quite at home with the Dandelion

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“I am from the fields, you know,” writes my favorite American poet and new professional fixation, “and while quite at home with the Dandelion, make but a sorry figure in a Drawing-Room…”

Oh how I agree! As delightful as it was to play dress-up in full vintage regalia–petticoat and semi-victory-rolls and all–I am indeed more at home with flowers and fields than social gatherings. I’m perfectly content to bedeck myself in bright colors that happen to remind me of dandelions themselves: and then stay in the comfort of my own home!

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be yourself, unless you can be a medieval unicorn

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Unicorns! How curiously you’ve evolved in the popular consciousness over the past thousand years or so. I’m not one to consume sugary beverages named after these beguiling creatures, nor particularly a fan of the stylized neon unicorn that seem to permeate our visual culture these days – but man, do I love medieval and early modern unicorns.

This dress satisfies my fantasy need in a subtle way: spotting the unicorn amidst this pastel castle landscape is a true challenge, and from afar, the print looks like a simple blend of Fauvist colors. No one needs to know that a fairy tale is taking place on my very skirt!

(By the way, that handsome fellow above is from a sixteenth-century Swiss woodcut, back in the days when unicorns still had teeth!)

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outfit of the [yester]day: not-really nineteenth-century

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There’s absolutely nothing nineteenth-century about this dress–the vintage reproduction company from which I purchased it touted the style as 1940s-inspired, I believe, and collar dresses are sufficiently popular at the moment for my look to pass as something simply romantically contemporary.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending an unprecedented amount of time in a house inhabited by a nineteenth-century poet, but for whatever reason, I feel like this simple dress captures some of the Victorian aesthetic nonetheless. At any rate, I’m thinking it will be most suitable for leading historic house tours in the future, assuming I won’t have access to authentic Victorian period dress!

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outfit of the [yester]day: cute + cephalopoda

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Hey, remember last summer when I felt an undeniable urge to re-curate my outfit photo wall? I loved that marine-themed wall art, but like any museum professional, I also know that you can’t display works on paper for too long without risking damage from the sun and other elements. Consequently, those free printables–I mean, works of art–have returned to my obviously high-security storage facility, and I’ve reinstalled a selection of early modern natural history illustrations of cephalopods, odd deep-sea fish, and phytoplankton.

Then I happened to find this vintage dropped-waist dress in a quaint secondhand store in Pennsylvania, and its cheerful pastel tones nearly perfectly match the faded hues of my new squid-themed mini exhibition. I–alas!–do not currently own a squid pin, but my second (!) mousemoth pin by Minnow & Moss, this version in green and yellow, complements this dress excellently.

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nesting

Edinburgh 2017 (10 of 10)Edinburgh 2017 (5 of 10)Edinburgh 2017 (8 of 10)You’d be forgiven if your first reaction upon reading this post was something along the lines of “Wow, Keely, was your trip to Scotland last week secretly a dragon egg acquisition mission?”

Well, no, on two counts — first of all, I think there are probably some serious customs restrictions on the importation of magical dragons-to-be, and, more importantly, these eggs were actually waiting for me upon my return! Their provenance is Irish, not Scottish: the beautiful work of my crafting-genius pen pal Emma.

Can you guess how she made them? It’s genius, but I’ll let you discover it on your own. In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of the silly fifteen minutes I spent photographing myself cradling these eggs as though they were my own draconic brood.

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I walk the crinoline (Lindy Bop net petticoat)

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You knew this day was coming, folks. After a yearlong foray into the glories of 1950s- and 60s-inspired fashion, I’ve finally purchased one of those dang petticoats. In fact, it’s a cheerful pastel crinoline consisting of enough layers of yellow, feathery tulle to evoke Big Bird at the ballet.

When I tore open the airmail package on Saturday and came face-to-face with the reality that I had purchased an archaic garment intended to make me resemble one of those bizarre Barbie doll cake toppers, I’ll admit that there was a moment of existential doubt.

Still:

  • it was only $10 on sale – and that’s probably the equivalent of what one might spend at a certain New England donut and coffee purveyor over the course of three days, so I think I’m all good, and
  • I’ve kind of always wanted to capture the aesthetic of one of those bizarre Barbie doll cake toppers, I guess?

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What to wear when…cosmic & canine

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Dogs in spaaaace! I’d like to imagine that this retro-futuristic cosmic fantasy is the quirky afterlife in which an ascended Laika explores the universe with other astro-pups. (Rest in peace, little cosmonaut.)

With this dress, I think I have finally reached my novelty print apotheosis. How much weirder and more specifically tailored to my odd interests could you get? (I’m going to keep saying that and tempting fate until someone comes up with a space-whale fabric.)

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