Friday, June 30, 2006
Well Bloggers, it's time for another purse story. I got this one in Tallinn, Estonia around a year or two ago. Isn't it adorable? I've used it a lot in the past couple of weeks. It's really tiny, just big enough to hold a wallet, a set of keys and a cell phone. It's perfect in the summer if you're wearing a dress or shorts and haven't got pockets - it's like a portable pocket.
It looks like it might have been made out of an old pair of jeans, but this is a purse that I bought. It's FCUK. And for those of you who are not fashion-concious, that's "French Connection UK" (and not a dirty word!)
I got this purse on a trip to Tallinn with a bunch of colleagues. We had kind of an adventure on that trip, but not such a nice one. My friend and I were walking from downtown Tallinn back to the boat that would take us back to Helsinki. We took a wrong turn somewhere and found ourselves on an isolated street - but in the middle of the day.
We were walking along, talking happily. I was walking a few paces ahead of my friend, when I heard her scream. For some reason, I immediately knew what had happened; somebody was stealing her purse. The next thing I know, a man dashed past me and started running. Without thinking, I dashed after him. I thought that he had my friend's purse and my only thought was to get it back. He saw me come after him and I saw the look in his eyes, and I could swear he was afraid of me! He was tall and skinny, maybe 30 or so. But then I noticed that he was empty-handed; my friend has quick reflexes and she had held onto her purse for dear life. The guy had pulled so hard that the shoulder strap was partly torn, but he couldn't tear the purse out of her hands. In the next couple of seconds, the guy ran over to a wall - higher than him - and somehow jumped over it and was gone. If he had gotten that purse, we never would've seen it again. It had my friend's wallet and passport in it.
So we were lucky in many ways. We didn't get hurt and didn't lose anything. But I learnt that I'm a bit too brave for my own good sometimes. It's great to not have a "victim mentality", because it means that you perhaps get attacked less, but in some cases it's better to lose your purse than to lose your life! But I acted on instinct, I didn't have time to think anything.
I often think that it might be a good idea to take a self-defense class or martial arts or something to help me defend myself, but I've never gotten around to it. But nothing bad has ever happened to me. I've been attacked a couple of times, but have never gotten hurt.
It's a terrible world where women have to think such thoughts. It's always been that way; women have never been safe. The world seems to be divided into the men who want to hurt us and those that want to protect us. The trick is in being able to tell which ones are which. That's why they say that the most important thing is to trust your instincts: if you have a bad feeling about someone, you should listen to that hunch.
One should listen to one's hunches more in general. The truth is that we always know what's best for us, if we only take the time to listen to our inner voice and then believe what it tells us. We sometimes think that we don't know what we want, but we usually do know. I studied NLP several years ago, and there we learnt that if someone says that they don't know what they want, you can ask: "Well, if you did know what you wanted, what would it be?" The amazing thing is, most people can answer that question easily! ;-)
Pink Lady, wishing you health and happiness!
Yes, my summer holidays began today. A whole month, 4 weeks - 30 whole days of nothing to do!! Or, we could also say, all the time in the world to do all the things I've been longing to do.
What things might those be? See friends. Sleep - a lot!!! Go jogging or to the gym or get some sort of exercize every single day. Read!!!! Write. Cook from scratch. Clean the house (yes, it can be enjoyable if you're not in a hurry). Organize my closets. Go shopping. Go out. Eat out. Go to the beach....
I took the photo today, around 10:30 pm. Yep, it's those white Northern nights. The sun is just setting in the photo. You can compare this photo with the winter view posted earlier. You can't really tell from this photo, but this year, our neighbours have planted rapeseed. It's been wheat in previous years. The rapeseed flowers are not yet quite yellow, but getting there. This view will be even more beautiful in a couple of weeks.
The thing that I'm really looking forward to most of all during my holiday is reading. I do read all the time anyway, but in the past few months, I've had a craving to devour book after book, so it's great to have unlimited reading time. My partner and I went to the bookshop today after work and got some more summer reading. I got yet another business book and also The Da Vinci Code. Everyone's made such a huge deal of that book, so I thought I'd check it out as well. I've already seen the movie (twice in fact), so there won't be any huge surprises for me. I am looking forward to descriptions of art and architecture. I'm not necessarily expecting a literary masterpiece, but perhaps a nice, light summer read.
The problem with the Finnish summer is that we don't get a "summer" every year. What I mean is that sometimes the summer is cold-ish and rainy, so it just feels like spring extends into autumn, without any summer in between. So far the summer seems promising, we've had some really nice sunny days and even a couple of hot days. But we do have a plan B: if the weather is not good, we'll try to book a trip down South, meaning Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc. Let's see how it goes. It's nice to not have any specific plans.
The Lady Who Loves a Pink Sky
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
This purse is very close in colour to the shoes (a couple of posts ago). So this is the colour the shoes really are. They look way too dark in that photo, I may need to take a new picture. I adore this purse. It's several years old, but I may never get tired of it. It's nice and big so it's practical as well as beautiful. It's good quality Italian leather. I must admit that I can't remember anymore if I got this on sale or if I succumbed to a normal priced purchase...
This is currently my favourite pair of shoes that I wear just about every other day (depressingly, it's still not sandal season here in Finland!) I must say that they look much better live; somehow their gorgeous brown colour doesn't show in the photo at all. They are actually not dark brown, they are rather a reddish medium brown with lots of nice texture. And I love the long square toes, like an alligator nose (snout?) or something.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I had found a blog called Wardrobe Refashion. Great idea! It's a blog that suggests that we stop buying clothes for a while and just refashion our old clothes and/or sew our own. I don't know how to sew, but I do like to take good care of my clothes and accessories. And I sometimes modify my clothes, i.e. rip or cut something off to make it different (this mainly applies to jeans). I've ripped the waistband off some of my high-waisted jeans, for example.
I take clothes to the dry-cleaners quite often and I have them repaired when they need it. I sometimes buy fairly expensive shoes, but I wear them for years and years until they just literally fall apart. I take them to the cobbler's to be repaired over and over again until they just can't be repaired anymore. I'm not so much into wearing the "latest" fashions: I think that something that looks good will look good for years. It's more about how you put together a look. The shoes in the picture were actually not expensive at all, I just happen to love 'em!
Today, I took a pink suede skirt to be dry-cleaned and repaired (the hem was hangin'). It's a beautiful skirt - that I often wear with these very shoes. They look great with a pair of beige large-holed fishnet stockings I have!
The funny thing is, I actually got the skirt for free! Well, kind of. I found this store in Helsinki where they sell new clothes dirt-cheap - and when I happened there, they were even having a sale! I went in because I liked a pink fleece jacket displayed in the window (which I bought - and wear all the time), but I ended up buying a total of ten (10) items of clothing, eight of which were leather or suede. Total price: 400 euros. So that's 40 euros a piece. And several of the clothes were leather jackets or coats!! So eventhough I spent quite a large sum all at once, it's one of the best deals of my entire shopping career.
Here are the items I bought:
- A red leather skirt
- A matching red suede jacket with red leather trim (very casual, I even wear it with jeans). This skirt and jacket together are my "power suit". When I wear it to go shopping, I get the "Yes Madam!" type of service.
- The aforementioned pink suede skirt (it didn't fit me when I bought it, but I took a chance on it. I've since lost around 5 kg /10 lbs and it now fits perfectly!) The store owner threw the skirt in for good measure, I didn't actually pay for it. The guy wouldn't give me a discount, he just said I can add something else to the pile. Smart guy! That's how I ended up with ten items...
- A medium-length double-breasted leather coat in dark brown. It's gorgeous! It's now at the cleaner's too, a button came off so I'm having all the buttons reinforced. I usually do that to all my new coats. They reinforce the buttons by machine which really means they stay put after that.
- A light beige leather "suit". A pair of leather "jeans" and a medium-length jacket in super-soft leather. I can't actually fit into the pants yet, but here's hoping! (cf. what I wrote about the pink skirt above). I do wear the jacket a lot with jeans (yes, I wear jeans a lot!)
- A baby pink sports jacket.
- A short dark brown leather jacket, cowboy style. Very cool!
- The pink fleece.
- A cropped white 60's style leather jacket with a zipper. Very Modesty Blaise. I wore it to work today with jeans and a black silk knit turtle neck (short-sleeved). Cool!
So to sum up my philosophy regarding clothes:
- I buy both very cheap clothes and much more expensive clothes, but I try to get the expensive ones on sale. Or at least from a country where they're cheaper than here in Finland...
- I take very good care of all my clothes and accessories. All my purses are stuffed with tissue paper, my boots have those boot-holders (or whatever they're called?) inside them, I wash, de-stain and iron my clothes with love, I take them to the cleaners when they need it, I repair them, etc. I make them last as long as possible. I combine new clothes with ones I've been wearing for 10 years or more. The total look is what matters; not everything needs to be "this season".
- I try to only buy stuff that I really adore. Anything else is a waste of money.
- I try to get rid of as much of the stuff that I don't adore as I can. This is a constantly-on-going-process (part of my bigger general de-cluttering project). I never, ever throw anything in the garbage: everything gets recycled.
- I rarely refashion clothes, but I am currently trying to not buy anything. Instead, I'm trying to get more wear out of what I currently own. Many women have lots of clothes that they don't even know they have! I'm trying to get rid of the excess so that I discover new ways to wear the gems. :-)
Monday, June 05, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Hello People! Are you happy people?
I found this photo a couple of days ago and felt that this represents Pink Lady the way she views herself: happy and radiant - and quite pink, actually! ;-)
This was taken a couple of years ago at a pre-party for a company Christmas party. A bunch of us girls had our make-up done professionally - and here is the result. And yes, champagne was of course consumed at the pre-party, which may in part explain the pinkness of the skin colour...
This pair of shoes was my very first pair of "high" heels. Aren't they just butt-ugly!! I wouldn't be caught dead in something as gruesome now, but back then they were soooo special to me. I felt very grown up in these babies at age 12! I refuse to say what year that was... ;-)
By my current standards, these shoes are obviously not high at all. Take a look at my fave boots in my post of March 29th to get an idea of what high means to me now. Those boots don't look hugely high-heeled in the photo, but the heels are a good 9 cm (3 and 1/2"). I know that's not super-high by some women's standards, but it's about as high as I can manage. I am not (yet?) the mistress of the high-heeled walk. In the book The Fashionista Files (Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas) by Melissa de la Cruz and Karen Robinovitz, Melissa and Karen explain that for a true fashionista, three-inchers are "sensible" and "comfortable", four-inch heels are for "nighttime drama" and five inches mean that you are "strutting in tranny hooker territory, which, depending on the occasion, is not such a bad thing". ;-)
Isn't it funny that some tall women such as myself (I am around 175 cm / 5'10") love wearing high heels? Or let's say that I personally don't think that there's anything funny about it at all, but some short women find it odd. That's because short women sometimes wear high heels just to appear taller. Tall women obviously have absolutely no such need, since we already tower over pretty much everybody else. Tall women have other reasons for wearing high heels: they are basically a power trip. If you know how to walk in them (and your feet aren't killing you!), they make you feel more powerful - and yet more feminine at the same time. It's a very strange thing.
I recently read a fun book by Camilla Morton called How to Walk in High Heels (The Girl's Guide to Everything). It's like a reference book that explains how to do every conceivable thing from changing your tyres to applying eye-shadow. Very educational and very entertaining at the same time! Other similar books I've read recently include The Bombshell Manual of Style by Laren Stover and a novel in the same genre called Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro. It is loosely based on the non-fiction book with the same name by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, who used to be the Directrice of the Nina Ricci salons in Paris. In the novel, Tessaro writes something along the lines: "It's so much easier to turn on your heels and walk away when you're wearing heels". I somehow feel that I wouldn't be very greatly exaggerating if I was to say that women who don't know how to walk in high heels don't know what it means to be a real woman! (Of course, I'm being very non-PC here, since some women can't walk at all and some don't even have feet, but you get my meaning I hope...).
My point is really only this: being a woman is fun and wearing high heels is a big part of that fun. Doesn't Shania Twain say it so well when she sings: "The best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun". And of course, back in the day, Cyndi Lauper sang "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".
But don't get me wrong, I am an avid feminist - I guess you could say that I'm a "lipstick feminist". I'm a very girly-girl but have never felt that it diminished my power in the least, on the contrary. Walking into a room (such as a Board Room) and looking absolutely stunning is really powerful - but only if you also have something to say when you open your mouth! Us girls need to develop both our bods and our brains. Here I once again refer to the recent song Stupid Girl by Pink. She sings: "Outcasts and girls with ambition, that's what I wanna see!"
I recently saw the movie X-Men 3: The Last Stand. It was quite OK as far as action films go, but the ending drove me nuts. (If you haven't seen the movie yet, you better stop reading this now, cause I'll spoil it for you!) The idea is that Jean is a super-powerful "level 5" mutant who is more powerful than any other mutant. She can destroy anything with the power of her mind, but her mind is so powerful that she cannot control it - it ends up controlling her. The Professor has kept her mind under control until now (with the power of his mind) but when he dies, Jean's mind is set free and (long story short) she starts to destroy everything in sight. It takes the man who loves her to "save her" i.e. kill her so that she cannot do anymore damage.
Now what's wrong with that? Good story, right? Well, what bothers me about it is that it's the same old story that we know so well from many old sources: from the Bible (Eve), from mediaval witch hunts and from muslim ideology; women are dangerous if they are powerful and their power (and/or sexuality) must be controlled at all costs. They need to be locked up in towers, they need to wear chastity belts, they need to be "circumcised", they must wear a burqa, they need to "love, honour and obey" their husbands, they need to be "madonnas" or "ladies" because otherwise they are "whores", "sluts" or "crazy women" (as late as the 1950's, women were lobotomized in the US for having a mind of their own).
I just think that this whole legend has gotten a bit old and I don't want to see it again in a modern movie. In the X-Men, Jean was so powerful that she could not control herself, it took someone else - a man of course - to control her mind and it took another man (and what's more, the man that loved her) to find the final solution by killing her. It's really sick. I would have liked to see her learn to control her power so that she could use it for good. The Professor was able to do that so why not Jean? Why is it impossible for a woman to be incredibly powerful and yet in control at the same time? Why must we see a powerful woman as an uncontrollable "force of nature"?
Are men still so threatened by a woman's power that they have to keep telling this age-old story? It seems that many societies will do anything to keep women "under control". P-e-llllllleeeeeease you guys - just grow up, will you!
Pink Lady has Spoken