Monday, June 23, 2008
Last Saturday, I participated in my graduate program's commencement, and all my family was invited to come. Autumn and my mother's first stop was to my apartment of sunshine, to bring some things for me to wear to the ceremony. And, of course, Autumn was her stylish self.
The outfit was perfect for the hot weather of the day, because it is made completely of cotton fabrics. The top is made of a mustard yellow-colored knit fabric, and the collarbone ruffle gives it the style of a Mediterranean vacation. In the picture above, Autumn wears her blouse "way off the shoulder" (to play with Audrey Hepburn's words from the 1950s film "Sabrina"). The skirt is of a blouson style (i.e., "bubble") and features a sophisticated graphic print, also with mustard yellow.
It is the accessories that make this ensemble a study of contrasts: Autumn adds a leather belt with a corresponding color, and this choice adds a touch of tailoring, as does the square-faced watch. If it were not for these careful additions, the look would be very soft and almost baby-like.
The picture left is a result of the fashion shoot moving indoors, into my apartment. I had recently been working with a set of books sitting on my kitchen table, and they caught Autumn's attention. Wouldn't it seem that my sister should be the one graduating from library school?
The June 2008 Vogue has a fashion spread, with a similarly bookish sensibility:
My sister Autumn and I are long-time creative project collaborators, and as children, we used to write for a newspaper called "The Holly and Ivy Times." In case you were wondering, it was a dolls' newspaper. Holly was Autumn's, as Ivy was mine, and the dolls were the endearing characters in the real-life adventures that my sister, our other sisters and brother, and I had. The paper told stories, jokes, tips, and fashion advice--from the dolls' point-of-view, of course. And, for some reason, the dolls were always more boisterous and outspoken than we children were allowed to be...
These days, my sister and I don't have much time for such imaginings, but I do admire the way that my sister dresses on a regular basis. She is a mistress of clever color palates and smart accessory-matching. When I happened to see her on campus this past year (I just graduated from the school that she still attends), I wished that I had a camera on hand to capture her adorableness. When I at last got a digital camera, one of its main planned purposes was to help me with my new blog.
The blog. My sister expresses her creativity mostly with clothing, especially when she is in the midst of midterms and papers, and I tend to be an ambitious writer lately, who prefers lone projects. This blog represents a new kind of collaboration between two sisters. It came to me that I should write journals around photographs of my sister wearing her characteristically cute ensembles, as the French bloggers do. The name of my blog comes from the last stanza of a poem by contemporary Irish woman poet Medbh McGuckian, "Minus 18 Street" (also known as "I Never Loved You More" because of the first line):
Sky of blue water, blue-water skyI sleep with the dubious kissOf my sky-blue portfolio.Under or over the wind,In soft and independent clothes,I begin each dawn-coloured pictureDeep in your snow.
"In soft and independent clothes" is appropriate for my sister, because she can be "self-reliant" in the way that little Shirley Temple boasts to be in those Depression-era movies.
Thank you very much for reading and please stay tuned!