School Colors

black tee black printed skirt red heels by 14 shades of grey

I wore this last Friday to welcome the freshman class (the semester started a while ago, but the freshmen always start two weeks later than the rest of the school.) By a happy coincidence, this outfit is in the colors of my old college in LA – black and red. The funny thing is, we didn’t even have school colors until my second or third year, when somebody had the brilliant idea: we’re a tiny film school that is all about guerrilla filmmaking. Guerilla = gorilla = black and red. We even joked that we should have a gorilla as our mascot. There was no gorilla mascot, eventually (again, tiny film school, no use for a mascot), but all of our shirts were printed in black and red and that was the explanation we always gave whenever somebody asked.

black tee black printed skirt red heels by 14 shades of greyblack tee black printed skirt by 14 shades of grey

black tee red enameled brooch by 14 shades of greyblack printed skirt red heels by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: Uniqlo, Skirt: Zalora, Heels: Zara, Belt: thrifted, Brooch: vintage


Book Reviews: September 2016

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It’s been kind of a frustrating month of reading for me because most of the books are mediocre, but here it goes anyway:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne:

This is the “it” book of the summer, isn’t it? (Well, it isn’t a book really; it’s a script.) I had to admit, I didn’t expect much, but from the photos of the cast, I thought it would be an interesting take on the world of Harry Potter.

The story, not to spoil it or anything, revolves around Harry’s youngest son Albus teaming up with Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius and using a Time-Turner to go back in time and try to save Cedric Diggory. Now there lies my first problem with it: the Time-Turner is one of the least thought-out magical devices in HP, and any story that deals with time travel just opens itself to all sorts of plot holes and inconsistencies (this “How HP Should Have Ended” video features the only use for a Time-Turner that makes sense, in my opinion.) My second problem is that all the characters are annoying. The kids, especially, but the adult Harry, Ron, and Hermione as well. Here’s the thing – they went with the movie version of these characters, so Harry is a tortured matyr, Ron is a bumbling idiot, and Hermione is the only one with any sense. Perhaps they would be more likable on stage. I don’t know.

So you can see, I’m not impressed. And then there’s the big “twist” reveal at the end. Oh, that reveal. To sum up, here’s how my reactions go: “Wow all those effects sound amazing! I wish I could see this in person!” Then, “This reads like fan fiction.” Then, “This reads like bad fan fiction.” And finally, “WTF?! That is so dumb!” I’d still go see the play if I could afford a plane ticket to London though. 2/5

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín:

This is one of the books I picked up from the Deventer Book Fair. I loved the movie, so I wanted to check out the book. Well, let me just say this: if I hadn’t liked the movie so much, I would’ve found this book soooooooooo boring. Not that the movie improved on the book or anything; it followed the source material quite closely in fact. It’s just that the movie did a much better job of making these characters charming and the story touching, whereas in the book, I can’t relate to any of them. Maybe it’s just not my kind of book. 3/5 (and that’s only because I like the movie!)

Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster:

I picked this up before my Euro trip with the intention of taking it with me, but then I decided not to, because taking a book about the Titanic on a long trip doesn’t seem like a good idea. This book is, ostensibly, about the lives of the Titanic’s first class passengers, but other than a few broad sketches of their biographies, it’s a pretty standard retelling of the sinking of the Titanic. I think it has a great premise, but ultimately fails to live up to it: it doesn’t paint a very vivid picture of the rich and famous’ lifestyle in the Edwardian era and show how the sinking of the Titanic, in a way, puts an end to that way of life.

Another thing I found irritating about the book is the repetitive use of phrases like “likely”, “no doubt”, “undoubtedly”, and “must have”. It’s like the author wants to remind you that he doesn’t know any of these details for certain. I mean, we all know that a lot of it is just speculating; it’s not like this is a first-hand account, but that kind of writing is really distracting. 2.5/5

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari & Eric Klineberg:

My friend Debbi recommended this to me after one of our usual social/philosophical discussions, when I told her that I don’t know how people can date and have relationship in this day and age (because I am a robot who doesn’t understand human emotions.) This book is basically about the search for love in the digital age. I’ve read some disappointed reviews from people who expected it to be funny, since it’s written by Aziz Ansari, and found that it isn’t particularly funny. But I know it’s not a humorous book, so I wasn’t disappointed. It introduces some interesting concepts such as the idea of passionate love vs. companionate love, or the “phone self”, and also gives some insights into how smartphones and social medias are changing dating etiquettes. It doesn’t answer my question (because I am a robot who doesn’t understand human emotions) but a fun read nonetheless. 3/5


Times Two

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At the risk of sounding like an old fart: I rarely use my phone to check the time. I still check the time on my watch. I’ve been wearing one since high school, and my wrist feels empty if I go out without it. So since my last watch died, I’ve been looking for a replacement. It hasn’t been easy, because I don’t like the overly feminine watch, but I don’t want something too heavy and masculine either. Luckily for me, my dad had this old watch lying around – it was a present from some college, but he doesn’t wear watches, so he gave it to me, and I love it. It’s definitely more streamlined than my last watch, but it goes better with my simpler style. The best part? It’s actually two watches in one (one showing the “Home” time and one showing the “World” time), so when I travel, I only have to change one of them!

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Shirt: Zara, Pants: thrifted, Heels: local shop, Watch: hand-me-down


SIA Inspiration: POSE

You can always trust Erin to pick some interesting inspirations for SIA, and this week is no different. She went with a mural by street artist POSE:

Titled “Brummel”, this mural is featured in the Belt, a newly developed alleyway in downtown Detroit showcasing the works of artists from around the world. You can find more information about it here and here.

This is so colorful that I’m sure I can’t mimic the color scheme with my wardrobe, but I’m sure I could pull something from its strong, vibrant images to create an outfit. A graphic tee, perhaps? I can’t wait to see how everybody interprets this. Remember to send your outfit to Erin (looplooks@gmail.com) by next Monday, October (!!!) 3rd!


Weekend Wrap-up

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peach t-shirt white pants beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

Just some leftover outfits that don’t warrant their own posts because they’re kinda similar to outfits I’ve worn before. But I’ve already taken the photos so I hate for them to go to waste. Enjoy your weekend!

hot air balloon shirt gray pants by 14 shades of greygray pants brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

peach t-shirt white pants beige sandals by 14 shades of greypeach t-shirt glass pendant by 14 shades of grey

Outfit 1 – Shirt: Zara, Pants: Topshop, Loafers: Footglove

Outfit 2 – T-shirt: Esprit, Pants: Mango, Sandals: Aldo, Necklace: local shop


Birthday Dress

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Here’s the vintage dress I bought as a birthday present for myself in Amsterdam. I got it from a shop called Marbles Vintage just off of Waterlooplein – I wandered in hoping to find a brooch, but they don’t have any jewelry, and then this dress caught my eyes. It reminds me of both this dress and this dress in Brooklyn, but what attracted me the most was the price tag – only 20 euros! Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was missing some buttons and the back was splattered with what look like coffee stains (at least I hope it’s coffee!), hence the price, but I didn’t care. I figured I could always dye it if I couldn’t get the stains off. As it turned out, I didn’t need to. After a good soak in Oxy Clean and button replacements, it’s as good as new!

I styled it simply for going out with my co-workers (our department administrator is retiring so we threw her a party), but I can’t wait until fall so that I can layer it with cardigans. Shirtwaist dress is my favorite kind of dresses, and this one is almost perfect in terms of length and fit (if only it had pockets!), so expect to see it a lot on the blog.

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yellow dress brown sandals by 14 shades of greyyellow dress button detail by 14 shades of grey

Dress: vintage, Belt: local shop, Sandals: gift


Europe On Film

This is the last post about my trip, I promise! And it’s more of a photo essay anyway…

As you may know, I’ve been getting into film photography for a while now. For my Euro trip, I decided it would be fun to bring my film camera along, even though everybody told me I was crazy for lugging around two cameras plus films (really, the weight wasn’t  bad. The films are light, and since my film camera only has the 50mm lens on it, it’s not that heavy either.)

I ended up shooting 4 rolls of film during my 5-week trip. Here’s the terrible thing, though: only about a third of the shots came out! One roll was broken, which was my fault, I made a mistake when unwinding it. But for the rest, I think there was something wrong with the film – I bought expired films because they were cheaper, thinking it wouldn’t matter. Stupid me. (I refuse to believe I was that bad of a photographer, because in the same roll, a shot would come out perfectly while the very next one would be foggy/blurry/overexposed.) I’m only glad that I didn’t rely on the film camera, so I still had plenty of good photos from my DLSR.

In the end, here are some of the best shots I got:

The Belfry of Bruges

The main canal in Ghent

An accidental double exposure of the Japanese Tower in Brussels and an Amsterdam canal – I kinda like it


More canals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Giethoorn


A street in Amsterdam, and flowers in Amstel Park

A bit of Iceland – the horses, Dyrholaey, and my friend at Kerid crater

This hasn’t put me off film photography while traveling, but next time, I’ll make sure to bring good films!