Monday, 11 July 2016

Styling grey hair, and a blogger meetup

Oh dear, oh dear, I'm levitating again. There's something about orange and pink that defies gravity.

That's a new top from the $5 rack at My Sister's Closet eco thrift boutique - wispy orange chiffon, probably home-made, with open cape-style sleeves that shield my arms from the sun. I adore the people who sewed this and then donated it instead of chucking it. It looks so great with these pants. I'm also wearing my lace-up sandal-shoes with the block heel.

And my neon orange vintage sunglasses; I don't often wear them. My hair also defied gravity today. Speaking of hair...

This week I made a video about how I do my tower hairstyle. Simple. Here it is. I put it in the context of a series called Secrets of the Schtars in case I want to do more. Heh.

****Secrets of the Schtars!****

Styling Grey Hair: Tower Hair

I wore lots and lots of makeup because I can - actually I had planned on doing a comedy video but decided at the last minute to do a hair tutorial for my sticking-straight up hair.

I don't go to salons anymore. I don't colour my hair anymore either. For now at least. Luckily, O has a talent with scissors and he cuts my hair at home.

His cuts give me two go-to styles, which I LOVE, worn down like a pixie cut, as seen above in a still from the video. And straight up with tower hair, like below.

I know that a lot of you already do standing-up hair, in a variety of colours too! It's really so much fun. But I enjoy the down look as well, demure, sophisticated, and/or androgynous. I think I have all bases of my personality covered with these two looks.

Let me know in the comments if you have questions. It's pretty straightforward.


And a blogger meetup!

Last Friday I had the exquisite pleasure of meeting up with Vancouver Barbara, who attended the blogger meet-up in Vancouver last summer, Louisa of Damselfly's Delights and Sue of A Colourful Canvas.

We started out with lunch at the landmark Sylvia Hotel next to English Bay, as seen above, then made our way to Dressew fabric store and Atex Fabrics where we all happily added to our fabric stashes. We topped off the day with a stop at Purebread bakery.

Hats off to the one blogger, who, in her absence, still managed to be the life of the party - Suzanne Carillo. Off and on all afternoon we swore like sailors in her honour, especially in Barbara's car as we careered through Vancouver streets. Feckin' eh.

Everyone looked fantastic and was wearing something they had made or thrifted. In my case, my robe was from Shelley, Forest City Fashionista. But even more impressive was the warmth, humour, intelligence, and talent of these amazing women.

I didn't get many photos of the bunch, which speaks to how much fun we were having, but I did manage to get a few sidewalk shots for my street style blog, here.

Meeting people I've met through blogging in real life, that's the best, like meeting celebrities! I hope you get a chance to have meet-ups too.


One more photo of my orange outfit for the road.

Also, if you tried to listen to my CBC Radio interview and couldn't, I uploaded a YouTube version of the clip to make it more accessible. It's on this post.

I'm linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike.

Have a great week!

PS: Whew. Last night I was suddenly having quirky layout issues with Blogger! But a dear woman named Meutia posted a coding fix. Wow, I am soooo thankful for these people who share their expertise.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Complaints magic. And I'm on the cover of SheSpark zine!

When I go to my Blogger Reading List there is a little tab in the bottom right corner of the screen that says Complaints. Do you have this? I kind of wonder if this was added special for me by a sensitive company that would anticipate my needs in advance, like how a good hotel will leave a chocolate on your pillow. That's some good fecking service there, right?

Yesterday I clicked it for the first time. I know! - I have often wanted to open it when the sink gets clogged or a heel on my shoe crumbles or a lifetime lightbulb suddenly dies after one month. But I don't. I'm more stoical than that - I suck it up. But not yesterday.

I clicked it. Then, suddenly, man-god Fabio magically appeared in my living room, the man from the "I can't believe it's not butter" TV ads.

He fell to one knee at my feet and crooned, "Tell me your complaints, thou my goddess who summoned me." !!! Well, we got to talking and he ended up staying the night. When I woke up he was gone but I hadn't had so much fun since pyjama parties with my girlfriends. Which got me thinking: Blogger may be onto something here.

I immediately wrote to Blogger and they were so impressed by my enthusiastic response to their Complaints management that they had me test-drive a few of their new label additions.


Well, as a style blogger I couldn't resist the Style Advice tab. I pushed it and, poof, there was Stacy London of the old show What Not To Wear standing dazed in my living room. WOW! I showed her to my closet and she peered inside. Then, wiping her hands, she turned around and said, "Sorry, hon. I can't help you here. Too bad our show went off the air," then, poof, she was gone.

Wow. Harsh! Right? Quickly I pushed the Complaints button. Over and over and over. But nothing happened. I tried Manicure for a quick pick-me-up and even Pyjama Party. Nuthin! At least Write My Blog Post for Me was still functioning, thank gawd, and I used it for this post. Let me say I'm not impressed!

So maybe it's better that they stick with just the Complaints tab in the end, but the next time I hope they send Mr. Bean. Fabio kept hogging the mirror.

Have you ever entertained a Complaint? Got suggestions for other tabs? If you're not on Blogger, does your platform have a cool function like this?

I'm linking this outfit up with Patti at Not Dead Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike and Anne at SpyGirl for 52 Pick-me-up: Completion.

By the way, I didn't, I repeat, DIDN'T, get picked as a finalist in the H&M contest thingy. My entry was here. The entries of the five finalists are here. There is clarity. So who came up with that saying there's no such thing as failure? I think we need a tab called Blah Blah Blah. Which reminds me, where's my tab?: This is so fecking stupid so throw a party for yourself.

Oh, there it is! Heh. Come on over for drinks and cheese nippies! See? I don't like sour grapes; I like them fermented and dry. We're all WINNERS!!

A slightly better view of the pants below. I wore them mitten-clipped on the sides to make them shorter with black Converse runners. You can see a completely different styling of them here. And I like to think the former owner of this blouse enjoyed bowling, perhaps mini golf as well, as Shelley (Forest City Fashionista) suggested. I hope so. I adore this top.

And now a huge thank you to Suzanne Carillo for posting a photo of me with the BEST positive quote ever, along with a shout-out about my big, huge CBC Radio debut (heh) talking about Bill Cunningham. I could go on all day about how much I admired that man, even though I didn't know him. PLUS, Suzanne has been posting to my IG for me while I have tech issues. This is friendship beyond the call. xoxo

I didn't know if it would happen but I am on the cover of SheSpark magazine's July issue called "Own It!" It talks about self-image kick-starts for women over 40 in style, beauty, and wellness from a variety of angles.

Did you know that 54 is the age that women are least satisfied with their bodies?Yikes! In the section about social media you'll probably recognize many of the blogs mentioned.

Click on the image below to see the free online issue.

Mel Kobayashi on SheSpark magazine cover, July 2016

"Owning it" is definitely a concept I subscribe to in my style and I was honoured to be included as one of several over-40 Instagrammers. Go see who else is in there - I'm in excellent company!

SheSpark magazine is published monthly by Thea Wood and Audrey Stefanik. I must thank them for including me in this fantastic issue. We need more punchy magazines for over-40 women and I enthusiastically applaud their work and passion.

Okay, that's all. Heh. Finally. For now.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Breaking News

I was interviewed on June 27 by Lisa Christiansen for the show On The Coast on CBC Radio One, Canada's national radio broadcaster, about Bill Cunningham's impact on my life. She had read my small tribute to Mr. Cunningham on Bag and a Beret and seen my street style blog and wanted to hear my thoughts on life with/without this great man.

If you'd like to hear what I said, go HERE. I'm at time code 01:01:00 for about five minutes. It's only a small part of a show over 2 hours called On The Coast, June 27. 

Thank you, Lisa Christiansen and Stephen Quinn, show host, for including me in your broadcast, as well as your kind words at the end of the segment. It was an absolute honour to be able to talk about this incredible man whose positive influence greatly affected my own style journey. He was loved around the world.

[Edit: People living outside of Canada have had difficulty listening to the link above. As a result I have had permission to post the clip, which you'll see in the YouTube below. This should work. Good luck! Heh.]

Lisa took my photo too and it's on her Twitter HERE. That will have to count as an outfit photo because I didn't post one here. Heh.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Geriatric vagina and '80s power suit

I needed to go to the financial district last week and thought I should dress accordingly. So I wore a suit. This one has dots instead of pinstripes, it's bright orange instead of grey, vintage not new, and it's silky, pyjama style, and has linebacker shoulder pads. Other than that, I fit right in and was ready to address the board of directors.

When walking with these shoulder pads, my shoulders start gyrating like a washing machine, which has all kinds of personal '80s associations in terms of style and female empowerment. (I just realized that this woman/power image involves a home appliance! How wrong is that?!)


For something different, I made a cartoon in response to a comment I read on someone's blog which said that a doctor told her friend she has a geriatric vagina. Oh, really? This rant has been wanting to explode for several weeks now. Here it is. (Warning: If you hate this topic, you'd best leave now.)

I probably laughed more drawing this than you will reading it. You should see the stuff I deleted. Hahaha!

Back to the outfit:

And below, a closeup of my '80s power suit. I'm linking this up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb, and Anne at SpyGirl for 52 Pick-me-up: Completion. It's the last week of her latest year-long colour theme project. Why not join us?

You can see the neon yellow lace blouse that united this jacket and pants for the first time since I bought the suit over two years ago. The tie is made of vintage fabric, and I'm wearing my orange elastic, front-lace corset belt. This is a new favourite outfit.

Finally, heartfelt thanks to Susan at une femme d'un certain âge for mentioning me in her recent thoughtful post THINKING ABOUT: THE MEANING OF PERSONAL STYLE.


Bill Cunningham (1929-2016)

[Edit: I was interviewed on JUNE 27 by Lisa Christiansen of CBC Radio One about Bill Cunningham and his impact on my life for the show On The Coast. You can listen to it HERE.]

I just found out that Bill Cunningham has died. I didn't know him personally, but this renowned NY artist/photographer had a direct and unlikely impact on the life of this middle-aged woman in Vancouver, Canada.

I remember clearly heading out alone to the theatre to watch a discount matinee of the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Before the show started, in my seat in the dark, I furtively pulled my pink Munster Fluevog shoes from the plastic bag I had been clutching and slipped them on my feet. I had read up a bit about Mr. Cunningham beforehand, and properly shod I was ready to be swept away. I was.

Bill Cunningham. Bill Cunningham - his name rang in my head for weeks after the movie. When he saw the beauty of a woman in a wet blowing garbage bag, I fell in love. His unpretentious heartfelt drive and vision gave me hope. And confidence.

Soon after, I started a street style blog in Vancouver under the guiding force of his saying that if you look for beauty you will find it. This philosophy sustained me during the long, dark months of Vancouver's wet winters.

From these beginnings, this blog, Bag and a Beret, was born, and my own style confidence took off. While I have not thought of Mr. Cunningham specifically throughout this evolution, he was the star of the critical moment that launched it all and the person whose positive outlook buoyed me when I felt abandoned by beauty. I owe him tremendous thanks.

Bill Cunningham is an irreplaceable man. I am sad he is gone and rejoice in what he has shared.

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