Sunday 13 July 2008

Shining the light from the style-torch

Kay. For the record, I love Barcelona. But if there´s one thing that has become more special to me than Barcelona, it´s.... actually scrap that. If there´s one thing that has heightened my love of Barcelona it´s Candela Casagrande! Let me introduce you:

May I explain. My adopted Dads took us for breakfast the other day, and we were sitting in the cafe when this lady walked in, and they nearly puked with excitement. Bascially, she is apparantly some sort of bar fly that hangs out exclusively in the eating and drinking establishments around the tiny Placa Sortidor, a square in the area of Poble Sec. I believe to see her may well be some sort of lucky omen.

She is a special treat, whose image must be carefully receorded. Hence this type of image:

Let´s analyse her style. Hmmmm, DAMN GOOD is my conclusion. I totally love the fact that she is carefully dressed, coifured and made-up, despite pushing ninety. She clearly understands the value of appearance as a medium of social interaction and communication. That looking good and taking time on your style is both an expression of and a method of developement of your self esteem.

I REALLY hate it when women no longer give a crap about how they look after, and often way before, the menopause. From what I´ve seen that seems to be exactly to time for self-definition, and maybe a little re-invention. Candela is an inspiration, and has reminded me of the importance of such self-expression. I guess recently hanging out almost exclusively with cerebral-types has put my naturally visual-self slightly on the back burner. That and it´s fu****g hot so wearing small, loose clothes has been a priority this week.

In case you were wondering what such a sassy individual would rock in the colder months, let me enlighten you:

You know that´s real fur. These images are care of Isi, an individual always selflessly on the front line, putting himself out there, ready to pounce and capture such essentially imagery. He is clearly a master of covert photography. Once more for the road Brother Isi:

Oh, and there is a distinct possibility that she isn´t called Candela Casagrande, seeing as we made it up! We were sitting in the cafe trying to think what this style-icon would be called. Casagrande is the mental surname (Bighouse?!) of some surreal psychic Lee went to visit recently, who may well have changed his life by announcing he has ´latent psychic tendancies´. It seemed an appropriatly imposing surname for our subject. And Candela? That´s the Spanish word for the ´light of a candle´. And as I think you can agree, she shines!!!!!!!

Thursday 3 July 2008

Relocate and refocus

Little did the city of Barcelona know in March '08, that just four months later it would be about to suffer a further, more thorough assault of the Zoe-kind! Because people, THAT'S JUST WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN! Have they received the memo?! Because I mean business.......

As you can see from these images taken on that spring visit, I'm rocking a strong home-made garment look. Damn!

This outfit is particularly good because I made the dress, jacket AND bag! If I could make tights and shoes I would.... I've been making clothes for some time now, but it never ceases to fascinate me that I have produced something that when worn, actually fulfills it's function, by and large, as good as a purchased garment. Let alone three. All at once.

The dress was made from the cheapest fabric available in the UK,from a pattern I adapted from a Built by Wendy Simplicity pattern. The jacket pattern was adapted from a 1960's pattern purchased on ebay. (What have I told you previously? Can't leave them patterns alone. I'm always monkey-ing with them.) The fabric was 'aquired' from my previous job, with applied swallow patches. Sadly you are unable to see the AWESOME lining, which is a Vegas style print cotton featuring playing cards and chips purchased in Britex in San Francisco. I'll try and take a photo of that some time. Honestly, I'm tempted to wear it inside out!

In case you weren't sure if the jacket worked in an evening setting, let me just clarify the situation for you:

I think you'll find it works just fine! The top in this picture is also another creation from the same Built by Wendy pattern. I've leant the pattern to the lovely Michelle at the moment so can't check the pattern number. Can't wait to see her interpretations!

I fully intend to stick to my no-buying new garments pledge whilst in Barcelona. This may prove more of a challenge than previously because, at least initally, I won't have a sewing machine, fabric or equipment. I will have to rely on the things I take out ith me, and any second-hand finds to give me the new-stuff fix I often crave. I'm so committed to the pledge though, fear not.

Because my creations will probably be more infrequent, I plan to focus this blog more on the gathering and documenting of the inspiration I discover in Barcelona. Exciting times. Watch this space.....

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