indian woman."

Their latest S/S 2016 collection is also absolutely darling. I love that it has a whole story behind it and that it's pyjama-themed. In comparison to its predecessor, which has a more rigid and authoritative feel, this collection offers a more laid back and innocent atmosphere. Not unlike the previous shows, this season's show also portrays so much of what the entire collection is all about. There were beds scattered on the side and ended in a bit of a stereotypical pillow fight. I'm not sure what the material was but from the looks of it, I think most of them are made with cotton. The way they fall on the body gives an impression of free spirit and no restrictions. Pure, girly innocence. Absolutely cannot wait for this collection to launch!

All photos belong to Péro by Aneeth Arora

In a world where fashion seems to be dominated by temporary trends and global generalisation, where you can hardly tell the difference between one item with the other, one designer with the other, it is really refreshing to see labels like Péro where the designer takes inspiration from her own surroundings, putting her heart in each and every one of her pieces. Not only that, she also uses local materials, models as well as seamstresses to create a native Indian feel to her collections, despite having a design that can be translated into wherever the item goes. The best part is, Aneeth Arora sees her clothing items more as artworks that everyone can own and wear, so she thinks everything through to make it the best possible piece that she's ever made. Definitely excited to see more of her works!

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Fake Flowers, Real Love

Yep, we've got a kindergarten that looks like a castle out here ;)

Woohoo! First outfit post of the year! I gotta tell ya, it feels great to lay low from the blog for the majority of the month. Without the need to post my outfits every other day, I have more time to dress as I see please—without having to worry whether they would be suitable for the blog—and to appreciate them a little better. It has also reduced stress on my part, since I don't have to edit at least 10 photos a day and write about something intriguing despite the lack of interesting events in my life. This gives me more time to actually work on my assignments and create illustrations outside of it. Last but not least, my loved ones are finally spared from my almost-weekly demand for them to snap my shots. It is a huge relief for everyone. With the new year, I'd like to try out new stuff. For starters, I'd like to change the way I usually arrange my photos for posts like this. I hope you don't mind my experimenting with other arrangements in the future, until I can probably find one that you and I both like. Also, have you guys filled in the survey we had earlier? If you haven't, get a chance to have say on this blog here.

The line reads: "I'm a Tea person" (which is true!)

Arithalia dress (middle school favourite) // thrifted denim jacket // Urban Outfitters hat // "Tea" pin set by Snowlattes // Kipling bag (Sis's) // Mollinic loafers // photos by Akita + Cafa

January has been one intense month. Straight into the new year and already 2 amazing public figures passed away. Not to mention the bombing acts happening in Turkey and our own 'backyard' here in Indonesia. But let's forget that for a second and talk about something superficial like what's going on in this post. These were taken last week when my sister, my brother and I went for lunch at the nearby Japanese mall, ÆON. It was like pure culinary heaven and so clean! We fell instantly in love and spent hours hanging out there. Since it's so close by, we're positive we'll be back soon to taste all the food. The mall has this illumination park at the front, where tiny fake cherry blossoms light up at night, but in the daylight looks positively like a wilting garden. It was always a lot of fun hanging out with your loved ones. In fact, we just hung out again last Thursday when, well, the bombings happened—although, thankfully we weren't anywhere near where it did and we left unscathed.

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