Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Barefoot Bling Mid-Summer Giveaway!

Hello, faithful readers! It's been well over a year since The Fashionoclast began, and you know what that means - time for a giveaway, thanks to the lovely ladies over at Barefoot Bling. (See my previous posts on Barefoot Bling here.)

The Prize


A set of hand-painted, double-sided Just Beachy crystal glass manicure and pedicure nail files from Barefoot Bling. Just the thing to liven up the middle of summer and keep your nails in tip-top shape!

How to Enter

So how can you win? Simple:

1. Become a fan of Barefoot Bling on Facebook by clicking here.
2. Leave a comment here - please make sure I can find you among the fans on the Facebook page.

Don't use Facebook? No problem. Just go to barefootbling.com, then come back here to leave a comment about your favourite piece.

And what's that? You'd like to be able to enter more than once? Oh, you naughty. I like the way you think. Stay tuned - I might just give you the chance in a future post.

Deadline

The deadline to enter the giveaway is August 10th, 2010.

Winner

The winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries and announced on August 13th, 2010.

With many thanks to Amy and Meg from the fantastic providers of "high-spirited indulgences for toes that show," I turn it over to you. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

costumes of comic-con 2010

by frédérik sisa

Aristotle won't knock at the door with a prize for pointing out that the difference between costumes and style is identity. Still, it's rather interesting to think how even when dressing up as someone or something else, one's personality can still show through.

Illustrating this nicely is Comic Con, which I attended for the first time. It was a wild and, yes, wacky day of roaming the exhibit floor and attending cool panels.

In spying out interesting costumes, I noticed the following:
  1. Women dressed up more than men.
  2. When men dressed up, they tended to conceal their faces.
These aren't absolutes, of course, but it was still interesting to note who did and didn't dress up, and the amount of effort that went into the costumes.

Costumes fell in different categories. The first had quality and were well executed. They also had that fresh from the store look, which meant they suffered from being familiar and "easy." Note that clicking on the images will embiggen them.

Jawa and stormtrooper

Mystique

Silent Hill Nurse (good posture and makeup!)

From the blue arrow on the guy's head, I'm guessing Avatar: The Last Airbender? No clue about the woman in the white uniform.

Link and friend. I don't know who the friend is, but she nevertheless has a rather cool costume.

Then came the costumes that relied on natural attributes more than any original design.

Anime character? Cosplay? The contact lenses are a nice touch.

Green Lantern and Green Arrow (?)

Harley Quinn, whose shopping we apparently interrupted.

Because no gathering of geeks (I use the term affectionately) is complete without women dressed as enslaved Princess Leia. Strangely, these were the only two I saw.

The most interest costumes required bit more elaborate DIY efforts to avoid that store-bought look and even solve practical problems of how to convey the character without the benefit of a huge budget.

No clue who these characters are supposed to be. But they sure look neat.

Again, no clue who this fearsome masked fellow is. Sign of bravery: walking around the convention center in bare feet.

I suppose this might fit in the previous category, but you gotta admire how this guy really went all-out with the make-up and body paint to look like Darth Maul.

Surprise, surprise. I have no idea what this character is supposed to be. The costume is too cut-and-paste to gel together - it looked very fussy. Still, effort obviously went into it and that counts for something.

I have a feeling I should know who this character is, but that's about all I have. Beyond that, this is an ingeniously and stylishly assembled costume with good attention to detail.


By far my favourite costume among those costumes I saw belonged to this cheerful young lady, who chose to dress up as a Dalek from Doctor Who. (Based on the colour palette, I'd say a Dalek from the new series.) What I find especially clever is how she used a dress and hat to convey the body and dome of the Dalek, complete with distinctive eye stalk, and used her arm for the equally distinctive Dalek death-ray plunger. Better yet, unlike other costumes that involved carrying props or being encased from head to toe in something restrictive, this costume was eminently practical for enjoying the convention.

So there you have it. If you went to Comic-Con and have some photos to share of your favourite costumes, please feel free to share. I'll put them up in a future post.

All images taken by me, and no, I won't quit my day job to become a photographer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

featured blogger: Eli Perez from Thrift Eye

by frédérik sisa

Every so often, I crank up the browser to surf the currents and eddies of the web in search of fun, fashionable blogs – blogs like Eli Perez’ Thrift Eye. Like those few other bloggers whose posts I regularly follow – and share with you in the right sidebar – Eli has that quality of being able to fashion for herself a style that’s uniquely hers yet inspiring at the same time. This is to say that she has plenty of ideas for the rest of to stea- I mean borrow. Or, rather, adapt for our own purposes. Alas, I don’t think that means striped nails for me. However, her use of patterns does offer intriguing possibilities to a monochromatic guy like me. As part of my continuing efforts to explore the bigger picture of fashion, I’m happy to bring you an interview with Eli.


How would you describe your style
?
My style is a bit of strange animal that has evolved in a few years of influences of my own and around the world because of the prevalence of the Internet and blogs as well. If I had to give my style a particular name/category, I would call it quirky retro prep because I am heavily influenced by styles of the past clashing with styles of today. Some days I'm a vintage girl, some days I'm a modern woman.

What are your fashion inspirations?
I believe some of my inspirations come from textiles and their combinations. I love going to thrift stores and seeing all the different patterns on clothes of all kinds of eras come together and their clashing creates combinations in my head with possibilities to wear. I think my style is too random to be inspired by one particular person - each decade has many, many icons that influence us.


What's the key to putting together a successful ensemble?
For me, the key to a successful outfit lies on instinct. I'll wake up in the morning with an inkling of what to wear, sometimes I try to convince myself not to, but I almost always go back to my first instinct. It is not about how many compliments you get, but how comfortable you feel when you leave the front door!

In many of your outfits, you've injected a note of whimsy. I'm thinking of that fun little number with the Zara cat-print dress, Buffalo Exchange top, and bunny ears, or those fantastic striped nails. With whimsy capable of being a powerful element of any fashion style, how do you keep it balanced?
I have to admit that I am guilty of posting most of my flamboyant or eccentric outfits on my blog - I used to have the luxury of working in the retail business with Italian clothing store Fornarina (which has since closed all US stores sadly) that was in the same vein as Diesel and Miss Sixty - this job threw me into the world of fashion, and they were renown for their eccentric designs, so this gave me a new platform to be as bright and bold as I wanted to be. This is where I gained my appreciation for a fine crafted Italian leather shoe, as well as some of the nuances of working in fashion. I no longer work in this industry but on my way to becoming a librarian (quite polar, I know). And while we aren't strictly business casual, we get to be fun, but we still have to be work/office appropriate. This actually forces me to be more creative because I have to start thinking outside my normal terms. And the fun part is that I still get to wear my fun outfits after work, on the weekends, and special occasions.

If you could give readers one piece of fashion advice, what would it be?
The only advice I could ever give is to try everything once before you declare you hate it!
So there you have it. Thanks, Eli!

Check out Thrift Eye – after you’re done here, of course, and do share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments below…don’t be shy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

there's nothing like a good belt of...accessories

by frédérik sisa

There’s nothing like a good belt in the mornin’ to start the day right. And no, I’m not talking about Aunt Millie’s “special coffee.” I’m talking about that good ol’ strap that keeps trousers up and gives Mr. Old-Fashioned Suspenders a good kick in the, well, pants.

As silly and obvious as it is, belts are easy to take for granted. I know. I’ve been taking belts for granted a long time, except for their anti-gravity character. But as ladies know, belts offer great opportunities to express some style. This is especially special for us guys, who suffer from the challenges of a limited selection of styles. In short, it’s worthwhile to take advantage of accessories like belts to dress up an outfit that might otherwise be rather ordinary. Case in point: here’s me, trying very hard to offer a fashion photo but looking instead like a twerp on the modernist set of a sci-fi movie. Never mind that; check out that belt.

Shirt: Shepler's
Belt: Amalfi
Jeans: Levi's
Sandals: Impulse


It never would have occurred to me to get a white belt. I mean, white? Black, yes. But white? Nevertheless, while browsing the belt selection at Macy’s one fine day I saw it and poof, it seemed like a great idea. The brand is Amalfi and, other than having a really nice buckle, it offers another advantage: it’s reversible. White, black – yeah, I can get a lot of style mileage with that kind of flexibility. The white, however, offers a nice pop of contrast that I quite like.


However, to avoid just having a strange splash of white on a typically black canvas, I’ve taken to pairing it with shirts that have complementary details. The cowboy shirt I’m wearing, for example. Although it’s not very clear in the picture, it has these nifty little white pearl buttons that work with the belt to create what is, in my view, a coherent look. I know, I know, it’s kinda silly, but I just love how something as simple as a belt can really make a difference.


Of course, I’ve been appreciating the power of belt buckles. But there’s a rule: with great belt buckles comes great responsibility. I mean, take a look at these bad boys:

(Maybe it's me, but I'm sensing a theme.)

I’m pretty sure these are tame in comparison to what’s out there. Still, the prime lesson I’ve learned from them: don’t wear flashy, even garish, belt buckles on a monochromatic canvas of clothes unless you want to scream “cod piece.”

So let’s see. White belt. Belt buckles. Yeah, I think I’m getting quite the appreciation for the statements the most humble of accessories can make. How about you? I’d love to hear your ideas on how to use accessories to punch up an outfit. I might even feature your ideas in a future post…

One more thing: the sandals.


Sandals: Impulse

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Full of Chic

By Aqua Catlin

Laugh out loud fashion for fun.




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

France BURQA BAN: French Parliament Approves Ban On Face Veils

by frédérik sisa

Well, France has gone and done it:French Parliament Approves Ban On Face Veils. I have nothing to add, really, to what Aqua said in her last post. I don't agree with the ban either and believe that, as a matter of freedom, people should wear whatever they want. Provided, of course, that they really do want to wear it. If Muslim women were being forced to wear the veil by their husbands, fathers, or families, even in France, well, there's room for major criticism there.

Anyway, I apologize for the relatively light posting these days. I'm working on getting you some goodies, so please bear with me. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about what you'd like to see on this blog. Sounds off below.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Buzz-cuts for Jesus??

By Aqua Catlin

I'm giggling and probably shouldn't be. I once posted that I disagree with the potential French ban on the burqa in France. See this article. I still feel the same. I understand that some think its a security threat, but with so few women, (only 1900 in the entire country), donning the thing, I think it would've been more secure to leave the whole issue untouched rather than bring it to the news and public. And I know some of the French feel that its not liberal to allow women to be covered. I still feel that Muslim women living in France choose to wear it and its their freedom to choose it.

In a free country, women and men should be able to dress as they please within limits of decency. So, bikinis, sheer fabrics and mini-skirts are within the law, fanny packs, pleat -front trousers and sneakers with jeans are outlawed.

Latest on this is an article on yahoo stating that the Iranian government is asking men to adhere to certain haircuts and to wear a beard. The grooming guidelines come complete with helpful barbering photo demos for different kinds of hair, curly, for example.

Intolerance on hair! This is the opposite of the burqa issue, it is not about personal choice and liberty like the burqa issue, its about control, tradition, control, Islam and control. I like a nice buzzcut myself but this is a scary lack of liberty for the individual. Check it out here or just check out this sad but funny picture from Associated Press... Love the Travolta look. Wonder why France doesn't insist on banning that! Hilars!



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

robot mannequins, crazy hand gestures: this is shopping?

by frédérik sisa

Imagine going to a website, inputting your measurements, and watching as a robotic mannequin tries on clothes for you. You could get an idea as to how a piece of clothing would fit…too loose? Too tight? Too unflattering? Perfect? That’s the idea behind fits.me, a venture-backed company hoping to provide online retailers with a virtual fitting room.

The heart of fits.me is a robotic mannequin that can change its shape – morph, if you will – to match the measurements entered by users. Although they don’t have a female mannequin yet (I believe they plan on releasing one by the end of the year), the male mannequin they have is pretty cool. Check out the demo.

But Cisco – yeah, the network switch people – has a different vision of shopping for clothes. Although they present it in a store, I could see this being adapted to the home through a combination of webcams and various projection technologies.




The robot mannequin is already being deployed, so the concept is moving nicely beyond the proving stages. Cisco’s system, which reminds me an awful lot of Bluetooth cyborg people who look like they’re talking to themselves only with crazy wild gestures, seems like a mere gleam.

Both of these seem pretty cool to me, although I wonder if anything can replace the feeling of actually trying on clothes, perhaps working a tailor to get the fit right...

What do you think? Would either of these be satisfying to your shopping needs?