Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Addicted to Polyvore

Oh dear.

My eyes hurt.

But I just completed my first polyvore and it's so purdy!

Okay, time to rest my eyes and get some caffeine. I hope you like it. It all started out with the perfume I'm obsessed with and progressed from there. Polyvore asks you to describe the occasion during which you would wear your outfit. I wrote "to exact my revenge." Because I'm creepy like that.

Lady Vengeance by serenakay


As a humungous book nerd, I have come across so many words that I'd like to use in speech but I have no idea how to pronounce them. This is embarassing, but I'll relay this little gaffe from grade 7. Reading aloud in Social Studies class about the Battle of Whatsitcalled, I come to the word chaos. "In the chaos of the battle..." Well, I pronounced it CHAH-oes. No one was the wiser except the teacher, who laughed at me. Damn you Mrs. Sookro! Damn you to hell! How was I supposed to know how it was pronounced? No one uses chaos or epitome or unguent in everyday speech!

Anyways, I just stumbled upon Forvo. It's a site that claims to have all the words in the world, pronounced and recorded by native speakers of whatever language you may choose. Seriously, I pretty much jizzed in my pants. Don't worry, I've calmed down a little, enough to write this post anyways.

Fellow word-nerds, enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Under the Influence

You know it's coming. I'm a little behind on the times but I just ordered the Olsens' new book Influence. I'm not too sure why, but I really like books on style. Mayhap it's because I just like books in general? The psuedo-academic approach to style and shopping has always appealed to me, probably because I love lists and organization. God, such a Virgo.

I've been thinking about my personal style a lot lately. It's always been pretty fluid, encompassing a little bohemian, some hipster 'chic', some ladylike... but having recently cleaned out my wardrobe, it all seemed so disorganized and schizo. I'm all for experimentation and I've enjoyed trying out different looks, but I feel the need now to narrow it down so I can start buying pieces that will last and will all come together more cohesively. Oh man, I sound like a grown-up. I guess I kind of am. I'm done my undergrad and I'll be hitting the grown-up work world in a matter of months for which I will probably need a suit... Okay, I just shivered a little. I'm not ready for a suit.

Anyways, I was browsing through the Lucky magazine Guide to Mastering any Style and they seem to have gotten my style down. They call it "Posh Eclectic" but I like to think of it as an eccentric and inappropriately dressed European aristocrat who raids her grandmother's attic for accessories. Another style they dissect is the Bombshell. So I guess I'd be two-thirds Posh Eclectic, one-third Bombshell.

The only bad thing about narrowing down my style is that I want to go shopping when I really shouldn't.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Jacket of Destiny

This is just eerie. Yesterday at the consignment store I work at, I grabbed a bunch of clothing that was recently consigned and ready to go out onto the floor. I put everything in its rightful place until I was left with one garment. I looked down at the soft, buttery black velvet jacket and saw that it literally had my name on it. The brand was Serena Kay (Kay is my middle name) and the label said 'made in Paris'. I'm a total francophile so this added to the perfection. The real test would come when I tried it on.

Choirs of angels sang! A light shone down on me! It fit perfectly!

I had to possess the jacket. Of course, knowing my luck, it was $189 even secondhand but my boss is wonderful and saw the magnificent coincidence (or fashion fate?) and gave me a discount on top of my staff discount. I still had to put it on layaway but soon, it will be mine. And when it is mine, I shall photograph it and post the picture for all to see!

I also did a little research on Serena Kay and it turns out it's a new-ish brand that has one location in Paris. Their online lookbook reveals that, while my Jacket of Destiny is well-made and beautiful, I would not take a second look at anything else they have to offer! It could be the styling or the model, but it all seems a bit... bimbo-tastic? This may just be the wannabe French snob in me, but it doesn't have that easy Gallic elegance that makes me love the French aesthetic. Ah well. I'll still check them out the next time I go to Paris.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The search is on, baby!

Once again, I am coveting an item I can't find anywhere! It's so bittersweet yet so fun to go tramping around, trying to locate this specific thing I want so much. I feel a bit like a detective, actually. In a frivolous sort of way, since I'm attempting to solve shoe mysteries rather than crime mysteries.

My latest obsession is a pair of high heeled, lace-up ankle boots. They must be black and they must not look like pointy witch boots. They must have a bit of chunkiness, but still be feminine. They must also be comfy. This is going to be difficult.

Of course, I can't have these boots, as they are gracing the feet of Agathe, formerly of Stylebytes. I think it was this picture that originally sparked my obsession last fall but I kind of forgot about them having given up the fruitless search last year. But not this year - this year I am determined!

These are from Colin Stuart for Victoria's Secret. They're alright. They have the general feel I want, but as is fitting for a lingerie store, they're a bit too vampy. And also probably uncomfortable. Although I love the sturdy lacing, they're just not quite right.

These boots from Nine West are just about perfect. The heel isn't too high, they're rugged but still feminine; they might have a little too much going on but generally, they're cute. However, here's the rub - although we have Nine West in Canada, these boots are not available! Why?! They're also unavailable online. Quel misere! All is not lost though, my dears! I may be able to convince my boyfriend to drive me to a mall just over the border in the States. It'll only be an hour drive so he should be amenable. This may be my chance to get if not these boots, then the boots. God, this is getting to be a dramatic post...

And then there are these beauties. They are from Tod's and accordingly they are $665. I'm not wild about the patent and I'm definitely sickened by the price, but I bet they are so comfortable. Like walking on marshmallows or babies' bums. Except that last one would be cruel. And probably poopy. Sorry, I think I stayed up too late last night.

So this is where my search has brought me. Not much closer to my goal of fulfilling my obsession, but I have a few leads, a few facts to check... And I have a mission...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Direction

Image courtesy of

I'm lost. Or, I have been lost. I've come to the endpoint of seventeen years of schooling and found that I'm still poor, still directionless and still scared - just like I was before I graduated with my degree. Today, a very no-nonsense person in my life told me to snap out of it. Just snap out of it. My first thought was, "Well, it's easier said than done." But that's cowardice. And I've always been brave. Like, weird brave. Example: when I was in high school, I was not cool. I was skinny and knobby but not in the right places and I had crushes on boys who were way out of my league in the social hierarchy of secondary school. But at every dance, without fail, I was able to muster the courage to ask the boy I liked to dance. And they always said yes. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'd like to think it was my confidence. I was fearless. I went for what I wanted. Sure, the next Monday I was just as tongue-tied as ever but I would smile to myself, remembering my bravery.

So it's like that, but bigger now. I've got the boy, now I need to get the life. I'm a writer. I didn't realize it until this morning, when that wonderful, sweet, no-nonsense person told me to get off my fucking ass and make it happen. Her words, not mine. And it's funny, because my friends have been describing me as a writer for years: "Oh yeah, my friend Serena is a writer." Really? I thought, is that really what I am? Yes. Yes. So I'll try and maybe I'll fail but who the fuck cares? I can be a professor or a receptionist or an entrepreneur any old time, but I want to be a writer now.

I guess the point of this self-indulgent little tirade is that this blog may become less about fashion and more about whatever I feel like writing about. I'm going to be self-indulgent, but I'm also going to kick my own ass and stop shying away from my biggest talent and passion just because I'm afraid. Fuck that.

Tirade over.

And for my second act of self-indulgence, I put up this secret from Postsecret. So. True. Ha!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Check me out!

Just put up my first post at Stylefinds!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hitchcock Heriones

I was watching the old movie channel last night (I think it's TCM... not too sure what that stands for) and there was this little interlude in which Alfred Hitchcock gave a little lecture on birds. Obviously, this was a sort of preview for his movie 'The Birds'. It was pretty cute, actually. He talked about how humans and birds have been living harmoniously for thousands of years. He presents a plumed hat from the 17th century and says, "How proud the birds must have been, to have their feathers plucked for our hats." Then he sits down at his desk to eat a whole roast chicken but decides against it, as it would be rude to eat while lecturing. The whole thing was very tongue-in-cheek and (yes, there is actually a fashion connection here) reminded me of the very stylized look of his heriones and how this look is everywhere on the fall runways. Okay, it's sick to think about fall in this heat, but these are just too cute not to post.

Images from Von Furstenberg Fall 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mission: Shirt Dress

My latest fashion obsession is a shirt dress. I'd like to find one that has lots of volume in the skirt portion so I can twirl like a top or add a crinoline or a bright skirt underneath for a little kick. So far, the search has been fruitless.

Too boring and nun-like!

Too 1950s waitress (in a bad way)!

Too boring! Urg!

Gettin' there, but ACK! $895 on sale!

So you see my dilemma. I'm entirely too picky. I think I'll know it when I see it. And it's the kind of thing thats fairly seasonless if you get the right one so I shall persevere and update you on my search as it progresses. I guess it helps that I have ready access to awesome clothing at my new job. Huzzah!

All images from

Friday, May 30, 2008

A little bit in love with you

I have to admit, I'm a little bit in love with Lykke Li, a Swedish indie singer. Not only is she unbearably cute, but her voice is light and her music is danceable and catchy and just perfect for summer. Her first album Youth Novels doesn't seem to be available in Canada yet, but she has a few videos on youtube, all of which are fantastic. She dresses very simply, mostly in black, white, pale pink and silver. Plus, she has a signature hairstyle - a high, tight bun.

All images from Google
Because I am useless when it comes to computers, I haven't figured out how to post her music videos right on my blog, but I do know how to link to them. Ain't I fancy? My favourites are Little Bit and I'm Good, I'm Gone. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Missing In Action

I actually started this blog as a fun procrastination tool but I'm now so busy that I actually don't have time to procrastinate. Between two jobs, night classes every evening and a boyfriend who lives far, far away, my poor young blog has been neglected. And shall continue to be for a little while.
Also missing in action is my favourite, favourite, favourite blogger Agathe from Stylebytes. It was most distressing at first. She said she was going away for the weekend and she hasn't posted since. It's been about a month and, stalker that I am, I even looked at her husband's blog to see if he'd said anything about her/their whereabouts. No go. His blog had been taken down. Most curious. But someone who's friends with her on Facebook has confirmed that although she's not blogging, at least she's alive. I'm relieved, not just that she's okay but that I'm not the only creeper worrying about a complete stranger I know from the internet.
Anyways, here are some of my favourites of her outfit posts.

All images from Stylebytes

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


(image from

Thursday, May 1, 2008

amping it up

I recently got a new job at a great consignment boutique here in Vancouver called Changes. I've really had to amp up my styling of my own outfits as well as learning about other body types and what shapes flatter them, not to mention learning what colours look good with different people's skin! It's a lot to learn but it's so fun and so exactly what I want to be doing now that I'm almost done my degree. Not only is consigning clothing a form of recycling, but this store is so woman-positive and so committed to local, national and global charities. It's basically perfect. The only thing is that it's very challenging and I've never working in retail before. But I figure this is the best place to learn!

Anyways, here's what I wore on my first day...

Wilfred jacket, Aquatalia sandals, cotton dress

I accessorized with a necklace made of big wooden beads, but it was still a pretty simple outfit. Well, simple doesn't always cut it so I tried some new things with today's outfit. I layered two skirts and cinched it in with a nicely textured vest.

Thrifted skirts, thrifted boots, Sisley vest, vintage shoe charm worn as broach

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wishful Dressing and Childhoods Spent on Mountain Tops

I wish it was warm enough out to wear this...

Sandals: Aquatalia, Dress: Winners, Beret: Urban Outfitters

However, it is cold and windy and I'm staying inside to write my final paper, the final paper that is so late that my prof called me on my cell to ask where my essay is. Not my finest moment, and I am now petrified of this woman. I'm so close to being done this blasted degree, it almost itches. I guess I'm suffering from 'major burn out,' as the young academics say these days. Anyways, because the weather is nasty, this is what I'm actually wearing today:

Sandals: Aquatalia, Sweater: deeply discounted Aritzia

And yes, I realize I've committed the heinous atrocity known as 'Socks and Sandals' but in my defense a) it is freaking cold in my apartment and b) sometimes I'm really drawn to ugly chic. But you can't blame me, because I grew up in the forest on top of a mountain. It's not my fault. I come by it honestly. Et pour toi, a close-up of the atrocity:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alice in Wonderland

Apologies for the boob-shot. Fortunately, at this point I'm pretty sure my only reader is my boyfriend, so they're no news to him. Anyways, as you can imagine, my outfit is sort of my version of Alice in Wonderland if Alice was half-Chinese and horrifyingly busty on film. I wore an old fashioned undershirt (I refuse to call them 'beaters' for political reasons) under my creamy polka dot dress from Edun, a Zara cardigan and thrifted red platforms.
Usually when I'm in feverish paper-writing mode, I go to my local adorable French cafe Coco et Olive (owned and operated by real French people, no less!) and sit with my notebook and write up a storm before going home to type it all out. However, today I was not very productive so I must end this post and cease procrastinating!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When writing papers that are already late...

...always dress your best. I've found over the last five years in university that the main thing I've learned is how to be a terrible student. In first year, I began writing my essays a month before they were due. Now? I don't start them until after the due date. My two main strategies of procrastination are: taking forever to get dressed and making overly complicated and yummy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both strategies were implemented today. First, the cute outfit comprised of sky-high heels, comfy-cute dress and warm grandpa style cardigan all cinched in with my favourite belt.

Next step: prepare elaborate and delicious meal. My lunch today was a salad with grilled pumpkin seed-encrusted goat cheese medallions and grilled artichoke hearts. It was accompanied by this crazy Korean 'yoghurt flavoured' drink that I used to love as a child.

Yum! Incidentally, I was actually able to get work done, just not as much as I should have. The funny thing is, I don't care! I had a great day!


Here is a detail shot of what I wore the other day. The outfit consisted of a zip-up mini-dress from Zara, a Cowichan-style sweater from Aritzia and my army jacket from Soia and Kyo, plus tights and boots. I really liked this picture because my ring figures so prominently and I love my ring. It was given to me by my wonderful boyfriend who has great taste in jewelry as well as girlfriends. Har-har.

He's also a super-smarty pants, as evidenced by his blog.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New shoes and inspiration

I had the best luck at the thrift store the other day. I think my best find was these vintage sandals. In the picture they look black, but in real life they are really more navy blue and I think navy is a little more unexpected and interesting. I especially like the different colours of wood in the little heel. So lovely!
I also got a long skirt which I plan on making into a bubble mini and a lovely corset with a delicate pattern of elephants on it. That sounds very strange but it's subtle and sweet. More pictures to follow.
I've been trying to figure out the best way to do outfit shots. I'm often very pleased with an outfit and I get some compliments from my friends and I'd love the share a picture of my outfit on my blog but I just don't have anywhere in my apartment that makes a good background, not to mention setting up the camera and using the timer without my roommate coming out of her room and catching me and thinking I'm strange. I'll figure it out...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oh, to be a hermit on a tropical island...

This morning dawned grey and stormy. I underdressed and got soaked, necessitating a quick-change. My umbrella broke. The bus on the way to school was an overcrowded caterpillar of airborne disease. People snorted very close to my ears. It was..... urk.

As final essay due dates loom, I'm beginning to get battier and battier. Hence the lack of posts and the fervent wish to be somewhere else in some other life. A life that is quiet. Maybe as a hermit in a cave in the forest. It would be a homey cave. I would stoke the fire (of course, there would be a chimney for proper ventilation), make a cup of tea and sit back with a book. But no, I'm too much of a sun-worshipper to stay cooped up in a cave in the woods. Perhaps a sweet but sturdy treehouse I built with my own hands, perched in the crook of a huge banyen tree on a tropical isle far, far away. Yes, this suits me much better. I would learn to scale the coconut trees to procure young fruit to crack open with my machete (I'm a practical girl, of course I'd remember to pack my machete). Ah, solitude. No obnoxious transit-riders, no intrusive ring-tones, no loud-talkers, nor slow-walkers. Heaven. Sure, the blood-sucking jungle leeches would cramp my style, but compared to the scourge of a crowded busride at rush hour... I'll take the leeches.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

littlebird, make a nest of my heart

Surely my title could not have been more sentimental, but I've always had a place in my heart for birds. My grandmother was an avid birdwatcher and to this day if you ask my father what that little bird is, he'll tell you without a blink. While other children in his small town in upstate New York were playing baseball or buying candies at the local store, my father was photographing rare birds in the forest around his home. Some nerd, eh? Well, a little of that has carried over to me - I can name quite a few bird species and trees, too. So when I followed a link from Agathe's site to the website of an online jewellery store called Paraphernalia, I was so pleased I could sing. Like a lark... Haha, silly girl. I picked mine out right away and ordered it without a second thought as I'd been looking for a statement necklace for a while. Moments later, I had a sweet email thanking me for my order! How nice!
Yesterday, my necklace arrived. Since the retailer is literally on the other side of the world, it took a full month but it was so worth it!

A lovely little package

And on the back of the card was a handwritten note thanking me again! I love when strangers are so nice.

I will likely be wearing this little beauty with... everything. Plain t-shirt, other necklaces... oh, the possiblities!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


photo from Margaret Cho's website

Last Friday, I finally got to see my favourite comedian perform live. Margaret Cho is... controversial to say the least, but she never insults me so I looooooove her! She is a Korean-American queer feminist comedian. What more could I ask for?

I've been a fan of Madame Cho for years now and I've noticed a change in her style and also in her persona. She used to be mad. She used to be fucking angry... and she still is, but it's such a more constructive anger these days. And of course, I (and she) credit belly dance for this positive transformation. I'll go into more detail about all the wonderful aspects of belly dance in a future post but without question, belly dance - if you really get into it and respect the history and true context of it - can heal you. Any body woes are dissipated because when your muscles are working in sync and you're undulating your stomach and shaking your hips, you are beautiful. Radiant. Gorgeous. There's no getting around it.

So yes, Margaret Cho has calmed a little but she's still raunchy as hell - just the way I like her. She plays with stereotypes, she lampoons political figures and she waxes poetic about sex in all its forms, positions, and orientations. She is, undoubtedly, a woman after my own heart.

Monday, March 31, 2008

'Champagne!' she called...

Is a first post on a first blog an occasion for celebration? J'n'sais pas... But regardless, I'm a little bit tipsy and a little bit apprehensive, but I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now so why not a night when I have better things to do (readings for class, research for final papers...) but no intention of doing them?

'What, pray tell, will this blog be about?' they wonder.

My interests include (but are not limited to):

Fashion and Fashion Blogs
Feminism and Gender Studies
Literature in Chinese, English, and French
Food and Drink
Social Justice
Trashy Reality Television
Belly Dance

... And so the idea is that I'll be blogging about all these things. And my categories are pretty broad, are they not? I think it's safe to say I'll be writing about anything and everything.