Thursday, 29 September 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: Midi Pleated Tartan

 I'm not sure, but I think I must've talked about this skirt in more than one occasion. This classic number was acquired in a flea market in Kassel around 3  years ago. Galuh, who accompanied me at the time, told me that the sellers were speaking Korean, but as I read the tag later on, there were Japanese and Chinese writings—and it turns out to be a Chinese brand! East Asian potluck, anyone? Such a classic piece, this skirt is best suited for autumn, I feel. It has the thick material of wool, with an underskirt made of—what feels like—satin. The pattern and length reminds me of '60s scholars. Although it has no stretch whatsoever and barely fits me around the waist, this has become one of the staple item in my wardrobe.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Home Tourist

Currently reading: A Nation in Waiting by Adam Schwarz

Lately, I've been in the mood to explore my hometown. As much as I hate the traffic, how the people can be real jerks sometimes and how shitty the public transport is, I must admit that Jakarta has so much to offer in terms of history and architectural view. I've always envied bloggers like Tieka, who seems to always know where the local historical sites are—and what a view they normally are—when I realise that I've been living in the hotspot of history in Indonesia practically my whole life. I can't believe that I've been going to Surabaya to indulge myself in a little history and cultural adventure, when I've been born and raised in the biggest historical place in the country. This place is so big, that there are more museums, galleries and historical landmarks than I care to know. So I'm determined to visit more of these places. Plus, they make for lovely backdrops for my outfit posts, don't you think?

ASK by Asky dress // hand-me-down shirt + purse // thrifted loafers // ribbon as headband // photos by Akita

Around 3 weeks ago, my sister and I visited Tugu Proklamasi, which is where Indonesia's proclamation of Independence was read for the first time in 1945. It used to be President Soekarno's home lawn, which was turned into a monument site in 1961—which is the white pillar behind me there with a lightning bolt on top. It marks the spot where the proclamation manuscript was read by the President to mark our independence from any invaders. In 1980, another monument was added in the picture, with President Soekarno and Vice President Mohammad Hatta reading the manuscript. It looks much more majestic up close, but I can't believe how small it looks in photos. It just so happens that I'm reading the perfect book for the occasion as well—which I've hopefully finished already by now. If you're ever in Jakarta, do come and check it out!

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Ethical Fashion: Swedish Hasbeens

If we talked about bags last month, this month we'll be talking about another accessory, which is actually essential in everyday life—if you want to go out and about to see the world, anyway. Meet Swedish Hasbeens, a Swedish brand specialising in clogs! The brand was founded in 2006 in Stockholm, inspired by a 1970s mother named Anita. Their designs still derive from original models of the '70s and handmade in respect to people and the environment, collaborating with small factories which have been making shoes for decades and using vegetable leather. Their leathers are all of the ecologically prepared natural grain variety, chosen for its beauty, high quality and sustainability. Three years after its establishment, Swedish Hasbeens became one of the fastest growing Swedish fashion brand, selling in over 20 countries.

With their slogan. 'Better shoes for a better world,' Swedish Hasbeens vows to always take the environment into account and to always treat their workers fairly. They believe that sustainability, creativity and quality should never be sacrificed for short-term profitability and fear of failure. They swear by the quality of their products, using durable materials, such as naturally tanned leather, lime tree and alder wood. Using natural materials, Swedish Hasbeens hopes to produce shoes which will last for generations, thus minimising the amount of waste produced.

The name 'hasbeen' itself has a deep meaning behind it. It represents the inspiration that drives the brand into its success and determination. It marks their unwillingness to bow down to corporate thinking of merely searching for profit and fitting oneself into the public trend. Swedish Hasbeens keep true to the traditional way of shoemaking, with the help of skilled artisans who have been involved in the industry for generations. They also believe in self-expression, regardless of what the current trend is or what would look perfect on the pages of a fashion magazine.

Ever since I spotted Swedish Hasbeens on A Beautiful Mess, I've been lusting after them forever. They have the most old-fashioned yet stylish designs and each shoe looks really comfortable to wear. If I had to choose one to be my favourite, I think I'd go with their Agneta design. It just looks like it could be a classic in my wardrobe—or shoe rack? I've thrifted a pair of clogs before and they've served me rather well. I could only imagine what a high quality, durable pair could feel like on my feet. So which one is your favourite pair?

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Monthly Read: Leviathan Trilogy

Truth be told, if I had to introduce Scott Westerfeld to new readers, I would choose his Uglies series first—but, as luck would have it, my copies are with a friend of mine at the moment. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to showcase one of his brilliant works here. If we dealt with nature and puzzles before, this time the theme is steampunk. Please welcome the Leviathan trilogy! Like the previous series I introduced here before, this series also has illustrations between its pages, done by Keith Thompson. It depicts the first World War in an alternate universe, where the blocs are divided into the Darwinists and the Clankers. The Darwinists are those who use fabricated animals as their weaponry, while the Clankers use steam-driven iron machines loaded with firearms. The story is told from the point-of-view of Aleksandar Ferdinand, an Austro-Hungarian prince on the run, and Deryn Sharp, a girl-disguised-as-a-boy in the British Air Service. Circumstances throw them both aboard the Leviathan whale airship, where their friendship slowly grows—despite their opposing positions in the war.

The Leviathan trilogy is one of those solid fantasy worlds, which offers not only adventure, friendship—and ultimately romance—but also a strong background into the world, separate from the characters. I absolutely adore the Darwinists and Clankers idea—for the record, I think I would've fit into the Darwinist circle—and love how much consideration was taken into account to decide which country would fit into which bloc. This is one of those series that I find difficult to put down because every chapter is begging for me to continue and find out what happens next. The flow of the story is also easy to follow and there isn't a lull in between at all. Keith Thompson's illustrations really excel at bringing this strange world to life. The map even shows the blocs in such a unique way. I actually like the steampunk covers as well—wish my sister had gotten the steampunk Goliath as well. If you're a fan of fantasy, steampunk, adventure and romance, this might just be the series for you. Or have you even read it? Let me know what you think!

P.S: If you read it all the way to the last book, please keep in mind to read the Afterword, because it's just so juicy and shows a lot of the research and background into making the story!

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Monster in Disguise

Towards the end of last month, one of my absolute favourite street artists darbotz held a solo exhibition. You might remember his work from this post last year—or, more likely, if you live in Jakarta, you would have seen his works popping up here and there on the streets. The exhibition is called Monster in Disguise #2, which is the continuation—I think—of the exhibition he had in Singapore in 2009. Though it's been going on since a week before I left for Surabaya, I first knew of the exhibition only after I was at my Grandparents'. Thankfully, it went on for a few days after I'd gone back, so I asked my sister to accompany me there. I don't think I've ever known darbotz to hold an exhibition locally before, so I'm just used to frolicking the streets of Jakarta in the hopes of finding his latest piece. They're always so secluded too, and darbotz never reveals his locations. This is actually nice, for a change.

Sis's top // old dress + hat + purse + socks // MKS ankle boots // photos by Akita

When I planned to go to this exhibition, I already thought up a thematic outfit, trying to match my clothes to the artworks—not unlike last time, really. This time I'm going a little more subtle, borrowing a piece from my sister's less-crazy wardrobe. Originally I wanted to keep it almost entirely black-and-white—with my pair of black-and-white striped socks—but I couldn't seem to find them anywhere. These things about socks, am I right? As usual, nothing in this outfit is new—in fact, you should be able to find them all on the blog before. I've never really talked about it but I haven't purchased any clothing time since my Book of Deer purchase in January. I feel quite proud of myself, actually, but I think by the time this post reaches you, I'd have one (thrifted) addition to my wardrobe. Eep! Can't wait to share it with you guys. Watch this space!

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