When I saw this week’s SIA inspiration, Joyce Koskenmaki’s “Bear in Boat“, I knew I couldn’t go literal with my interpretation. The painting has mainly solid colors, colors which I don’t have in my summer closet (those are more suitable for Christmas than June.) So I decided to put together a casual weekend outfit based on the whimsical, eclectic quality of the painting instead. At least, that was my intention. I’m not sure if I pulled it off – this just looks like I was in my pajamas and had to throw on a pair of shoes for a quick errand. Maybe it would work better with a different, less casual top, but I wanted to wear this shirt because the cat kinda looks like the bear in the painting, don’t you think?
Remember to check Jess’ blog for other interpretation of this painting!
T-shirt: Forever21, Pants: local shop, Loafers: Footglove
I’ve had this book in my Kindle since forever, but it took me a while to read it, because as amazing as the premise sounds, it is also a little familiar: Alif is a hacker in a Persian Gulf emirate state, hiding behind his computer and a screen name (Alif is the first letter in the Arabic alphabet). This all changes one day when his aristocratic lover becomes engaged to the Head of State Security, and Alif receives from her a mythical book called The Thousand and One Days (a fictional counterpart of The Thousand and One Nights.) Soon Alif finds himself journeying through the world of the unseen, as he is pursued by both the police and jinns alike.
Now, jinns with Internet access sounds awesome. Take that away, though, and what you have left is a very standard cyber thriller. But then I found out that the author, G. Willow Wilson, was the creator of Marvel’s first Pakistani-American superhero, and I finally cracked open “Alif the Unseen”.
The book more or less meets my expectation. The fantasy part is great, with beautiful imagery and a wonderful blend of mythology and reality (a demon with a Dell, anyone?) I’ve read The Thousand and One Nights since I was a kid, so perhaps I’m more familiar with the mythology than most readers. Still, I think the author did very well to keep the mythology authentic and accessible to the average reader without dumbing it down. The thriller part I find a little slow in places, and the ending is a little anticlimactic, but it’s probably just my screenwriter mind talking. I only wish it could go a bit further: the fantasy more epic, the thriller/revolution more substantial, but overall, it was an enjoyable and quick read. I’d give it a solid 4/5.
On a character note (gosh, it sounds like one of my script analyses now), I’ve read some criticisms of the way the female characters are treated in the book, in that they are only accessories to Alif’s adventure, but I disagree. I think the female characters are well written while still staying true to their culture and religion (G. Willow Wilson herself is a Muslim convert), and they are integral to the story in their own way. “Strong” female characters don’t have to conform to the masculine standards; on the contrary, they are all the more interesting because they are so traditionally feminine.
As for the outfit, I decided to go super casual, like something a hacker would wear (Alif himself is described as wearing a black T-shirt and jeans), but with an intricate detail in my necklace, to reflect the “unseen” part. And yes, I finally buckled to the trend and bought a pair of slip-ons. How very normcore of me.
T-shirt: Uniqlo, Jeans & Sneakers: local shops, Necklace: my mom’s
This may be the first truly put-together minimalist outfit that I had since I simplified my style. Of course, it is a direct copy of this outfit by See Jane, and she looks so much chicer with her gold jewelry and distressed jeans, but I think my version is OK too (even if I do say so myself). Usually any outfit that can be correctly categorized as “minimalist” instantly becomes boring or uninspired the minute I put it on, but this I like.
Also, is “chicer” a word? There is no red squiggly line underneath it so I assume it is, but it looks weird, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it be “more chic”?
Shirt: local shop, Pants: thrifted, Sandals: Clarks, Necklace: Forever21
This week is a weird one, in terms of capsule. In fact, it wasn’t a capsule at all because I didn’t wear anything twice. I couldn’t, anyway, with such heat. So here is an outfit that has nothing to do with the other two I’ve posted. I almost didn’t post it because the last time I wore this shirt, I paired it with almost the exact same item – also a black pleated skirt and heeled oxfords. But here it is anyway. I guess my sartorial sense, like the brains of the trolls in Discworld, doesn’t function very well when it’s overheated.
Shirt: Mango, Skirt: thrifted, Shoes: local shop