Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spirit of a Place

I had lots of fun creating and wearing this outfit. For a brief weak-kneed moment, I wanted to change into a different coat, but decided to go a little out of my comfort zone and over the top with this furry thing (previously shown HERE), playfully marrying Winter with Spring in my attire. 

When I was interviewed by Sylvia of 40 Plus Style a couple of years ago (HERE), one of the questions I answered was whether I think the place I live in influences my style. I thought about it ever since, and here is how I would answer it today. I do believe that places have their own unmistakable spirit. I also came to a realization that as spiritual beings, we are longing to find a place on earth that is in harmony with who we are. I think it is the main reason I moved so many times and  changed many places, until 10 years ago I finally found my Home. I don't really think of myself as a citizen of a certain town or a certain country, but I know my soul is in harmony with this whole area, called the Pacific Northwest, with its unique geography, history and nature. But above all, with its unique spirit.  


To me, the spirit of this place is very open-minded, yet also grounded. Accepting and curious. Free-spirited and warmhearted. Gentle and genuine. Friendly and unpretentious. A perfect place for dreamers, explorers, artists and inventors. And as far as cities go, both Seattle and Tacoma have their own strong quirky vibe, and I can think of only a few cities in the world that share it. I really think that if I had stayed in one of the places I've lived before, not only my life, but my style would be very different. I would most probably stay within an elegant, rather conservative "norm" that society forces on educated and all-in-all respectable middle-aged women. I think I broke out of that forceful perception of a norm. Society can place me in a middle-aged box all it wants, but I am the only one who can define who I am within. And my style develops from within, not from the outside "norms". My style is reborn here, the same way I am being reborn (spiritually) here, by the sea.    

The location for this shoot is new to me. I passed it so many times when driving in Seattle, but haven't had a chance to stop by until that day in late February. It's the Lake Union Park and MOHAI - Museum of History and Industry in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. As stated on the museum's website, "MOHAI tells Seattle’s story through exhibitions and interactives. True Northwest: The Seattle Journey examines the trials and successes of Seattle’s colorful, sometimes bumpy trek from wilderness to world city. The Bezos Center for Innovation investigates Seattle’s role as a nexus of big ideas and new directions." 

Justin and I got fascinated with this clock that looked genuinely antique to us, and yes, indeed it happens to be a historic 15 feet tall clock that was built by Joseph Mayer in 1913. It was first installed in front of Carroll's Jewelers at Fourth Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle in 1915. Many decades later, the clock was donated to MOHAI and installed by the museum in 2008. Apparently, "the mechanical clock required winding once a week until the innards were stolen over Christmas 2009". What a lame thing to do! Nevertheless, the clock looks marvelous and adds to the sense of historical continuation of our city. I was rather pleased to realize that all of its colors were reflected in my outfit - green, white, black and a little bit of gold (see the trim on my bracelet). 

Another fun feature of this park is seeing seaplanes taking off and landing, and if it is within your budget, you can even get on board for an unforgettable scenic flight!

Location: Lake Union Park & MOHAI in Seattle
Photos by Justin

Tutu skirt, blouse and faux fur coat - Lane Bryant (different years)
Booties - Aquatalia via Nordstrom Rack (old)
Purple tights - who knows (old)
Earrings - Chico's (old)
Bracelet - c/o Chaos NY (old)
Sunnies - Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant 
Purse - Michael Kors via TJ MAXX

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  1. Dear Natalia, it is great you think you live in the best corner of the world for you. Puh I hope you understand. :)
    it's so charming there on the sea. I have no sea here and I live in Mannheim since my birth. Very boring, I think ;)
    You look fabulous in this outfit, I love this swing skirt and the green blouse. And how cool is this coat?!!
    Great pictures. thank you Natalia.
    Big hugs, Tina lol autocorrector made big hugos ! lol its a drink like cocktail :))

    1. Thank you, Tina! I'll lend you the skirt when you visit! :) It's so playful, I feel like a young girl wearing it!

      I think everyone is different. There are many people who live in the town or village where they were born, and they feel content with it. Other need to go out in the world, explore, find something that suits them. What's important is to feel content with our life, and how we get there is an individual journey. :)

  2. it looks a bit like "running off with the circus".....
    but i think thats it what makes a big portion of you - a creative, artistic soul that should not be boxed in by society.
    and you found your "circus" - pacific northwest! i was around there for 4 short weeks in 1990 and YES - even then i felt the free spirit of the area!
    love all the rich colors on you and the dotty skirt is like the epitome of spring - if you ever get bored by that jacket - i´ll take it :-)
    beautiful clock!
    huge hugs and much love and a happy weekend to you and justin and anya! xxxxxx

    1. To me, my outfit looks playful and joyous - and that's exactly how I felt wearing it. :)
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend, and lots and lots of hugs to you!

  3. It's such a fun outfit, I love the flirty skirt!
    I think you're right about places having their own spirits. Each place has its own unique atmosphere, and we gravitate towards the one that matches ours. But this also changes over time, as we change. What appealed to me 20 years ago is not the same as what appeals to me now. And a particular place and its atmosphere can also change. I've experienced this first hand in a rather brutal way in the past year as I don't really feel at home in the UK anymore (and I really thought it was my 'spiritual home' at one point...). On the other hand, I'm feeling more connected to Helsinki these days (and I wasn't born there)...

    1. Thank you, Tiina! This is such a fun skirt to wear - I'm glad you liked it!

      I think I understand what you mean, and I agree - we change, our personalities change, and so are cities can change their personalities and/or faces. I think because spirit runs deeper, it will still take over, just give it time. I hope, over time, London will feel as welcoming as it used to feel to you.

  4. You're right about finding a place where you feel in harmony, where you feel more yourself!. Obviously, society could put us in that 'middle-aged box' but no prejudice is going to take control of my life if I don't let it do!
    You look genuine, spontaneous, elegant, brilliant and all sort of fabulous adjectives. Love that you picked your furry coat and that beautiful polka dot skirt, such a great combo. And I love your purple tights!

    1. Thank you, Monica! The outfit is definitely more daring paired with this coat. I guess, sometimes I'm in a mood for something "outside of the box"... :)

      Love your attitude!

  5. That coat is perfection, and I understand fully what you mean about finding your home. I also found mine in Málaga over three years ago after wondering all ove.
    Sorry if I do not leave comments more often, but I do pop in and read you.
    Much love and admiration.
    Hoping to get many hugs from you one day

    1. Thank you, Sacramento! I miss your presence in my blog, and your warm comments, so I am extra happy when you leave one. Hugs!!

  6. I do think the location can play such a role in how we feel and dress Natalia!!
    Your outfit is truly fun & inspirational!!

    1. Thank you, Jodie! I especially love that you find it inspirational. There is a little hooligan in every good girl, I believe. :)

  7. So glad you have found your place in the world and are happy and content in the Pacific Northwest. I agree we all have our happy place , whether it is somewhere we live or just visit frequently.
    Your furry jacket adds the element of fun to great full skirt , a perfect outfit for the arsty area.Enjoy your week.

    1. Thank you, Jill! Happy place - yes, well said! :) Much love!


  8. That flufftastic jacket makes the outfit! I love the other components but the jacket takes it to another level.
    I'm glad you've found your spiritual home, Natalia! It's a shame mine is the other side of the world and that us Brits are only allowed to stay for 180 days - the Indians had enough of us and booted us out in 1947, the last thing they need is for us to take over again! xxx

    1. You found a solution that works for you! I think living in England and staying in India for a whole month balances your life and gives you a fresh start for the whole new year of life. You always come back with lots of energy, inspiration and ideas!

      Glad you think so (about the jacket)! It's a fine line, I'm experimenting and learning...

  9. My eyes are dancing right about now! You bring it, each and every time ! How I love the dots, and green bow, the furry texture and the plum tights. Per-fecttttttt!
    That lovely clock, what a beauty, and what a pity, too.
    xx, Elle

    1. So unexpected and so lovely of you to say so, Elle! Thank you! You've made my day!