So, about those different stories. They absolutely don't have to come from brand new pieces - neither in art nor in life. Sometimes, a great inspiration comes from doing old things in a new way. We don't have to get a new vocation or even hobby every single time when, in an otherwise enjoyable activity, we suddenly feel a bit stuck in a rut. And wouldn't it be just a bit unwise if we got rid of an old friend or our hubby every single time we felt a bit stuck in a rut? And while you can, of course, change the country you live in or the continent you're on, what to do with the planet when you feel just a bit annoyed with some things that are going on there? Stop the earth, I want to get off? Now, that puts things into perspective. If you genuinely love what you have (or, in case of our planet, you objectively don't have too many options), working with it, making it meaningful and enjoyable time and time again, is also a great creative challenge - both in art and in life.
I wore this outfit this passed weekend, when Justin and I went out to see a play in our local theater. The outfit felt very festive and very fresh to me, even though all of these items have been in my closet for a long time, anywhere from 1 to 7 years. The newest thing here is the sunglasses which I bough last Spring and have been wearing a lot ever since. The dress is by eShakti, you've seen it in my last year's post HERE.
The details of the fabric are breathtaking.
The one thing you haven't seen in this outfit is this gorgeous jacquard jacket. I tried to remember when I bought it, and I think it was winter of 2009-2010. Back then, my style was basically dark wash jeans (straight or bootcut) with some kind of top or jacket, and for special occasions I bought a couple of elaborate pieces from Chico's. I only wore those jackets with jeans, and there is no doubt that they look smart with jeans or elegant trousers, as well as with solid neutral colors - oh yes, they do. But that is no reason to limit my options and imagination. "Be more daring, Natasha," I thought. "Find a new way to wear this blazer which will give it a whole new life. Why not to wear it with a colorful dress?"
Part of the inner lining offers leopard print for a fun pattern mix. And if I had not taken this long style journey, I would most certainly feel intimidated to pair these two already bold patterns with something like a colorful plaid. More than that, it would have been a huge no-no in my style book 7 years ago. Maybe even 4 years ago. Today, I am happy that I grew enough to be able to not only come up with this combination, but also find it harmonious.
For the record, we watched The Underpants, a farce by Steve Martin (and no, I did not know that he is also a playwright), a wonderful production by the Tacoma Little Theatre. You know that I'm a big fan of live theater, and Fall, with all its theater and concert offerings, is even more magical to me. I admit it was hard to understand all the words, and I never get all the jokes in English. While it's a bit frustrating and makes me think of learning English in a more structured way, I still enjoy plays very much. I thought the energy was great, the actors were wonderful, and the costumes and stage design were joy for my eyes. It was an almost full house, and the audience gave the play a very warm reception - lots of big laughs during the play and ear-to-ear smiles after. Success! One of the things I enjoy about theater is that it introduces me to stories and authors I wasn't familiar with.
Going out to see a live play, with artistic people in the process of creating in front of my eyes, in real time, is also an opportunity for me to to dress up - and by that, I mean to go to the max! Put on my most festive clothes in the most outrageous combinations. Something I wouldn't do for working on my writing in my studio, for a green card interview, for food shopping or a day at a pumpkin farm. Dressing up is my way to honor other artists' work, their efforts, their creativity, their courage to do what they love and present it in front of other people. In a way, it is my creative response to them, it's an artistic dialogue.
I also tried on this secondhand boiled wool jacket that I bought 3 years ago at Goodwill, and again, I haven't worn these two pieces together before, and think it's another winning combination for slightly cooler days.
In art, as in life, I aim for harmony, for finding a balance that feels right to me - in the long term as well as the short term. To get to this feeling, sometimes I look for new things, while other times, I crave for reliable old things. And yet other times, finding new combinations with already existing components is what helps me to find my harmony.
Dress - eShakti (customized by me, old)
Jacquard jacket - Chico's (old)
Wool jacket - thrifted via Goodwill (old)
Booties - Ecco (old)
Purse - via TJ MAXX (old)
Clip-on earrings - vintage (old)
Sunnies - Chrisian Siriano for Lane Bryant
PS By "old", I don't imply that I actually think of these items as old, it only indicates that they are not something you can find in the current selection of the brands. Typically it means older than 1 year in my vocabulary. I actually enjoy featuring something "old" from my closet that I wear time and time again. :)
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