Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dress Up, Dress Down

There is absolutely nothing wrong with either approach to dressing, and I use both, though I mostly show dressed-up versions of my outfits on the blog. In this post, I will share two outfits, very different in style and feel - in some ways, they really couldn't be more different, but I created both and I enjoyed them both equally. I just try to listen to that little bell that goes RING - when something from my wardrobe clicks with my current mood or energy level, and considering the weather and the situation I'm about to enter, I think it's pretty much all I have to know regarding what outfit to pick. It usually takes no more than a few minutes - and I am out the door!

The first one, I wore to a dance performance that we attended this past week in the Velocity Dance Center in Seattle - Familiar Foreign Body. It was the most unique dance performance we've seen. Not to draw too close an analogy, but it would probably feel like the innovative Stravinsky's music compared to Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff. It was new, unexpected and fresh, and it really makes you stop and think, instead of just flow dreamily with your own feelings and associations. I got tickets for this performance almost randomly (Anya had a school assignment to write an essay about a live dance performance, and it was the only show for our narrow time slot), but I'm glad I did - it was truly eye-opening to all the three of us. The choreographer and one of the dancers, Tom Weinberger, is a teacher of so-called Gaga Movement Research (read more HERE). You can see him in this short video (it is not the part of the performance that we've seen, but you can get a rough idea). Have you ever seen, experienced or heard of Gaga?

I was never a professional dancer or anything even remotely close to it, but throughout my life, I took various dance classes, everything from contemporary to ballet and hula (last time, about 6 or 7 years ago). At some point, I lost touch with this part of my life, but I want to dance again some day. This performance definitely reminded me just how much I miss dancing... I do sometimes dance at home when nobody is around (though, I made my family dance with me on a few occasions too). It is one of the quickest ways to improve your mood, to raise up the energy level. Dance doesn't have to be a learned skill - just listening to your body and moving to your own rhythm... 

For my outfit, I put together items from my closet that I have owned for a few years, but in a new combination. The blouse is by Eloquii (shown in FEBRUARY 2017). The sunglasses and skirt are by Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant (the skirt shown in NOVEMBER 2016 and JUNE 2016). I only own two or three pairs of ballet flats and don't wear them very often, but this shiny and sparkly AGL pair (bought 4 to 5 years ago) was perfect with this outfit. The earrings and clutch are vintage. Red lipstick was the only cosmetic touch - I rarely wear make-up during warmer months. Shaggy hair - courtesy of Mother Nature, while my fabulous hair stylist Erica is on maternity leave (so worth it - she has the most adorable baby girl!).

On to the second look. Casual, but very fun! I wore it for a leisurely day spent on the loveliest island - Bainbridge, which is only 35 minutes from Seattle by ferry. The fact that one of the storefronts coordinated with my new rainbow skirt is a pure coincidence! Even though I actually had business regarding the possible selling of my books in this store, I completely forgot how it looked. So when we arrived, I was happy to have such a natural photo opportunity. Serendipity!

The skirt is by ModCloth, and I think before this skirt, I only had one item from them, maybe two? but since I bought this beauty, I found a couple more fun items to add to my colorful wardrobe... stay tuned! It got so many compliments and so much attention! Obviously, there are almost endless ways to style this gorgeous skirt - pick any color of the rainbow, the whole spectrum with every hue in between! The rest of my outfit came together easily. "Where would I find that T-shirt?" I thought to myself, and in a few seconds opened just the right box. "Where would I find that denim jacket?" I thought then, and in a minute looked into just the right closet. How that happens, I really don't know - I haven't seen these items in at least a year. 

The shell earrings and T-shirt are by Lane Bryant (between 2013 and 2016), the denim jacket by Old Navy (last year, shown in MAY 2017). The little fabric purse was bought on Bainbridge Island probably in 2014, the brand is Coelacanth, but the link to their site seems to not work - it was a California-based company with very cool designs... My old canvas Toms are comfy and stylish, and all-in-all, I think it's such a fun laid-back outfit. And even though I don't wear either T-shirts, or denim often, I am happy that I did not get rid of these two things - I do love this look, and I'll be wearing it again and again!

Fantastic pizza with a glass of red wine, improv comedy, followed up by a scoop of home-made ice-cream, an evening walk and ferry ride under the stars were just what the doctor ordered. I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Tell me what you were up to?

Linking up with Tina's Pink Friday

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  1. Ohhhh I love both styles. I love the first lace style and this wonderful rainbow skirt. you look gorgeous in both styles Natalia ❤️
    Never heard about Gaga dance. I tools like a mix beetween pantomime,ballet , thai chi and something else. Like he would tell a story.... as p.e. Hula does. You danced Hula? I'm too. For a short time :)
    Natalia, beginn to dance again, what are you waiting for ;)
    a very huge hug Tina

  2. Two lovely outfits with distinct similarities - the nipped in waist, the full below-the-knee skirt and stylish flat shoes. Both look wonderful and perfect for the outings you treated them to.
    I particularly love the last photo with the pot plants and the romantic lanterns. xxx

  3. love both looks!!! <3 <3 <3
    the "ballerina" in black is so sophisticated yet playful - audrey hepburn comes to mind.... and of cause perfect for a dance event. very chic ballerina flats!
    and then the rainbow!! wow! that skirt is fabulous and your "down dressing" with jean jacket, a tee and sporty shoes is genius - and suits the colorful and romantic location. wonderful!
    at the weekend we walked in the woods, saw a little nature fair, ate fresh trouts and did some cores around the house, garden and home office........ some of that things got photographed too.
    much love - my beautiful and stylish friend!

  4. You look fabulous and just like you are iconic self in both of these outfits. The black lace dress is stunning on you and I could definitely see it at a dancd performance.
    The second outfit is so cheerful and I love the rainbow effect. How perfect for traveling an island and enjoying a leisurely day. The colors are so vibrant and it really reminds me of your personality. I also love Modcloth !

  5. The black lacy outfit you wore for the dance performance is edgy and stylish. The swirly skirt was made for dancing and twirling! I never took dancing classes but I'm known to dance around the house on a daily basis. We often play swing and big band and then I get this urge to dance. It is very mood enhancing and the perfect pick-me-up after a stressful day at the office. I am totally in love with your rainbow skirt and your t-shirt and denim jacket are perfect companions. How serendipitous that your skirt almost matches the store fronts! Lots of love xxx

  6. Wygladasz cudownie:))piękna sukienka:))tęczowa spódnica w drugim zestawie fantastyczna:))pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

  7. I love blogging. Sometimes you hear of ideas you never knew existed.
    This dance movement Gaga sounds just what I need in my body right now. I'm off to watch all the videos I can find.
    I love your cultural adventures!
    Of course you look very stylish as well, as usual.
    xo Jazzy Jack

  8. Natalia you look wonderful in both outfits and even though they are at different ends of the style spectrum they both echo your own style. Your black oufit is lovely and so perfect for a dance performance. I had never heard of Gaga dance movement , so glad you included the video, it certainly is a mix of many dance styles. I love to dance , although the coordination is lacking , a friend and I go to Zumba classes twice a week . I do hope you take your dancing up again.I also liked your more casual outfit with its artsy vibe. Enjoy your week. Jill xxx

  9. I'm crazy about that first all black outfit. You look absolutely beautiful. The black sheer blouse and the black skirt are such a gorgeous match. We don't see you often in black, but you've certainly pulled a stunning all black look together. I don't wear black that often either, but today I will post a LBD outfit on my blog...a bit of a coincidence. :)

    The second outfit is fabulous as well. The rainbow skirt is very pretty. Casual outfit can be a lot of fun to put together. You really do look wonderful in both...I'm getting so much positive energy from these photographs and that is all that personal style should be about. Feeling good in our skin, having fun with clothes.

    I haven't heard about the GAGA movement, but I loved that dancing performance. I once watched a step performance from American students, they were amazing. I love USA dancing scene, there are always new things going on, but I'm worried about the fact that dancers in USA don't have the same working rights as others, not to say anything of the fact they are not understood and appreciated by the general public. I heard that the dancing companies just lay them off during the summer? Isn't that a violation of a workers rights or something? And they are payed practically nothing.

    I recently read an excellent article from one American writer and she was arguing how we need to stop seeing dancers as bodies, and start to see them as artists, every art form demands respect. Dancers are more than talented bodies, they are artists just like everyone else. I couldn't agree more with that lady wrote, and I know you'll get because you love dance and respect dancers too. I dance at my home too, I think it can be so therapeutic. Dancing has a great potential so we should use it. I was thinking about taking some dance lessons myself, but I have a rather bad scoliosis (40 degree curve) and some repetitive dance exercises can make it worse (so I read recently). Once I took a fitness class and fainted. I don't feel my scoliosis that much, it does hurt but it generally doesn't get in my way, as with everything you just learn to live with it. However, when I repeat someone else movements or move to someone's else rhythm, as in fitness or dance class, I'm in risk of getting sick and fainting. But I might still give dance lessons a try, I just need to find the right ones. I was thinking flamenco because there you can set your own rhythm. Where there is will, there is a way.

    To answer your question, my weekend was alright. I don't remember what we did, probably nothing out of the ordinary or I would have remembered it.

  10. I love both outfits, both styles!, you look gorgeous in your black shirt (twirling!!, so cute!!) and the stunning sheer top, so elegant and appropriate to go to the theatre!, really fabulous!
    And you look also gorgeous in your comfy&cool outfit, so colorful and cute!, love the rainbow skirt with this t-shirt, lots of fun! and lovely earrings!
    I think that dancing is an amazing way to do some exercise without even noticing, because you're usually enjoying the music and movement!, that's my kind of exercising!

  11. NATALIA!!!! This black on black look is FABULOUS in every single way!!!
    Initially I thought it was a dress, but upon a closer look I realized it was separates- which is even better! LOVE this! And pinning it away for inspiration :)

  12. Oh! I'm torn between which outfit I think looks most stunning! I think it has to be a draw as I love them both on you. Also I am seriously coveting the rainbow skirt!