Things I'm Obsessing Over #6

Whoa there! I've already made 5 of these? I love curating these posts because it's a great way to showcase what I've seen on the interwebs. In a way, share my favourite links or whatever catches my eye. I have a ton of links to share this time so let's get on with it!

♥ I'm absolutely in LOVE with Alex McLean's aerial photography. From the picturesque valleys of Italy to the arid landscapes of Arizona, he's got an amazing eye for patterns & symmetry. Promise you will get lost in his rabbit hole of a website. The second picture reminds me of this Kylie Minogue video!

♥ Speaking of symmetry and conciseness Andrew Myers' photographs are of a similar vein. Some naughty, some nice, some precise. Head to his website to check out more of his work.

♥ As a graphic designer,(I never thought I'd say that but yeah!) I'm always looking out for inspiration and when I bumped into this lovely site called the pattern library, I knew I'd struck a gold mine.

♥ Human error is a series of polaroid pictures combined with emotionally charged computer errors. Let go?

Mangalore : The Old & The New

Early May, I was at my grandparent's place in Mangalore. They sort of live in the outskirts of the actual Mangalore city. Frequent power cuts are the norm here as much as a snake bite. As a kid, this place was like a slice of heaven to my city bred feet. Playing out in the garden with my cousins, pulling water out of the well every morning till my palms were raw & my ribs hurt in the most uncomfortable way, my grandfather who would climb the nearest coconut tree and cut open a coconut whenever I wanted one, these were the things I took for granted as a mischievous, spoilt kid. Now as an adult, the very things that alluded me seem to be problems. As I became more so dependent on technology, I tried avoiding the yearly trips to Mangalore partly because I liked my cocoon of technology and because of the almost 24 hour bus ride there which I'd rather avoid. But this time I decided to take the plunge and visit my ailing grandfather & some of my relatives. Here are some of the photos I took while I was there.

Meet my paternal grandmother, Gracy, who lives in Bombay but visited her homeland after 5 years. This photo was taken at her sister's son's housewarming party.
Spot the mangoes!
This decrepit house belonged to my great-grandmother's cousin and his wife. They both lived well into their nineties.
This creek which passes by my great-grandmother's house looked especially beautiful in the afternoon sunlight. Fun fact: When I was 8 or 9 years old, I fell flat on my face in this very creek. I remember my cousin, who was fishing, drop his net and pull me out of the water before I drowned. My mother enrolled me into swimming classes as soon as we returned home.
This is my cousin, Joshua, who is all of 3 years old and was immensely fascinated with my camera. I clicked this photo when he least expected it.

How To Make Vintage Work For You (Part 2)

via artwork made by me!
In the second installment of  'How To Make Vintage Work For You' I'll delve into little tips & tricks that I use to take vintage clothing and bring it back to the 21st century. Because let's face it, some clothes look a bit old fashioned, but with a little alteration here and there you can give it your own personal touch.  It's important to take care of vintage as well. Keep reading to know how!

How Do I Personalise Vintage?

♥ Got it, Flaunt It Firstly, It is imperative to know your body type. Know what accentuates your body and what looks good on you. Some things might look good on the hanger but may not look good on you & vice versa. You can't possibly alter vintage clothing without knowing what looks good on you!
♥ Awkward Sleeves Most vintage blouses or dresses have sleeves that are at awkward lengths. Somewhere between 3/4th sleeves and cap sleeves You can either try rolling the sleeves like you would do to a shirt or cut the excess fabric.
♥ 80's Shoulder Pads Shoulder pads are usually sewn to the garment with a few stitches. So just use a seam ripper to remove those stitches. Sometimes shoulder pads are sewn between the lining and the garment itself. For moments like these, I'd advise you to take help from a skilled tailor. I accidentally ruined a vintage blouse once when I tried to cut open the lining with a scissor and cut the blouse instead. Lesson learnt!
♥ Hem Away Sometimes vintage dresses or skirts look drab or old fashioned but hemming it to suit your height and proportions really makes a world of a difference. I altered this vintage dress to suit my height.
♥ Recycle/ Reuse There are times when you love the fabric of a certain vintage outfit but it's certainly unwearable. Here's when you have to be a little creative. Convert them into cushion covers, table cloths, cloth bags or even cover your journals with it. The possibilities are endless!
♥ Buttons Sometimes you'll find blouses with unique buttons but the garment itself cannot be salvaged. You can rip the buttons out and use them for another blouse or sew it onto the front of a plain skirt!
♥ Add Trims I like to add lace or sequinned trims to plain tops along the sleeves or collar to make them unique. You'll find loads of quirky trims in the market. Here in India, It's not uncommon to find sari trims. Imagine all the beautiful things you could make with them!
♥ Make Vests & Pinafores Sometimes, you'll find stuff with exaggerated shoulders on a beautiful blouse and the like which don't really fit into today's fashion. Maybe if you're at NY Fashion week, just maybe. At times like these I prefer hacking off the sleeves & wearing them as vests. Poofy sleeves on vintage dresses can be hacked to make cute pinafores to layer with a collared blouse!
♥ Belts There's nothing a good slim belt can't fix. Whether you're short or tall, slim belts suit every body type. Wide elastic belts from the 80's work well with vintage dresses too. I made a post about how transform a (not-so-vintage) shift dress where belts play a prominent role. The idea is the same though!
♥ Layer Vintage items are amazing to layer with too. Wear a vintage blouse with an interesting print like a jacket over a tank top or inside a knitted sweater like I did here.

How to Make Vintage Work For You (Part 1)

I've often got emails for advice on vintage clothing & accessories. So I thought I'd create a compilation of posts with tips on how to make vintage stuff work for you. This post has been in my drafts folder for a couple of months now. I would have random spurts or eureka moments and keep adding things to this post. So much so that I had to break it down into several posts! (I plan to keep it a two-three part series) A crash course of sorts. Some may be obvious, some may be helpful.

I wear hand-me-downs from my aunt or mom but I've also discovered neat vintage/second hand items at thrift markets. It  isn't everyone's cup of tea but I find that vintage really does hold a place of it's own.

Why Vintage?

If you've read my blog, you will notice that I wear a lot of vintage clothes. I have no idea how and when I started preferring vintage. As far as I can remember I was always fascinated with Edwardian fashion & 20's flapper style. Eventually, it evolved to loving more recent fashion like in 60's movies and the "Ye-Ye" music scene. I remember being a curious 9 year old, going through my mother's closet when she was away (Sorry Mom!) or my aunt's vast shoe & clothing collection from the 70's and 80's. My grandmother was a seamstress and would sew clothes for my aunt out of fabrics my grandpa sent from abroad. The time and effort she took to make those dresses, in a way, made me appreciate fashion in a whole different way.
In 2009, I began reading blogs which also showcased vintage clothing. Not only as an inspiration but a way of life. Kudos to those who live the vintage life! There are times when I happen to wear all vintage & I wonder if I've overdone it. Still, I love the way pre-loved clothing looks and feels. There are so many reasons that people where vintage.
♥ Quality The quality of clothes in the past is unlike anything we see today. Designers made limited pieces and stuck to it. Skilled tailors emulated them making fashion more accessible to the masses. The care and concern taken to make these garments resulted in gorgeous silhouettes. Quality was always more important than quantity. The fact that these garments continue to survive in our time is proof enough. Now, clothing or footwear from a high street brand barely makes it to two years without completely falling apart.
♥ Cheap and Chic Vintage is cheap for the most part. The thrill of finding something of great quality which doesn't cost an arm and a leg is just plain amazing.