Threads | TaHome

No matter where I go, no matter what city I find myself in…this place will always call to me. As distant as I get from it at times, as disconnected and disillusioned as I can be, running around the bustling metropolis that is San Francisco…I find myself always longing for a little taste of the mountain air, for a moment with the sun and the sand and the icy water that seems so impossibly blue.

I find the call of the mountains and the lake particularly difficult to resist during the summer months, when I find my various social media feeds flush with photos of glimmering water and sun-soaked beaches and the smiling, suntanned faces of the friends who stayed.

I was able to take some time off from work and make a pilgrimage to the lake. My cousin was getting married and my mother’s entire family had descended upon the South Shore and it seemed irresponsible to not come up and supervise, so I took a week off work, packed far too many outfits, and boarded a bus bound for Reno.

I stopped at the Wild River Grill in Reno’s revitalized River Walk area for a glass of champagne (or two!) to kick off my vacation. I had a simple but delicious sandwich, and listened to Alabama Shakes’ album,  Sound & Color while the heat of the desert pushed the air through my hair. It felt like the first moment of summer vacation. My mom picked me up and we drove up the mountains, cresting the summit to the glimmering expanse of the lake spread below us. It’s a sight that never gets old, never ceases to make you pause and appreciate the wonder that nature has wrought.

I spent the majority of the week running around in dirty cut-offs and breezy tops. This particular pink number gets a lot of play, both in vacay-land and in my regular life. It’s the perfect button down and has re-ignited my love of over-sized vintage button downs from the 80’s and 90’s. I tried to get in as much time as possible with the woods, the water and these two great, furry beasts. The black lab is my brother’s spirit animal, Zeke, and the golden is my mom’s fur-baby, Nate.

I did get dressed up for the wedding, but, as expected…only managed to capture one mediocre image of my wedding attire…it’s on instagram, if you’re so inclined. As I said, I packed entirely too many outfits, considering that these shorts and my bathing suit dominated the sartorial spectrum this week. I cannot be blamed. summer in Tahoe is an exceptionally casual affair.

Back in the city and I’m reminded how important these times are for me. How essential to my spirit and my mental health retreating to the woods is. I am so blessed to be able to return to this place, to always be able to call it home.

Outfit Details | Shorts :: Thrifted | Shirt :: Thrifted | Sandals :: Seychelles 

Threads + Thoughts | Changes of Scenery, Changes of Pace

There is a strange juxtaposition occurring in my internal life now. This odd fissuring of who I was and what I want to be creating an anomalous sense of instability. I suppose I write this in part to define this sensation to myself, as well as to others. I’m only just beginning to comprehend how drastically and suddenly my life has transformed (as it often does) and exactly what that means.

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I grew up in the mountains, on the shores of a lake so big and blue it’s sometimes called “The Lake of the Sky.” I grew up playing in the woods, beneath towering pine trees, in the coarse sand of a dozen alpine lakes. I spent summer nights under stars that burned bright silver in a velvety, blue-black sky, the milky way strung across it like a gossamer veil. I walked home under those stars in the freezing winter, the only sound my own breathing and the crunch of my boots on the snow. I grew up with camping trips and bonfires and hours of hiking trails. With snow days and hot chocolate by the fire place and socks damp from snowmelt. My legs were always covered in scratches from running through the brush in shorts. My arms were always sunburnt and freckled from hours spent beneath the high, hot summer sun. I built forts by the river and spent autumn evenings writing in my journal on a rock in the middle of it’s lazy flow. My youth was an idyllic one, I must admit, with a closeness to nature that made the woods a sanctuary and the wilderness a church. But by the time I was in high school, I wanted nothing but to flee the silence of that cathedral. I wanted light and sound and motion. The rush and press of city streets and the chatter of a thousand voices lulling me to sleep each night. Thats the life I imagined for myself when I was a restless, angst-ridden teen, adrift in a town where I didn’t really connect with anyone. Those were the years I dreamt of San Francisco and New York and a career as a fashion designer or magazine editor. I had grand schemes of a cosmopolitan life full of glamorous parties and beautiful people and opulent clothes. I wanted art and music and lavish parties attended by interesting people from all over the world. I wanted to drink in all their stories, all their varied experiences. I loathed my small town and what I deemed to be it’s small-minded people. I was convinced I belonged elsewhere, in some bright and glimmering city.

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Now I want something somewhere in between. I want the art and culture and creativity that I found dripping off the walls of San Francisco’s multi-colored victorians. I want the community and collaboration of living around a bunch of like-minded people; artists and musicians and writers and creatives of all varieties. I want a bold art scene, a raucous music scene, a plethora of culinary options to choose from. But I also want stars over my head and the quiet of the deep dark night. I want early mornings with the mist on the mountains and the sun creeping across the window panes. I found my soul depleted by the constant noise and rush of the city, by all those people, all those stories, all the endless things to do. I found myself strangely overwhelmed by it all and there was a longing for that old peace, to escape to the solitude and silence of the woods once more.IMG_2616

Ojai is it’s own little bubble of juxtaposition, a tiny town nestled in one of the few East-to-West running valleys in the world. It’s considered by many to be an energetic vortex, and is well known for spiritual retreats and it’s artsy-hippie residents. I have the strange sensation of being called here, summoned by some external force whose intention is still unclear. Before a few months ago, I only knew of Ojai peripherally, vague mentions of this beautiful place from friends, the suggestion that “Ojai and you would get along famously” from a dear friend whose grandmother lives here. And then, as I got closer, the word Ojai came up again and again for me. In books, on podcasts, in movies, in passing conversation with strangers and friends. J visited Ojai with his mother while I was working in San Francisco and he called to tell me “You will absolutely love this place.” As soon as I set foot on it’s soil I knew, this is where I want to be. Everything about it felt so right, from the towering mountains that ring the valley to the eclectic citizens that roam the streets, I fell instantly and irrevocably in love with Ojai.

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I wake up every morning to the sound of roosters crowing and I watch the sunlight stain the mountains outside my window. I go to sleep each night to mockingbirds songs. I took these photos on my porch, as the sun slipped down towards the horizon and the valley filled up with gold. The contrast is sharp to where I was only a year ago, with the sound of the city right outside my window. I am sometimes still surprised by it, the strangeness of how drastically my life has changed in the space of a year, but I also find myself exuberantly happy. Thrilled each morning to wake up in a place so naturally beautiful.

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outfit details | knit top :: thrifted | woven leather belt :: vintage | blue high-wasted shorts :: vintage | flats :: reef

Threads + Thoughts | Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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Oh, hey there, Internet. Good to see you again. It has been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry I went all MIA on you. But look! I’m compensating with a photo of me attempting to look sexy and smirky in this rad little shift dress I scored on a Thrift. It’s the perfect weight, length and cut for summer, plus it’s super versatile and looks great paired with damn near anything.  I have a feeling I’m going to be rocking this well into the autumn months (though
 the entire concept of seasons in Southern California is sort of a joke). 

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To be perfectly honest, part of the reason I am so few and far between on the outfit photos is because they are really hard for me. I feel so silly, primping and preening for the camera, even now, after all this time. Even when I have someone else to take my photos, I feel so stilted and unsure of myself as soon as I sense the lens on me. I suppose there is an element of insecurity, the worry of how I look. There are still days where I struggle to like my appearance, still days where I worry that I’m an ugly girl and that self consciousness is particularly keen when I’m in front of the camera.

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A part of the reason I started my style blog was because I realized I avoided cameras. There are huge chunks of my youth in which not a single photo of me exists because I hated having my picture taken. For years I would either flee the room or pull a face whenever a camera pointed in my direction. I still have a hard time smiling for photos, because I think I look like a complete goober when I smile. Hence the eternal RBF (Resting Bitch Face) in all my photos. I know how silly that is, particularly since I spent 2.5 years in braces and get compliments on my smile all the time…but it’s just one of those things, ya know? There’s probably some carryover insecurity from the Before Braces era, when I was a snaggle-toothed little kid who covered her mouth when she smiled.

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I’m still coming to terms with the way that I look. Every day there is the comparison, the concern that I am not pretty enough or not as pretty as someone else. I rarely doubt my own intelligence or sense of humor, but my looks? That is something I am constantly questioning. As I was editing these photos, that nasty, inner critic we all have started doing it’s thing. Gosh, your face is boring. Shouldn’t I have a thigh-gap? Are my knee caps fat? Why in gods name am I concerned about the fatness of my knee caps?? It’s all so silly and trivial and superficial. Who am I comparing myself to? Whose standard of beauty am I not measuring up to? Why am I enforcing that standard on myself?

Recently, the ever lovely and encouraging Gala Darling posted this image on her Facebook page and the sentiment hit me like a fistful of glitter. Just stop. Stop comparing yourself to other people, stop evaluating yourself based on someone else. Here’s a little secret; you never measure up. So just stop doing it. It reminded me of another quote I love, and one I’ll leave you (and my inner critic) with.

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Femme Fatal | Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

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Frida Kahlo is a Femme Fatal for a bunch of other reasons that have nothing to do with her iconic style and truly epic threads,  By the time she was eighteen she had survived both polio and a horrifying trolly accident and would live the rest of her life in unimaginable pain. She was an outspoken communist, openly bisexual and intensely talented. Her artwork, personality and image are synonymous with the Surrealist and Mexican art scenes of the mid-twentieth century. She carried on many tumultuous love affairs, with both men and women, the least of whom were Georgia O’Keefe and Leon Trotsky, not to mention her notoriously unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera, the great Mexican muralist. She kept monkeys and loved dirty jokes, drinking and dancing. She lived in a big, blue house surrounded by cacti and made art that still stops people in their tracks with it’s power. For all these reasons and many more, Frida Kahlo is a genuine bad ass, but since I just discovered these stunning images, we’re gonna talk about her clothes.

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Frida is a collection of images captured by Ishiuchi Miyako. The photographs catalogue a collection of Frida’s garments and personal items, which had been locked inside a bathroom in “The Blue House”– or the Museo Frida Kahlo,  for nearly fifty years. The contents of this bathroom were placed there by a grieving Diego Rivera, who sealed off the collection with instructions for it not to be opened until fifteen years after his death. Just imagine, that bathroom, full to bursting with all that bright silk and embroidery…the smell of her still clinging to the fabric as all those skirts and frocks and scarves languished in the shadows for nearly half a century. Miyako, whose work has centered around the strange intimacy of objects, was tasked with documenting the collection in 2013.

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When you think about Frida’s iconic style you must also consider that she wore her clothing as both a shield and a distraction from the incredible physical disabilities she suffered from. She wore the traditional long skirts of the Tehuana which served to not only conceal her mangled lower limbs, but also as a proud feminist and nationalistic gesture to her heritage. She wore shoes with one stacked heel to even out her polio-stunted left leg. She decorated her casts and corrective corsets so that even the instruments of her agony became art. Her clothing became as much an expression of her unique perspective on the world as her vibrant paintings. She dressed as she did for many reasons, and her style is iconic because it is as thoughtful and startling as her artwork.

Learn more about Frida Kahlo…

Images via the Michael Hoppen Gallery and good old Google Image Search

Worn | Repeat Offender

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Since moving to Southern California, we’ve been staying with my Mancandy’s family, and thus, the majority of my clothing/worldly possessions have remained in storage…which has resulted in my wearing and re-wearing the same six or seven articles of clothing over and over and over again. This dress in particular has gotten a great deal of play in the balmy SoCal climate. I scored it at Goodwill in San Francisco during January, when the dress racks of SF are full to bursting with neglected summer dresses, as the climate is akin to the arctic and sheets of rain discourage even the bravest fashionista from baring too much skin.

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Initially, I wasn’t so sure about it. The mustard-yellow color and graphic animal print seemed like they might be too much…but somehow, the grunge-influenced 90’s print and cut have grown on me and now I wear it at least once or twice a week…with boots, with flats and continually with this denim jacket (which, let’s be honest, I wear with everything). It’s casual and comfy enough to wear while lounging around the house, but also just playful enough to wear out and about. It’s so damn versatile, I’ve worn it to the beach, for excursions to Ojai and dinner with friends, and most recently for a drive up to The Cross above the quaint little beach town of Ventura, where these shots were taken.thecrossventura

I’m still adjusting to the temperatures down here, so living in dresses and shorts is pretty much all I’m capable of. I can’t even fathom rocking jeans most of the time, and my poor, poor sweater collection will have to find a new home since I don’t foresee them getting much play down here, though it was kind of brisk on the top of this mountain. The couple above resorted to sucking face the whole time in order to stay warm. So much face-smooching happening. But it makes a rather pretty picture, no?

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Hope all you kiddo’s trapped in the winter-wonderland of the East Coast are staying warm, even if it is through sucking face. Send some snow to Cali, it’s dry as hell here.

jacket :: vintage via WastelandSF | dress :: thrifted via Goodwill | flats :: ???

Personal Style | No Place To Be Alone

I snagged these super spiffy purple pants at the big goodwill downtown and now their one of my new favorites. The color, the fit, and the amazing embroidered details on the belt loops are all so perfect I can’t get over it. And, to top off their perfection, they seem to go so splendidly with so many things I already own. For example, this vintage top with its red, gold, black and purple stripes accents them so splendidly. Threw on my trusty red flats and my ubiquitous denim jacket and felt like the classiest of ladies.

 

I snapped these photos on the steps of a staircase in Golden Gate Park that I thought might grant me a little privacy, since its a bit hidden at the back of a field and nestled amongst trees. But as soon as I pulled my camera out it seemed to become a primary thoroughfare. So I sucked up my chagrin at being the strange girl taking pictures of herself in the park and managed to capture these images in between pedestrians.

This might be my only real complaint about living in the city. As a child of the mountains, I am unused to having such a difficult time finding a bit of seclusion. The city is no place to be alone. I live in a house with four other people, on a street constantly mobbed with tourists and transients alike. I work a job where one of my primary duties is to be gregarious and charming, and while I love my roommates, my city, and my profession, at times it can be a bit much to be always “on” for someone. At times, a body just wants a bit of solace. And finding a moment to be alone is an entirely different thing in the city than it is in the mountains, where the solitude of nature can be reached within steps of ones front door.

{blouse | vintage a perfect match}{pants | vintage Mo Hee}{flats | thrifted MIA}{jacket | vintage Climate Control}

Here, you must seek silence. You must hunt for it like a lost set of keys. Finding a quiet spot to think, or read, or take photos, or just sit in contemplation is a rare respite from a city thrumming with curiosity about it’s inhabitants. Most often, one finds their solitude in the crowds. In the anonymity of being a member of this teaming metropolis. By sitting quietly on the train without making eye contact, secluding yourself with head phones and far-away stares. But finding a true moment of isolation, of pure aloneness, is rare.

 

personal style | a circle around where you are now

apologies for my absence. i’ve been in the midst of many a personal crises and haven’t known what to do with myself. but things are better now, settling into a rhythm i can rely upon. i am feeling calmer, clearer. my sense of purpose restored. for the first time in a long time i feel like i am exactly where i’m supposed to be.
{vintage skirt | thrifted} {leather purse | thrifted} {f21 blouse | thrifted}{shades | buffalo exchange}

Flora & Fauna

 

 

 

style | a place in the sun

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{peacock feather skirt | Goodwill}{sheer houndstooth top | Goodwill}{black 1/4 sleeve cardigan | Goodwill}
{sunnies | Buffalo Exchange}{black booties | eh?}{tooled leather + silver belt | momma}

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hey, look at that…an entirely thrifted outfit. except the shoes…and the name of the shop I got them at escapes me. Somewhere in the mission. this skirt is like my BFF, thing never lets me down.

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livin’ out on the skids

so I'm one of those lucky dames with great friends, and one of those great friends was kind enough to treat me to a ticket to the Black Lips first show in SF in what's gotta be 4 or 5 years now. They played last night at the amazing Great American Music Hall, which is probably one of my favorite venues in the city, and it just because its the locale of my first ever show in SF (a Deer Hoof gig right around the last time the BlackLips were in town) but because it's freakin gorgeous inside and they always manage to book awesome shows with great energy. Last night being no exception.

We showed up fashionably late and there was still a line down the block, but the exceedingly efficient staff got us through the doors and out of the cold in no time. The bar was crowded, but the crowd was unusually divers, as it was an all ages show. Kids that probably crawled out of the womb when these guys first got started eyeballed me from the crowd as I sipped my drink and assumed that, at twelve these tender youngins have way more street cred than I ever did.

{1. patient people awaiting libations. 2. A fav of mine (and the entire crowds) 3. Needless to say the Fernet was flowing. 4. they have a banner these days. Profesh!

 
As soon as they walked on stage you could tell it was gonna be a good night,and the energy didn't diminish a bit throughout the entire show. The crowd was pumped, the band was pumped, it was good vibes all around, this is what I wore to check these cats out, and it's what I'm wearing again today (don't you judge me, I only got a little sweaty).

{jeans | BDG}{blouse | vintage}{jacket | vintage}

 

{boots | Steve Madden}{jewelry | White Buffalo}

 

 

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