A Night At The Ballet

So here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Degas’s sculpture, “Little 14-Year-Old Dancer.” The outfit itself is pretty self-explanatory – I simply took inspiration from the neutral colors and ballet theme of the sculpture, hence the ballet flats and the skirt (which I think should be called my “ballet skirt” from now on.) However, you may notice that this is not the usual background for my outfit photos. In fact, it is very unusual – it’s the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia!!!

That’s right, I just came back from a 2-week trip in Russia, during which time I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a ballet at the prestigious Mariinsky (I originally wanted to go to the Bolshoi in Moscow, but their schedule didn’t quite line up with my travel plan.) I had to admit, this was the reason I picked this sculpture as the inspiration for SIA, because I knew I’d have the chance to take my outfit photos at the theater itself. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture of me in my seat, but I was so overwhelmed by the experience that I barely even remembered to take pictures at all (I snatched these quickly during the intermission.) So here are some pictures from my seat instead – our seats were not the best, but they’re the best we can afford (we were in the 3rd box on the 1st tier, and they cost about $70 each). The ones with a better view of the stage are naturally more expensive.

As for the show, we saw La Bayadère, which, while not as well-known as Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, is actually one of the most famous classical ballets in Russia. It’s good that I knew nothing about it beforehand, because that means I could fully enjoy the experience and understand the story from the dances alone – and it’s truly amazing how the ballet manages to tell the story so clearly just with music and dance moves. Of course, this being the Mariinsky, the technique, music, and costumes are all top-notch. And the three leads are perfectly cast too – I’ve seen photos of other productions, and while I have no doubt the other dancers are all experts, their looks are not as well-matched to their characters as the ones I saw (being a filmmaker, I can’t help but notice these things).

(You’re not supposed to take photos during the performance, so all of my photos were during the curtain calls.)

Stay tuned for my travel posts, and don’t forget to come back on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this sculpture!


The Casual Age Of Innocence

I love period costumes, but I don’t always get to translate that love into my everyday clothes. However, with this outfit together, I may have been subconsciously influenced by a dress in The Age of Innocence. It’s not my favorite period drama (the story is just a tad overwrought for my taste), but I adore its costumes (gorgeous, accurate, and still manage to reflect the characters – unlike today’s costumes, where accuracy is often sacrificed for the sake of uniqueness and/or character.) And out of all of those costumes, my favorite is this archery dress worn by Winona Ryder’s character, May Welland. You can see its influence on my outfit – the white-on-white embroideries of my shirt and the white and green color scheme. So of course, I had to complete the outfit with my arrow pin, to mimic the arrow brooch May won in the archery contest. I may not be able to wear a 1870s dress, but this is much more practical 🙂


Star Catcher

So here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Remedios Varo’s “Star Catcher“. It’s not as… exuberant as the painting, but I did try to evoke some exuberance with my wide-leg, high-waist pants. The star of the outfit (pun totally intended), though, is this blouse. It’s printed with stars, so of course I had to build the entire outfit around it. I may not have anything in a checkerboard pattern, but this blouse is so perfect for SIA that I’m not complaining.

If you haven’t sent me your outfit, you still have until tomorrow. And don’t forget to come back on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this amazing painting!


Off-Duty Land Girl

It’s the middle of the week, I’m recovering from a nasty case of the flu, and the weather still can’t make up its mind if it wants to be spring or summer, so I’m going for something easy and comfortable, with a layer that can be taken off if it gets warmer. The silhouette and the brooch make me think of the 1940s, hence the title (and also because “Casual 1940s” sounds too boring. Sometimes when the outfit is nothing to write home about, I have to come up with a really interesting post title just to make up for it.)


Silver And Gold

Earlier this week we had some rain, and it finally felt like summer has ended. Note that I said “summer has ended”, not “fall has begun”. It’s still quite warm, but the heat is no longer muggy or oppressive, and in the morning and at night, there is a certain crispness in the air, which prompts me to bring this top out again. I don’t know why I associate it with fall so much – it’s certainly a summer-weight top, but the color and the print always make me think “fall” rather than summer.

I’m being a little cheeky with my jewelry in this outfit too. See if you can find my brooch!


Casual Take

It’s not until I put up these photos that I realized this outfit was essentially a more casual take on another outfit I wore last month. The colors are the same – I just swapped the blouse for a T-shirt and the pumps for a pair of flats. I actually much prefer this outfit. The T-shirt is more fitted so it balances out the relaxed silhouette of the pants, and the flats look more proportionate with these pants than the pumps too. And this was just something I literally threw on for running errands, as opposed to an outfit that I agonize over. It just goes to show, when it comes to style, sometimes instinct works better.


Sweater Set

Do you guys have an outfit or a silhouette that you always try to wear but can never get quite right? For me it’s this oddly specific combination of plaid pants & embroidered cardigans/sweaters. I think I was influenced by Mad Men (Betty from season 1, to be precise), but it beats me why this combination looks good  or why I’m so determined to get it right. It’s not particularly flattering to me, and I’m never happy with any of my versions of it either. I tried it once before but it didn’t quite work, and this time, it’s slightly better but not by much. I just haven’t found the right cardigan or the right pair of pants yet (none of my pants have a high enough waist). Guess I’ll just keep trying…