Sunday, 18 September 2016

Crimson rose petal coat and the big red bag dress

Vintage velvet coat and big red dress, Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret
Big red dress, combat boots, Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret
Big red dress, combat boots, Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret
Vintage velvet coat, big red dress, combat boots, Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret
Vintage velvet coat, big red dress, combat boots, Mel Kobayashi, Bag and a Beret

I can't stop wearing red. Bright SCREEAMING red. A young, well-dressed man downtown said to me today, "That's a really red outfit." I said, "Why, yes, it is." Man: You really stand out. Me: I suppose I do. Man: That looks great! Me: Thank you. And then he resumed talking to his imaginary friend.

This dress is size 4, designed to be baggy, which I ADORE. I love the really long sleeves and how the neckline plunges to the waist. As sneer guard, I wore a black camisole with a lacy red slip on top of it. And those are my combat boots, designed to combat boredom and anchor big dresses. They tromp most satisfactorily.

The vintage, crimson rose petal opera coat is from my fairy vintage mother, Su. Mwah!! And Sam, manager of My Sister's Closet, directed me to this dress, which at the time was a crumpled red ball of fabric but she knew I'd love the colour. Oh so right! (The dress was wrinkled because it had just come in and not been steamed yet.)

That's all I have for you this week. Better than nuthin' I hope. Of course I'll link up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike. I hope my business cards come this week so I can finally be real.
PS - My Sister's Closet is throwing a fundraiser comedy night in Vancouver on Sep. 20 at VanCity Theatre, featuring Mike MacDonald and Melanie Rose. Proceeds go to Battered Women's Shelter Services. Details are here

Edit: A huge smooch to Shelley of Forest City Fashionista for including me in her list:

"8 of the Coolest Outfits Worn by 40+ Bloggers this Month" 

She wrote it to balance out the lists on Bloglovin' where only young mainstream women count. It's an honour to be included among these creative, independent-minded women. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Howl, prowl, smowl - outfits for hunting and avenging

I'm feeling feisty. I like that word - agitated, prickly, energetic. So I dropped myself into a spinning tunnel of love and flowers and intrigue and lightning wearing my Emma Peel/Avengers outfit, which I bought when I was shopping with Suzanne during her visit to Vancouver. Shopping with her always brings out my inner Zoolander. She put a photo on her Instagram when I tried it on - HERE.

Mel Kobayashi in groovy vintage onepiece. Bag and a Beret. Tunnel of love and turmoil.

This is wool, rear zip, vintage, and clearly groovy, made by Gordi of Montreal. With the cooler morning weather I could finally wear it. I definitely need a soundtrack when I go on top secret spy missions in this outfit. The colour defies digitization. Contrary to what you see here, this is a screaming, SCREEEEAMING, orangy-red.

The next photo was taken in the anteroom of our squash court.

Melanie Kobayashi in groovy vintage onepiece, like The Avengers. Bag and a Beret.

Below is the photo I put on Instagram. I use my finger as a gun, a noodly one. The only thing I could stop with that would be, uh, candy floss. But I think the world would be a better place if suddenly every gun turned into a noodle and every bullet turned into candy floss. We would become a pasta-loving planet high in carbs and sugar with a huge number of wealthy dentists. And I'd make my millions opening a tomato sauce factory.

I got lots of fun Zoolander poses. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap - that's what happens when you're a high-action heroine.

Melanie Kobayashi in groovy vintage onepiece, like The Avengers. Bag and a Beret.

And carrying on the theme below... In fact I wore this sexay number a few days before that first one. Guh - could you even imagine a garment so deluxe in your wildest dreams? Again, "SOUNDTRAACK!!" I scream like screamy Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers. Another outfit designed for pouncing.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage tiger onepiece with quilted skirt.

Pao, author of the blog Project Minima, gave me this piece of divinity at the blogger meetup in Vancouver last summer. It was sewn by her mother many years ago and I am honored to carry on her spirit through style.

While I was on my inspiration walk wearing this, a driver on a busy street screeched to a stop at the curb to shout, "THAT IS THE BEST OUTFIT I'VE EVER SEEN!" Bwahaha. Of course I launched into the story of Pao and her mum and the blogger meetup while cars pulled around her.

Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage tiger onepiece with quilted skirt.

This vintage extravaganza consists of a jersey front-zip onepiece with a matching button-up quilted overskirt. A big rhinestone is nested in the center of each button. Note the golden silky lining and the matching quilted tie belt. So utterly fabulous.

I'll link something here up with Patti at Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb.

Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in vintage tiger onepiece with quilted skirt. Hunting.

This outfit brought out my scowl/smile, known as a smowl, rhymes with howl and prowl. I was imagining a roar. Don't forget, I was alone in a parking lot making these faces for my tripod, but mere meters away from a busy sidewalk - proof of how professionally aloof I am to the seething reality around me. It's is a special skill, yesh.

This post is tardy. I am tardy. Pffft. Can't be helped. (smowl)

Usually when people express interest in my style, at the end of a conversation I might shove a crumpled bit of napkin with my blog addressed scratched into it with a blotty pen. Sooo professional. So I finally ordered real cards. Now my life will be perfect.

I've photographed other outfits since my last post too, which you can see on Instagram HERE. You don't have to join IG to look. And you can search for things that interest you, e.g., paisleypants. When you click a photo, it pops up bigger. Also, if you sign up with Instagram, you will be able to comment, and you don't need a cell phone to do that. So that's a little FYI. I'd put them here but this post would be too long.

I hope you're all having a stellar life at the moment! If not, HANG ON!!! I'll send Emma ASAP with her noodle gun and candy floss maker. If only life were so easy...

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Pantsuits, white hair gel, and chest coolers

I should be singing. Something '80s.

It feels like autumn and I am enamoured with suits, jacket/trousers, with a tie or huge plastic flowers pinned to the lapel.  And stark white shirts, spray starched - you can almost hear the fabric crack with each elbow bend. Maybe this fixation comes from the back-to-school air, the words uniforms, regimentation, thinking caps, and pencils. 

This suit is an indulgence. An Emporio Armani vintage set, made in Italy, thrifted. I watched it for weeks in the shop without much interest. And then one day I tried it on. By happenstance, there was a new white men's shirt in the change room at the same time. I bought them both. And the next week I found the tie. I'm in grey.

A season of lines - straight, crooked - and unpredictability. A woman in a suit also zigzags definitions. Not blurred lines so much as smudged and messy, peskily impure for slotting pegs in boxes. Of all the clothes I have ever worn, nothing has elicited more hostility from men than the pantsuit. To that I say, with a jaunty flip of my coat flap - kiss my pantsuit ass. 

In my hair I've put Manic Panic white hair gel. Seriously, it coats your hands - and hair - like paint, but it washes out. I love the subtle effect on my grey. What's great about this gel is it allows me to play with colour without the commitment of a dye. Today I bought a small tube of blue - about $12 Cdn. I'll let you know how it goes. (Not sponsored)

And below, another farking project.

My alien/marshmallow/panda/anime/ghosty/crow shirt. And boob cooler. And just-in-case-I-suddenly-get-implants shirt. And instead of white hair, I did white eyebrows (slightly blue) and nude lipstick. So pale, so pale, waiting for the ship to beam me up and away to the jelly planet.

I've heard it's a thing to pose like you've just taken your finger out of your mouth. Uh, I won't do it again. I met up with Sue of A Colourful Canvas this week and she taught me another trending pose where you just droop open one side of your mouth. Oooh, sexay! Hahaha!!! We both laughed trying that one out. Sorry, no photos! But people in the cafe may have been alarmed. 

I'm linking to Patti, Visible Monday, Not Dead Yet Style, and Catherine, #iwillwearwhatilike, Not Dressed as Lamb

So what's up with you? Think you'll try that gel? Or the sexy droopy mouth pose? Show us! Hahaha.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Yellow Skirt Freak Show Update!! And a power suit and arty video

Choppity chop chop - the hair came off.

So I wanted to wear a power suit yesterday. This one is by Vancouver-based designer Jacqueline Conoir. I loved the subtle circle pattern in the fabric, which is more visible in the third photo. It was cool when I went out, but by the time I got home my belt was in my bag and the jacket was flapping open - an in-between season.

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret in a Jacqueline Conoir suit with ruffled blouse and fake flowers

The next photo is aspirational.

Melanie Kobayashi's Jacqueline Conoir suit on Bag and a Beret


Freakish Yellow Skirt Update!!

a desert island & naught to sustain LIFE
and the artful talents of her fellow castaways
URGENT CALLS to NASA with blips of YELLOW orbs
spotted by boats buzzing the ISLAND and the freakish delights
dips twirls whoops hollers 
not for rescue - for life
tremendous applause to

ANNA of 


Such a fun, fun styling of the Freakish Yellow Skirt!! Anna, skirt, ocean - a perfect storm of joy, especially knowing how Anna is a strong woman of art, style, and the sea. Thanks to her husband for his stunning photography. Plus, blogger Kezzie also dropped by to join in the celebration later on and her mum took the best photo. You can see it all on Anna's blog here. Thank you, Anna!
An arty video. Like most fellow bloggers, I wonder from time to time why I keep blogging. So I made a video. If you come here expecting just style or a chuckle, now you'll be even more confused. My world. I filmed most of this last November, by myself, somewhat awkwardly.

AND some upcycling...
I did a post a while ago here about a men's tuxedo shirt I was given and upcycled with basic downsizing and a little redesigning, and thought I may not be done with it; I wasn't. It was missing a monster truck. I cherish this shirt now. The horizontal flaps under the truck transfer are double layers of fabric removed from the side seams.

Upcycled men's tuxedo sheet with monster truck, by Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret

Upcycled overalls, NOT PLAID, worn with sequins, by Mel Kobayashi

And these are my upcycled overalls worn with my gold spangles and Fluevog booties. This was a fun project.

PLUS, I met up with Vancouver Barbara and posted her photo on my street style blog here.

I'm going to link up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb. Maybe I'll see you there!

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