Bad things achieved today: Went on a rambling blog-walk, and got so disheartened at all these amazing new blogs I discovered. Seriously, I would like to come across just one blog to look at, and decide it is not worth my time following. For my sake, and the sake of my blogroll/google reader/blogger list/tabs opened.
Anyhoo, saw Whip It the other day. Directed by the ever-amazing Drew Barrymore, who absolutely killed it in this Alexander McQueen dress at a premiere for the film:
I adored the film. A lot because I think Ellen Page kicks ass. But also because of:
Underwater kissing scenes
Dip dyed hair
Juliette Lewis looking hot and bad ass and wearing the best leather backless bodysuit
* Everyone else is doing it, so they'll find something to say
* To have a little project on the side, to ease the realisation that post-school and post-uni, no one actually gives a rats what you think about anything, outside of giving '110%' to what's listed beneath your job description
*Insert a trillion other reasons here. There are some freaking weird blogs out there on the net
Most blogs, I find, start with some sort of a manifesto. A justification for being so self-indulgent and narcissistic as to actually self-publish one's own maudling/inspiring thoughts. I kept the start of my blog quiet for a long time, and then gradually mentioned it to a few people, who always wanted to look at it while I backpedalled trying to claim I'd forgotten my own url. Then one day I decided to fuck it, and put a link up on my facebook. The positive response (for the most part) was just lovely. There were a few people who still didn't understand, and that's fine. I postedthis diatribe about that.
Then meh... inspiration-shmashion. Blogged off and on. This started out as a bit of a style blog, but I didn't have a proper camera. Then I bought a proper camera, and every now and then would balance it precariously on a bookshelf, or a chair on top of a table, and take those bloggy photos of outfits. Then I roped my little sister into it, lacking the artistic boyfriend so necessary. Then I moved to London and felt silly posing in other people's houses. I decided I'd take it back up again when I bought a tripod and a remote. Then I put on a whole bunch of weight, and to say I was uninspired by my wardrobe (yes, even in the land of topshop) is an understatement - when nothing fits, clothes are hell.
Besides, all those blogs I'd been following for years? Well, most of them are now semi-professional or professional bloggers/stylists/superstars. And it feels so intimidating to pretend I know about clothes. Which I've never claimed to. My tastes in blogs are changing too. Sure, I love dipping into the old favourites, admiring their amazing clothes, and shoes, and wondering how they can afford it all. My twitter feed is completely clogged with London Fashion Week postings. But I'm starting to really love blogs with more narrative strength behind them - I follow a few book blogs now, and am completely obsessed with anyone who cooks and takes pretty pictures of their kitchen adventures. I think what I love about these narrative style blogs is the sense of an insight into other lives being lived. Other accessible lives. Of people daring to put themselves out there on the big wide web for something they love to do - be it writing or photography, or being a mother, or craft. Because I don't (and probably won't) ever get around in 5inch heels all day. I'm sitting here in tracksuit pants, pink fluffy slippers, and an old red cardigan for heaven's sake. Distinctly unglamorous.
So here are a few of my (mostly) non-fashion related, new favourite blogs and sites, and some of them I'm even proud to know in person.
All different sorts of blogs/websites. And this is only the teeniest sample of the trillion amazing and different ones out there. I really have like a billion more favourites too. I should really update my links section.
Would love to hear what your favourite blogs are!
And the odd-er the better (odd as in, can't figure out why you like it).
This summer, when it arrives: floppy hats, sheer oversize mini dresses, button shirts to tuck into shorts. Denim bras to double as swimmers. Oddly-lengthened hems.
This Swedish brand doesn't sell online, to my frustration. May just have to plan a trip to Stockholm with an empty suitcase. I love the playful way they style their clothes in Monki-world. They take what at first seem like really practical separate pieces, and layer and puff and combine them into a very cool outfit:
While thinking about whether to scrap or keep this blog, change the name, start again, give up altogether (oh, no more guilt!), I took a little trip through my own archives, and came across this poem I posted about here and I thought I would re-post it, because I now know what February rain is.
Listening… to Ellie Goulding. She reminds me of my darling friend Marion, whose sunshine and optimism, and absolutely irrepressible sense of fun always lifts me up. Also new friends in London: bonding over chats about boys and clothes and diets, while creaming scones and cutting breadrolls in a little cafe in Putney.
Reading… Oh! Everything! Middlemarch, by George Eliot. I have a lot more time for Dorothea this time around. The first time I read this, I just thought she was mad. I've also recently finished 'White Teeth' by Zadie Smith (excellent), 'The Birth of Venus' by Sarah Dunant (really quite good), and 'The Virgin Suicides'. Actually, I didn't finish that last one... I don't have the heart at the moment.
Watching… The Good Wife. Boardwalk Empire. Gossip Girl. The Princess Bride.
Buying… AsosAsosAsos. Damn their next day delivery, and my weakness for post-lunch online shopping.
I was sitting in a bar in Covent Garden last week with some friends. We'd had some ridiculously amazing Mexican (seriously Chipotle, you blew my mind) on Charing Cross Rd, and we wandered around til we found a little bar, grabbed a bottle of rose, and as usual began to talktalktalktalk. We started talking about Australian designers, and how the blogosphere is starting to really really appreciate the stuff coming out of Australia: Stylestalker, One Teaspoon, Stolen Girlfriend Club, The Cassette Society, Evil Twin and MinkPink are popping up everywhere, though I think it will be a while until the shops here catch up with online stores like Nasty Gal and Pixie Market.
Anyhoo a few days later I stumbled across the lookbook for Dion Lee's collaboration with Cue.
H&M and Lanvin, eat your heart out.
From the man that brought you colours and shapes and light and texture like this:
Comes this: Understated slashing, muted grey felt (felt!), hintings of warrior skirts, trenches with sharp edges that also fold and scrunch like all good trenches should. Cut outs, and leather, and strong feminine lines.
(don't you think Leighton Meester would love this?)
My rather less cannibalistic (is that sacrilegious?) interpretation was some vague notion of taking what I loved to see and think about and write and throw it at the internet. Meh, I don't know. I also just liked it.
But I don't really like the name anymore. It just seems ... silly. But then, most blog names are silly. Or trite. Or odd-sounding. Cut Out The Stars just doesn't seem to reflect where I am, what I'm thinking about, what I peruse on the internet these days. I'd rather write beneath a banner of 'Life in Draft' or something (and I might still change it). But does it matter? The name? Or is Shakespeare right elsewhere, when he says that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?
I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. Crazy, isn’t it, to feel that way in a city like London? In a place where you can see views like this, just as you walk to meet friends?
The last few months I’ve experienced my first snow, my first Christmas away from home.
My first New Year’s beneath the London Bridge rather than the Harbour Bridge.
I shifted on out of cafe work (bliss!) with my first job in the publishing world. Even if it is in web production and not editing the next big novel, it's a start!
There were plenty of not-my-first-time-times too (great wordplay, that). I cried from sheer homesickness and loneliness, and the sight of the same four walls. I wondered how the English were ever industrious beneath such closed-in gloomy skies – until I realized that impending or unending poverty can drive you to be very industrious indeed. I swore I wouldn’t leave the house, until I didn’t, and then stared at my phone, imploring it for a reason to pile on the scarves and layers.
In the last few weeks (or is it months now?Never ending, unceasing grey winter chill) my mental checklist before running out the door is now: phonekeyswalletmittensearwarmersscarves. Cos mittens are the bomb. They keep your fingers warm, and you still get to use your iphone = WIN. Cold = boo.
But you do get to see last little leaves hanging on before shivering down to the ground, when you wear mittens.
Oh, I’ve done lots of fun things too. Somehow though, I never seem to want to write about them, because to me, those things are natural and obvious and easy to do. I’ve been to a roller disco, an experience constituting the most vividly fabulous nightmare of my entire life. I ran around the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve. I trudged over the Chelsea Bridge with one handle of a tote bag full of alcohol, the other held by a brand new friend, laughing fit to burst both ourselves and the bag of alcohol. I’ve gone on rambling walks from North to South for Christmas markets and sticks of donut dipped in steaming chocolate. I’ve walked from West to East to sit in dodgy pubs and watch football… and take photos of little streams.
I’ve done wildly inappropriate online ordering in the name of ‘investment shopping’.
I’ve joined a thing called bookmooch, which is like some kind of cyber library.
I read Pride and Prejudice for the billionth time, but this time on my Kindle for iphone app, while struggling to keep my balance on the tube because I’m too squished to reach the rails.
I watched Boardwalk Empire, and loved it. Also Glee, Mad Men, The Good Wife ... it's cold out, ok?
I’ve realized it’s kind of hard to take some people seriously because their particular English accent happens to be the exact accent I use to mock people at home for being dumb (innit? You alright? Geezer? People actually talk like that).
I’ve wanted to take on new projects and felt that paralyzing sense of failure that comes with calculating the amount of time I’ve been in London x the amount of time I’ve been out of uni x the amounts of job I’ve applied for x the amount of jobs I haven’t applied for x the amount of blog posts I’ve not done x the amount of crappy tv show series I’ve watched … and yeah, add all that up, convert the number into a huge pile of self-doubt, and there you have what I call the London-February feeling. Blergh – aren’t I a whinger?!
But anyway, London forgot about it's February feeling enough to show a little blue sky the other day (saucy minx). And I've written a blog post (ta-dah!), so maybe spring is on its way!