Sunday, November 26, 2017

Feeling Festive

It has been a wonderful holiday week for us. We got to spend lots of time together since Anya had the whole week off and Justin got a few days off (which isn't trivial with everyone's busy life), did a great deal of house work, and got to celebrate with yummy foods (Russian salads and sweets, and of course turkey, roasted traditionally by Justin). And my personal whimsical touch - torturing the family with culture, as I call it (there is no escape because I want to have it all). For you, my friends and readers, the latest is good news because if you're local, you can attend some of these festive events too. And as always I'm sharing my festive outfit (more coming soon) - who knows, maybe it'll inspire you to dress up too? It would make me happy!

There are a few things here you haven't seen before. This red beauty of a blouse is from ASOS Curve, and was love at first sight. After I got the red dress (HERE and HERE), I realized that I don't have much red in my closet and wanted to add more. This blouse is such a great addition! Love everything about it - the color, print, sheerness (I would even say "airiness") and sleeves! Sleeves have the rapt attention of designers for some time now. Explore - and I think you can find pretty much any sleeve you can imagine in stores these days! I played on the boho vibe of the blouse and wore it with the genuine suede skirt with playful fringes (previously shown in JANUARY 2017 and DECEMBER 2016). I love this skirt, the only downside is that it colors my hands as I wear it. 

The booties are from my Summer shoe splurge (it's when I bought 5 pairs at Nordstrom Rack - for non-Americans, it's a huge discount department store, also known as shoe mecca). I love this pair for the embroidered and fringed heels and comfort. I wore this outfit to one of our festive outings with my daughter. We listened to live music at the newly opened Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center (about which I wrote HERE). The local Symphony and choirs performed Handel's Messiah, for the 7th year, but it was the first one for us. We are not religious, but we were touched by the beauty and spiritual power of the music. It's not a coincidence that Hallelujah, the climax part of the oratorio, became the most famous part of this old, complicated piece of music (written in 1741 and first performed in Dublin in 1742). I wasn't expecting the whole auditorium to rise and stand on their feet during this part. Tears started flowing all over my face, and I just couldn't help but feeling the beauty of this world and the magnificence of our life... The Federal Way Symphony is in their 38th year, and they are now resident artists at the new performing arts center. We enjoyed the beautiful voices of a couple of soloists invited for the evening. Messiah is traditional for this time of year (as well as Easter), so you can no doubt find one performed near you. I know for sure there are concerts in Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

At Handel's Messiah at the new Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, 2017

Another performance not to miss is Nutcracker by Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The now legendary, original witty version of the world famous Tchaikovsky's ballet designed by beloved children's author Maurice Sendak and choreographed by then PNB artistic director Kent Stowell, has been a tradition in the quirky city of Seattle since 1983 till it was finally retired in 2014, after over three decades (you can read an article HERE). We got to see it when Anya was just about to turn 7 (the poor thing got fever and slept through the second act). 

At the Maurice Sendak's Nutcracker, 2009 

In 2015, PNB offered a classic George Balanchine's choreography (created for New York City Ballet in 1954) where PNB artistic director Peter Boal was invited by Balanchine himself, the famous Russian-born choreographer and founder of New York City Ballet. I haven't seen the two productions back-to-back, and it's been too many years since I've seen the previous "unorthodox" ballet, so I will restrain myself from comparing the two. But I will tell you that when we attended the opening night this past Friday, all three of us were amazed! We loved every second of it. The set and costumes are designed by another beloved children's book author Ian Falconer (who doesn't love Olivia? and how sweet that Clara in the new for Seattle Nutcracker borrowed red stripes from the famous cultured piggy!). All-in-all, it is a fantastic production, with the true spirit of a fairy tale, very easy to follow and just so fresh, inspired and uplifting. If you haven't seen it, I recommend from all my heart. (Read more about the history of both productions HERE and HERE.)

At Ian Falconer's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, 2017 

Now, have I done a reasonably good job torturing you with culture? That's not all of the performances we attended during the Fall break, but I'll let you rest for a bit till next time. Back to my sartorial choices then. The cape is from the Prabal Gurung for Lane Bryant Fall 2017 collection. I am a big fan of capes, and to find one in such beautiful, rich color that suits me so well is a stroke of luck, even if it doesn't match the color shown online on their website. I wrote in detail about my experience with this collection on my Instagram, so I won't repeat myself here. From the three pieces that I selected, the cape is what I will keep for sure. The rest is still under consideration. I came to peace with the colors (again, they differ from online pictures) and have some ideas how to style the new items with my existing pieces, I just didn't have enough time to play with them yet. 

So here is my festive outfit and a couple of local shows that we attended which gave such a good kick-start to the holiday season. And what about you? Are you feeling festive and cultured already?

Blouse - ASOS Curve
Tank top underneath - Lane Bryant (old)
Suede skirt - 6th & Lane (old)
Cape - Prabal Gurung for Lane Bryant (still available online)
Embroidered suede booties - Kenneth Cole via Nordstrom Rack 
(I found this design at Dillard's site and Zappos)
Clutch - Cole Haan
Genuine stone necklace - thrifted (antique mall)
Genuine stone ring - Chico's (old)
Earrings - Chico's (old)

Linking with Patti's Visible Monday

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SUPERSEAL, our new bilingual book, is coming in 2017!

Illustration by Andrei Lialin

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  1. Natalia you look so wonderful festive. This blouse is amazing and I love this embroidered boots. You are perfect dressed for these cultural events. Is this a cookie ? with red nose :)
    I am feeling not festive at the moment, perhaps next weekend. The first advent and my husbands birthday. ;)
    I wish you a wonderful day, big hug, Tina

    1. Happy Birthday to your dear husband! And yes, it was a cookie in the theater - Mouse King! :)

  2. yes - now!
    after reading your gorgeous post everyone will run to the closet, pulling out and on festive gear and run to the local opera house!!
    wonderful outfit! would like to set up my canoe to paddle overseas to steal it from your washing line ;-D or maybe i just try to re-create it with own pieces - the northwest passage could be frozen right now and lissy is not very good in front of a sledge.......
    (what was in my coffee? or is it your report about all this glamour and fairy tales?)
    i´m a big fan of händel - but here is "bach country" - not much händel events, sadly. but the nutcracker is a staple at the "semper opera" in dresden - super sweet video here:
    hugest hugses & much love!!!!!

    1. I enjoyed the video! What a beautiful performance and gorgeous theater!!
      I would LOVE to see your recreation of my outfit!
      Big hugs to you and Lissy!

  3. I'm loving every piece of your festive ensemble, and your festive attitude even more!, the red blouse is a beauty, and also lovely fringed skirt, and the embroidery on the booties is so cute! I think there's a Decó vibe involved, and you rock a boho style with elegance!
    Glad that you enjoyed some wonderfully moving music and ballet, I love particularly The Nutcracker, it makes me feel it's time to celebrate!!. It's the music I pick in this time of the year, when I have visitors at home and I'm serving some food and beverages.

    1. I agree, the Nutcracker music puts in a festive mood immediately! Thank you so much for your warm words, my dear!

  4. Seems you have been quite the culture vulture, Natalia. Handel's Messiah is a magnificent piece of music, whether you're religious or not. I do love a bit of Handel! I'm intrigued by the Maurice Sendak designed nutcracker, as I'm quite a fan of his. And you are looking very festive as well. I especially love the cape and blouse. Such a shame that the skirt gives off colour. I hate it when that happens. I'm loving the photos of you and Anya, she's quite the young lady isn't she? Have a lovely week and the biggest of hugs xxx

    1. Haha, culture vulture! :)) Thank you, dearest Ann!

  5. Our taste is music is completely different but those colours and that blouse? Oh yes! xxx

    1. Hm, I wonder what is my taste in music? :) I just love talent, that's all. I enjoy very different genres, there is no one particular type. Last night, we attended my daughter's concert where students presented their own (choreographed by themselves) dances, everything from modern and hip hop to ballet, and their awesome school rock band played - and I was amazed at the amount of talents!!! They touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes.

  6. Wyglądasz ślicznie:))Piękna spódnica i piękna bluzeczka:)))peleryna całości dodaje szyku:))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

  7. Love the red dress, so festive and fabulous! Also more the embroidered booties, and that rich warm cape from Prabal Garung! Amazing. I am so glad you were able to take some family time and enjoy, that is the most important. So glad about the book!
    xoxo , Elle

  8. Wonderful festive look and activities! I fear that, living with a music major, I have heard Messiah too often for it to stir me, except for "For Unto Us A Child Is Born." And we are not religious either, but that piece gets the tears going! You look fabulous and happy, and thanks for sharing, xox


  9. Lovely in your red , always wonderful for celebrating the festive season. Thank you for sharing the joy of your local cultural events. I do envy your cool weather season for celebrations, we are experiencing a heatwave at present .

    1. Thank you, Jill! I hope it cools off soon for you!