February 18, 2012

on trying to fit in


oh hai.

the other day, ruggy and i went to our favorite coffee shop in all the land, silverlake's intelligentsia.  non, it doesn't sound right to call it a coffee shop, it's a coffee gallery.  artist baristas and hip things of all ages join to celebrate caffeine.

non, that's not right either.  one doesn't celebrate here (and by here i mean los angeles), one is cool and aloof and decidedly bored with it all.  for the most part, it's not stylish to show your colors, inside and out.  as we sipped our macchiato and chai latte with delight (the cup was the size of my HEAD), i took note of the line of angels waiting their turn.  it looked like someone took the desaturation brush in photoshop, bumped the level up to a thousand, and gave them all a good swipe.  i'm telling you, not a color to be seen.  the clothing was bland, the mood was beige.
     

i might be the brightest thing in here, i said.  ruggy's sarcastically raised eyebrow assured me that i was.  

(at the time i was not wearing this top.  but i was wearing a maxi skirt striped in lemon yellow, royal purple, hot pink and lime green; a chartreuse cardigan, and a sky blue tee.  speaking of colorful garments, this top was a creation meant for debi's second sew grateful, which i completely missed.  i used vogue 7016 from lisette's amazing box of patterns, and the fabric and button are gifts from ruggian sister, she who has carte blanche in my sewing room.  i used self made bias for the neck closure, and overlocked rolled hems.  which apparently, i've been using on EVERYTHING.  ellie was hiding a little bar from me which produces lovely flat serged edges.   found that out four days before i left her in new york.  awesome.)

what is it that makes us afraid to show our colors?  why would you want to hide your glee over the perfect cup of coffee, the excitement over good conversation, the bright flamingo pink you love to wear?

i'm not saying everyone should wear flamingo pink.  washed out midnight blue is perfectly lovely.  but washing out your personality for the sake of looking cool is Fucked.  Up.    


i turn my back on you, aloof.


speaking of joy, i was pretty psyched when i downloaded this shot.  i was all i'm totally channeling casey here.  i've got bloggers on the brain, tonight i'm heading back out to the lake of silver for sarai's party at sew LA, and then hopefully catching another round of new friend goodness after.  are you going?  if you are, i will say hello with unabashed glee and in technicolor!

what color have you got on today?

65 comments:

  1. Look at you, with your pin-up jeans! I love that zipper detail. And of course, the shirt is awesome. How long are you in LA? Did you ever explain this moving business? I'm très confused.

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    1. erm, semi explained, by way of remarking we were moving cross country:). we're here till the summer at least!

      and the jeans. SIX DOLLARS. forever 21. I couldn't believe there were non-jeggings to be had.

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  2. Oh dude, this is how most of Chicago is. Today I was wearing booties with short black pants so that my socks with neon yellow polka dots were showing and I got SO many strange looks. It's not even that crazy! Granted I was in a suburban mall surrounded by black North Face Denali jacket wearing people but the midwest is pretty color conservative. I also feel crazy going into any Intelligentsia really because they're always so crowded and serious and as a non coffee drinker the thing they do with pouring an entire kettle of water over the grounds like a science project drives me batty!

    Totally jealous of the party tonight, have fun! Keep rocking the color, it looks good!

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    1. ah, you speak of the chemex! i know what you mean. but DAMN. that's good coffee.

      i think i'd stop and hug you if I saw your polka dot socks.

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  3. Colours are awesome. I went through a stage for about 5-6 years where I didn't own any black, white or grey. (Sadly, this had to reach an end at some point. Office job, and all that.) I like to think of myself as injecting a bit of crazy colour into the office, yes indeed.

    Today is slightly muted, though. Bright blue shoes, black tights, brown dress (with pictures of insects all over it), purple cardigan, blue hair.

    PS your jeans are awesome.

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    1. no! haven't you found a way to induce your technicolor into the workspace yet?!

      i think the insects prolly excuse your muted color day...

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  4. I'm happy you're in LA now! I just moved here two weeks ago, and I'm excited to explore the crafty sewing scene. And yes, I've been to that Intelligensia, and woah. Talk about hip-ness.

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    1. you should come tonight!

      I'll actually be braving the coffee hipness in a blue flame dress pre party. gotta get those beans...

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  5. i never got those monochromatic peeps.. i do love black and white movies, but i don't want to live in black and white world.. color is way too magical for that..
    now, to answer your question - today i'm wearing mix of five solids plus two different prints (polka dot and gingham)

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  6. I'm noticing a bit of the washed out look around Melbourne... I call it 'anti-fashion' as loads of younger people find newness in the mid 90s anti fashion blandness. It's weird to see it your new hood though, I thought colour colour colour would be everywhere!

    xoxo

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    1. that's wild, I think of YOUR end of the globe as color filled. probably because of you & kazz!

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  7. Try moving to the south where everyone cocks their head to the side and sweetly says, "Oh, I could never wear that, but I love it on you..." . So demeaning of ones personal style!

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    1. oh god, and if they add a "bless your heart", you KNOW you're name is mud.

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    2. DAMN PHONE SPELL CHECK. your name.

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    3. Literally laughing out loud-- I can't tell you how many times I heard "bless your heart" from my southern college roommate. "Oh honey, you're not wearing that, are you?" LOVE. IT.

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    4. After my foray into the N. GA mountains this weekend I realized why I LOVE ATLANTA so much. And I was wearing me-made knit tops in black and slate blue mostly. I'm certain it was the hat/scarf combo.

      But yes, the "bless your heart", even worse when followed by "You just can't help yourself, can you?".

      But aside from that, Oona DO NOT EVERY CHANGE. You wouldn't be Oona without the colors. I love your vibrancy!

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    5. Bless your heart! The first time I heard that in TX, I was admittedly slow on the insult part of it, thinking it was just a folksy southern thing. Not the kind put down. Stay bright, you!

      Oh, my local coffee shop serves only Intelligentsia.... addict.

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    6. @ lady katza: atlanta is CRAZY colorful, love it, i agree!

      @ lavender: i knew i liked you.

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  8. Lady, you rock colorful hip like nobody's business. I might be a little bit biased toward bright colors, however, since I just took a self portrait gleefully jumping around in a bright yellow rain slicker. But, come on, were more joyous words ever uttered? Bright. Yellow. Slicker.

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    1. ALWAYS wanted one. with shiny red boots.

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  9. My colors today oona, blue, green and purple plaid.
    LA really can be crappy. I hope you find the good parts of the city. (I've never been able to).

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    1. we're about 60/40 right now, on the winning side...

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  10. I love this post! I too wear crazy bright colors and I love when I go somewhere and see everyone in beige....I am not saying its bad, but its boring. This post brought a much needed smile on my face. Thank you for sharing your carefree attitude.

    www.sweetsurrenderart.com

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    1. you're welcome! i'm glad to bring a smile :)

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  11. That's funny, I don't remember LA being that bland-- it's been several years now since I lived there, but I was shocked when I moved to NYC by the fact that everyone wears black every dadgum day! It's like living in a funeral! I get it, black is chic and urban, but for reals, get some color going!

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    1. seriously, it's like they all took a bath in gray since the last time i was here. weird.

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  12. Totally unrelated to everything -- but my first thought on seeing the first picture was "I want that hair!" sadly, this will never be. However, on topic, I love the shirt and the colors and I too wear far brighter ones that are often seen at my office. It makes the days more fun!

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  13. You know, when I see people all in drab colours and the 'I'm so cool it hurts me inside' look I can't help but get excited and think a dance number is about to happen. That everyone is about to break out in song.
    Ever seen those old musicals on TV? They're full of scenes where everyone's just minding their own business with 'whatever' looks on their face and then BAM the butcher, the baker and the guy reading a paper start triple spinning and swinging around lamp posts and they are all inevitably singing the same song.

    Perhaps you should stand up in that cafe and start singing "Consider your self aaaat hoooome, consider yourself, part of the familyyyy ..."

    See what happens.

    Or maybe not.

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  14. It was great to meet you and your peacock dress at Sarai's shindig tonight :-)
    Cheers,
    Hashi

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  15. Why try to fit in, when you can stand out?!!
    I wore black for years, and I'm a relatively recent colour convert. Today I looked in my wardrobe and thought how colourful it was getting - it's so much more fun!

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    1. isn't it great to see that? sometimes i look and my eyes hurt!

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  16. I can back up Veronica Darling, Melbourne is the home of black on black. With maybe some charcoal for interest. I'm by no means COOL but I'm certainly guilty of contributing to the blandness on many an occasion, especially when it comes for dressing for work in the city centre. But I DO wear a lot of red and fuchsia and teal also. The thing is, this city is comparatively less sunny and hot than others here in Oz- I hear up in Queensland and in Perth the folks go in for a bit more colour.

    Good on you for lighting up the the retinas of LA. I love that top and your jeans are HAWT. I think I'll make the effort to sew my next garment in some thing other than navy, grey or black. And no more g.d. stripes :o)

    Can't wait to hear all about the Colette party!!

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    1. girl, your grin is a technicolor in itself.

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  17. Please don't try to fit in! I love that top and the jeans. The weather looks fabulous, though.

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  18. Even if it's dull LA totally suits you. You look beeee-uuuu-tiful! Start a new colour-trend in LA. Do it!

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  19. Color color color! I made a black knit "go with everything" skirt this morning and while I will wear it, it wasn't fun to sew. As the girl who has always mixed the loudest colors because I LIKE IT, I am in your corner, Oona. On the other coast, but in your corner. Can't wait to see the rest of your creations.

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    1. man, i know what you're saying, on the occasions i work with neutrals or darks, the newness is intriguing, but by the end of it i want to punch a hole in the wall.

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  20. Oona, you're the coolest. You show 'em.
    And look! Now we're state neighbors! It really does feel so nice knowing you're next door ;)

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    1. it totally changes perspective, doesn't it? i love it too :)

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  21. I have my bright green skirt on:
    http://marmota-b.blogspot.com/2011/11/oona-i-hope-youre-happy.html
    Not paired up that way, but with my mom's old (as in, 70s or 80s) blue t-shirt which I LOVE (it's now mine) and will wear to pieces. It's a washed-out blue now, but paired up with that skirt it can't be that bad. :-)
    You would not like Czech Republic, I suppose. We are mostly bland.

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    1. good lord, how did i miss that?! and how appropriate! though, i think the aqua stockings would be fabulous with it.

      i love your shots of czech, i think i'd be too swept up in the scenery to notice any absence of color!

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  22. Well, lookee! Your hair is so beautiful and I'm drooling over the jeans. You look so very pretty in that sunshine. Somehow colorlessness and L.A. doesn't fit in my brain together--surprising! Color aside, I'd love to visit Intelligentsia some day. (Friends in the barista scene have spoiled us on amazing coffee experiences.)

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    1. oh, you gotta. specifically, you gotta come here in that watercolor dress and we'll go together.

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  23. Oh, Oona!! How I have missed your awesome posts! Trying to fit in is a blasphemous as hiding your true colours, in my opinion. I would shrivel up if I wore beige - ugh!

    You look utterly happy and gorgeous in your snazzy outfit in the lovely California sunshine! As an Ambassador of Colour, you are fantastic! I loves your jeans!! Where, oh where did you find those gems?!

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    1. oh, sarah, you're going to hate this... forever 21. to make mattes worse, they were six dollars. i could Not. Resist.

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  24. OMG - I have a business trip to LA coming up and this inspires me to pack only my most colorful clothing! Ha! Beige is such a snore.

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    1. i will cut you if you don't holler at me while you're here!

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  25. I am so surprised by your post - in my mind I imagined LA to be almost over-saturated with bright colours!! Well please don't change your colourful ways Oona, that's why we all love you. Every post you write inpsires me and reminds me that I should try and inject a wee bit more colour into my life!

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    1. thank you suzie! i was surprised too...

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  26. Today I'm wearing a cranberry-red woolen sweater over a color-blocked blouse -- panels of red/black/white/brown plaid, brown/green/white plaid, and an Indonesian block-print of navy/brown/cream/purple/red on a cinnamon background, with chocolate brown cords. No, I don't fade into the background. Yes, I celebrate color! You go, girl. Show those cynical West Coasters how it is done in the rest of the continent.

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  27. You are so fabulous and technicolor - I adore it! Bravo for being the brightest thing in the room!!

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  28. I wore all black for so long just because I was so used to it. Somehow with the tattoo and all the black I just ended up looking really edgy rock and roll, and it's only the past year or so where I've gotten used to wearing color. Color is definitely much more flattering. I'd think you'd see more colors in LA though as opposed to New York?

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  29. Oh please, DO. NO.T FIT. IN. I hate that whole mushroom palette look so much. Are we all just supposed to non-offensively fade into some kind of desaturated background wallpaper? The all-black look is pretty bad, but bland beige is so much worse.

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  30. After reading your blog, I am so surprised that LA is so bland!! Sounds more like a London thing. Here in Brisbane, Australia, we embrace colour. Well, I do!! I am what you would call middle aged and colour is very necessary to give you a healthy glow. In fact, I hosted a little party last night and a topic of conversation was on colour and how bright, vibrant clothes make you feel better and make you look healthier and happy. Maybe your LA crowd isn't happy. Do what JuliaBobbin suggested and start singing and cheer them all up.

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  31. Oh Oona, seeing you in that top was very refreshing. I'm in Toronto, and being a city of immigrants, colour is normal. Someone needs to slap those "angels" in the face and remind them that the trend of this spring is "colour" and "colour-blocking"... at least in my head, hehe.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!