Tag Archives: don’s cutting edge

The Ghost Daughter 

Photo by Aristotle

Photo by Aristotle

Mauricio Navarro abstract

Mauricio Navarro, untitled, acrylic & resin on canvas, 30″ x 24″

Quick post here… I had a couple of “serious” posts I was working on that I just stuck in the trash. (It wasn’t lack of commitment. I just didn’t really have any good outfit photos!)  Instead, well, I just finished The Ghost Daughter last night, and I am in the glow of it’s awesome ending. One of my favorite people in the world, Maureen O’Leary wrote this glorious work of fiction. Yesterday, I also saw the work of a promising, emerging artist, Mauricio Navarro. I must write about both of them!

But where did the outfit come from? How is it related? As Roy Batty says, “Questions…” My main question is “Do I love something because it is just inherently great or because it reminds me of some personal memory?” Of course, I am conflicted on this answer. I want so badly to say, “Both!”

The Ghost Daughter opens with Mother Nature unleashing her power on a unique and storybook, central Californian town. This fictional earthquake was based on one in 1989 I experienced as “part of” my college education, we might say. The author, my good friend and housemate at the time had to kick her way out from underneath an oak desk at her downtown Santa Cruz place of employment. I think she knew it was an earthquake. On the other hand, I was luckily, sitting in a little field of cabbage painting a watercolor as part of an outdoor landscape painting class. I watched the redwoods “jumping” up and down. I stood up and hopped around, thinking the ground was going to open up any second. It was a long 15 seconds. Still, I didn’t think it was an earthquake. I thought it was the apocalypse – mostly because of what the grand, old trees were doing. And even now, I remember exactly what I was wearing. Black bolero hat on my long dark brown hair, white t shirt, red plaid above the knee prairie skirt, and cowboy boots – perfect outfit for an earthquake in that setting, I think.

Maureen wrote a novel I will definitely read again. It’s one of those books. I don’t think it is just because of the familiar subject matter – or even just because it addresses themes that I’ve been interested in as of late. Maureen’s descriptions capture my imagination. They make me smile, and sometimes they make me squirm. She paints with her words. It’s not just colors and patterns, though. She addresses all of the senses. Clothes have scents that tell so much more about where the character has been. Boots make sounds that express confidence. Maureen, you had me at the outfit descriptions. If you want a teaser (or inspiration for that matter), look at her Pinterest board!

So, back to my outfit above. This is personal, these outfits of The Ghost Daughter, I admit. Back in college I was trying to figure out who the grown up Laura was, and of course, because it was me, I would do it through outfits. Some of the young women who attended UC Santa Cruz at that time (1989) had style similar to Angel, one of The Ghost Daughter‘s main characters. First of all, natural, even wild hair was essential. There was no style ironing to be seen. There was white eyelet like you might see under a 1900 buttoned up dress. There were a lot of crochet fitted tops. Prairie skirts. Oh, the prairie skirts. Cowboy boots, of course. Jeans had to be railroad worker jeans, all worn and distressed. This was one of the looks I experimented with at that time. On other days, I might be 40’s vintage, grunge lover, or sporty girl borrowing from her boyfriend’s closet, but the cowgirl/prairie girl look was one of my favorites. So romantic and strong, this style evoked a love of poetry and the ability to mountain bike for miles over hilly terrain.

So, on this day I was almost finished with The Ghost Daughter, and I was accepting my love for this character, Angel – through my outfit. She reads like a real person I played at being back in those days. It was a revelation to realize that when I imagine my “higher self”, she dresses like Angel. I celebrated all those qualities I love about her as I wore this outfit all day long on my many adventures. Thank you, Maureen for reconnecting me with them.

Okay, and also on that same day I was picking up the older boy from his haircut appointment at Don’s Cutting Edge, and gosh darn it, but if one of the paintings hanging in the current exhibition didn’t just go so perfectly with my skirt! And it reminds me of Big Sur’s Gallery at Ventana – Ooh! And Big Sur plays a role in Ghost Daughter as well! The painting is by hair stylist and artist, Mauricio Navarro. From Mexico City originally, Mauricio grew up inspired by the colors and energy of the diverse metropolis. Now, his paintings, both representational and abstract, express both the city and the quiet moments in nature that Mauricio loves about living on the coast of California.  If you are local to Los Angeles, check out Mauricio’s current showing of his work up through August. You might end up with a ventana to another world on your wall, or at the very least, an new update to your hair.

Hat by Silver Wave, skirt by Everest Handcrafts, top vintage, boots by Hanna Anderson, necklace homemade, Will bag – hand painted and additional silkscreening by me!

 

Grown Up (Over 40 Everything)

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This post was about an exhibition, but the exhibition – which was phenomenal – is long gone now.  Today, looking at these photos I remember how I had recently attained this new haircut when we went to the Turner show. I remember how hard it was to commit to the cut I long wanted because I was afraid the style was too young. Would I pull it off with my white hair? Would I look silly? Was it okay for a mid forties mom to have this haircut? And most importantly did I even know what a mid forties woman was supposed to look like?

The question of what it means to be a grown up in “Hollywood” is something I’ve been pondering since 1997 when I wrote an article about it for Artweek. Back then, in my mid twenties I observed how both the three year olds and mothers on the west side of Los Angeles dressed like they were in The Spice Girls. It wasn’t just about women; people across all genders and ages seemed to be under the hypnotic power of  “adolescent LA” which I linked to the film industry’s obsession with teenagers.

Since the 50’s, when the teenager was invented here in the U.S. for marketing reasons, it’s playground headquarters have been Los Angeles. The campaign may have started by targeting these youths, but it ended up creating a whole population of wanna-be teens at almost every age – especially on the west side of LA. As the American Dream’s price tag rose, the pressures of being an adult attaining this dream rose. So why not be a teenager forever  – or at least dress and act like one?

I talk to women friends all the time who are trying to figure out how to dress like a grown up. They, like me, want to express elegance, femininity, strength, and unique style – all, while being happy with their age.

So, where do we find inspiration? When women complain about getting older I say, “Oh, just be French!” Catherine Deneuve, anyone? In the UK, the over forty fashion blogger scene even has their own conference! However, now you can find style direction in your very own country. Look up “Advanced Style” and you will find how the mature lady’s style is coming into the spotlight and giving us some inspiration. These women and men are on fire. They accept themselves and see everyday as an opportunity to live life as art… And that is good to do at any age.

First outfit:  Pants by Pamela Barish. MIT rain jacket by MIT. Rose necklace by Mingle. Shoes by Tsubo. Haircut by Scott at Don’s Cutting Edge. Photos by Evan Hartzell.

Second outfit: Marc by Marc Jacobs Dress. Photos by Aristotle Hartzell.