I don’t envy my US readers, most of whom are probably in the grip of cold and snow right now, but I’m not happy about the sudden heat wave we’re experiencing either. It has been in the upper 80’s in the past week! I got this new dress I was going to wear to work for the after-New Year “office party” (we usually have the party after the New Year rather than before), and now it’s too hot for it. I guess it’s a good thing, because I can stick to my holiday capsule, but at the same time, it reminds me too much of summer… and I’m not ready for that. At all.
Sweatshirt: H&M, Jeans: Mango, Boots: Topshop, Brooch: hand-me-down
And here are all the looks I wore for my 3-week breaks (there are a lot of repeats, naturally):
This outfit is a big ole pile of nothing, but I took photos of it anyway, because my sweatshirt matches the peach blossoms in our garden almost exactly.
In Northern Vietnam, a branch of peach blossoms is an essential part of the Lunar New Year decoration (in the South, where it’s too hot for peach trees, they prefer the yellow-flowered ochna plants), and there are whole villages of peach tree growers who spend the entire year cultivating and grooming their trees to make sure they blossom at the right time. This year has been warmer than usual, and most of the blossoms already faded before the New Year even began. Our tree, though, managed to hold off for some reason (we didn’t take care of it in any special way!) so we still had lovely peach blossoms for the Lunar New Year.
Sweatshirt: Zalora, Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Boots: Topshop, Necklace: Lia Sophia
Did anybody watch the Oscars? I actually sat down to watch it but got up halfway through because it was so boring. I wasn’t thrilled about any of the nominations, the winners were predictable, and even the red carpet gowns weren’t that exciting. It seems the Oscars just get duller and duller every year.
Anyway, that prelude is just to bring me to this movie I’m reviewing – Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”, which in my opinion, should have won the Best Animated Feature category. I knew it wouldn’t though (Big Hero 6 is awesome, but if you’re judging on artistic values… well, look at these screencaps and decide for yourself).
Based on the Japanese fairy tale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, “Princess Kaguya” tells the story of a baby found in a bamboo stalk by a childless bamboo cutter, and raised by him and his wife into a beautiful young woman. Her adoptive father, convinced that she is a princess sent from Heaven, takes her away from their idyllic country life to the capital. Here she captures the eyes of noblemen who wish to marry her, but her heart may belong somewhere else, other than Earth.
Here’s the thing about “Princess Kaguya”: the plot is definitely not as tight as your typical Hollywood/Disney princess movie. Sometimes I think that works in the movie’s favor; sometimes I find myself wishing it could have been more polished. However, I didn’t wish that too often while watching the movie, because the animation is so beautiful (every single frame is a painting, it’s hard to pick just a few to show in this post!) and you’re so drawn into the emotions of the story, that it doesn’t matter.
A warning, though: the story is really sad (it is, after all, made by the same director of Grave of the Fireflies), so don’t hope for an uplifting ending or anything like that. Just emerge yourself in those gorgeous images and enjoy.
This week’s SIA is inspired by “Carps”, the Vietnamese woodcut folk painting from Dong Ho village. We have a lot of bold colors and patterns all around, so let’s get to it!
First up is our co-host Jen in her lovely peplum top – and she’s wearing the same colored pants as me:
Jen’s friend and long-time SIA participant Stephanie looks great in her new haircut. And she has fish earrings and fish necklace! Check them out:
Kezzie is adorable as always:
Erin is keeping warm with her vest and blanket scarf, yet her outfit is still SIA-appropriate:
My co-creator Jess has the perfect brooch for the occasion – you guys are killing it with the accessories!
Leslie is a newcomer to SIA, and she’s put together a very wearable outfit with fun patterns and colors. Welcome to the challenge, Leslie!
And finally, here’s me:
Great looks all around. Thank you ladies, and be sure to drop by next week for a new inspiration, courtesy of Jen.
I added a new piece to my Lunar holiday capsule – this jacket. I got it made at a tailor’s the week before the Lunar New Year, or rather, my mom convinced me to get it made. I had actually picked this fabric for a blazer, but the tailor had a sample of a moto jacket made in the same fabric. My mom said it would be a better addition to my closet than yet another blazer, so I agreed, and I’m glad I did, because it’s fun, it’s versatile, and the herringbone pattern is perfect to mimic the fish scale for this week’s SIA.
As for the rest of the outfit, I kept it simple. I thought about adding my green scarf for the lotus leaves in the painting, but in the end, I decided that my green ceramic brooch would be better – and the shape is like a lotus leaf too, so it’s a win-win. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the full round-up of all the outfits inspired by this Dong Ho woodcut painting!
Jacket: tailor, Sweatshirt: Next, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Boots: Topshop, Brooch: vintage
I picked this outfit specifically for firework watching on New Year’s Eve and going to my uncle’s yesterday for the New Year feast. It’s dressy enough, but still comfy, and the sweater and jeans are dark – but not black – so I didn’t have to worry about getting food or drink on them. I actually spilled wine on myself as I was trying to open the bottle, so it’s great that I was wearing wine-colored jeans!
Shirt: tailor, Sweatshirt: Next, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Boots: local shop (they’re all cracked and gross so I’m using them as glorified rain boots for now), Brooch: vintage
You know how I often complain that Vietnam doesn’t have enough food-based holidays? I think I know why now. It’s because the Lunar New Year is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Super Bowl all rolled into one. I’m currently stuffing my face and have been for the last three days or so. We had kind of a pre-New Year feast last weekend (when we made the rice cakes), we had one last night (for New Year’s Eve), we had one today (for New Year), and we’re going to have another one the day after tomorrow (for the end of the Lunar New Year holiday). So please, enjoy the photos of the feasts, the spring flowers in our garden, and the firework display, while I go sleep this off.