London Calling

London is full of amazing fashion, from the most random people you see on the street to the mannequins in H&M and Harrods. It's both intimidating and inspiring at the same time! When I went there for study abroad, the fact that I was only going for one semester made it difficult for me to take enough clothes to be as fabulous as the people who actually live there, but believe me when I say I took lots of mental notes! I do wish that I had had the guts to approach some native Londoners with my camera though- I was really hoping to do a street fashion segment for this blog but I kept chickening out, which is a pity, because there was a really fabulous blonde girl I passed at least five times on campus who had a killer sense of style.

I hope at least some other fashion blogger noticed her! She is way too stylish not to get noticed. As for me, I definitely tried a little bit, although as it got colder, my motivation began to wane. I love fashion and aesthetics as much as the next fashionista, but considering my dorm was half an hour away from campus and it gets rather unpleasantly windy in London sometimes, I stopped trying as hard. But I do feel like I would have been way more motivated if I had gone in the spring or summer.

Oh well! What can I say? I guess I'll have to go back again soon :)

Keeping up with the Bloggers (design and writing rambles)

I've been looking lately. There are so many fashion bloggers out there- so many amazing ones- that it's tough to keep afloat in the sea of couture lovers. How do you find an individual voice? How do you find that hook that keeps potential readers viewing your page and then deciding that they want to come back? The content? The visual aesthetics? What defines you? What makes you the innovator?

It's a question I've been struggling with probably since the age of 12, when I started making websites and was awed by the skill of other webmasters who seemed to be so innately talented not only at putting colors and images together, but also in coding those images to appear on the webpage in a specific place. They did it- and still do- so neatly, with such subtlety. When you check the source code, you can see how meticulous the process is- like the perfect seams on a tailored suit jacket or a dress. Not one letter or number out of place. The perfect combination. I wanted to be like that. I still do.

It's tough, though, finding which crowd to which I'm supposed to cater. (It took a lot of effort not to add another "to" at the end of that sentence) Lit nerds who want to dress like their favorite characters? Girls who just want to be fashionable and informed? General fashion bloggers? Or do I just write for myself? I'll figure it out at some point, I hope.

I have so many ideas for this blog, so many potential ways I could utilize this public space. One cool thing is that I am going to London in less than a month and I could not be more thrilled about it. I guess we'll see where the wind and where this blog continues to take me. Hopefully I won't abandon it for another three months again!

Dreaming of Dior

There are a few haunts around my college campus and around town I like to study at. They are fairly popular among other students as well, and hold few surprises. However, I think the predictability is part of what makes them a nice place to study. Take the local Barnes and Noble, for instance. It's always roughly the same temperature, one of two jazzy/classical fusion soundtracks is playing over the speakers, and if you go there in the early afternoon, the sun rays usually fall across the tables and sofas and warm your hair and hands while you turn the pages of your boring textbook.

But enough about that. I want to talk about a book I discovering while I was spending a Saturday at B&N- Dreaming of Dior. It was on one of the tables facing the entrance, and as pretty dresses and illustrations are a big weakness of mine, it automatically caught my eye. I started flipping through it, and the illustrations are simply gorgeous! The book is a story about an enormous wardrobe of expensive, fabulous couture dresses from many different European designers (including, obviously, Dior) that belonged to one woman- but the catch is that she didn't pay for any of them. They were donated to her. The dresses were all part of an ongoing exhibition! What's fun about the book is that all of the outfits are illustrated, alongside the stories that go with the previous owners.

I didn't buy the book, but I certainly want to go back and look at it again sometime! Both the stories and illustrations were enough for me to get hooked. I definitely think it's worth checking out!

Fancy Nancy

So, can we please talk about the fabulous female characters in children's books? Obviously Eloise is the original fierce six-year-old, but I've got to say that she's got some competition, especially from miss Fancy Nancy, who also has a penchant for using big "fancy" words and original pieces of clothing.

Just look at her. She's what, six? She's amazing. Just check out her zany hair- that's enough to deem her as a representative of sheer awesomeness! I checked out one of the books when I was in Barnes and Noble around Christmas (the adorable illustrations caught my eye), and this little girl takes being a diva to a whole new level, but with the added bonus of a large vocabulary. She bedazzles her birthday, springtime, Christmas, manners, and every-day living with ribbons, glitter, laughter, and a sesquipedalian flounce, trying to teach her friends and family how to be fashionable all the time. It's possibly one of the most amusing and wonderful learning tools I've seen, not to mention amazingly stylish (for a child, haha). I kind of want a little sister like her, but it's a fleeting temptation. When I actually sit down and think about it, a real child that obsessed with looking fancy would probably turn my entire house topsy-turvy! But regardless, Fancy Nancy is a pretty incredible little character full of moxie. :)

More Nancy:

Who am I?

Who am I and what am I doing with my life? I'm still trying to figure that out.

I am nineteen years old, or will be, at least for another two months and 2 days.

I am a college sophomore in the last stretch of her winter quarter who is avoiding her Econ textbook in lieu of something more interesting (like updating this "fashion" blog that has been lying here for ages.

I am a girl whose mother has purchased most of her clothes for her entire life and entirely lacking a sense of personal style by way of clothing, but very creative when it comes to accessorizing (although, I have to admit that my mom bought most of my jewelry and purses too- she has good taste! I put everything together though)

I am someone living near the city of Chicago (well, I count Evanston as part of Chicago anyway).

I am someone who wants desperately to spend her sophomore summer in the Big Apple, so I spend hours looking at places like Roomorama and CouchSurfing and sending out hundreds of resumes.

I am staring at Lake Michigan, which is gorgeously blue today.

I love going to the Periodicals section of my university library (where I work) and read every single article in Glimmer Train, Writer's Digest, Pourquoi Pas?, and the London Times.

More later.