Tag Archives: Levi’s

New Music Merch Equals New Purse

        I’ve mentioned before on Clothes Stories that I speak many languages. One of those languages is music. k-blamo is a music project I do with Evan Hartzell, and I always say that it sounds like music from another planet. At least that is how it sounds to me. This makes me sound like a juggler of many hats or however you say it, but really I’m not. Evan does all the music, says, “Can we record vocals tonight?”, “Hmmm… I don’t know, ” I say (an embarrassment of riches, I tell you) or maybe I say, “Yeah, that sounds good.” and then maybe it still doesn’t happen. Eventually, though, I say, “Let’s do this!” Then, all I have to do is grab a notebook, the appropriate writing tool (more on THAT later) sit in the most comfortable, paint splattered, leather chair, and listen to the track. As I listen, I see things, and I let the words flow out on to the paper. Finish that, and boom; we hit record on that mic. Melody or spoken word, I just go with whatever I hear. Not thinking is key. I think enough with other languages I speak. Then, Evan does all that cool stuff with his machines to make it an actual song. Then, I get to enjoy the listening of that.

So, we got a new EP coming out April 25th called neptune. EP means five songs, and I’m really excited about the way these songs all go together. I think neptune is a perfect name (credit goes to Evan on that one) for this set of tunes — ha, ha; just noticed that — because like I said, it sounds like a transmission from a far off land be it in the deep sea or a mysterious planet. As it goes with new music, the “merch” as they call the merchandise related to the tour or record in the music industry, lands before the actual music. In this case, the merch is now my new purse. It’ s actually smaller in person. The bag is about 13″ x 13″, kind of squishy, and I love how the image appears to wrap around it. Nice photo on the bag, Evan! You might recognize the outfit on the bag from this post — a great example of connecting those different languages. You can order one here. There’s also t shirts!  I’ll be posting a link to the actual music when it drops, but for now if you are k-blamo curious you can check out past recordings, short films here.

For now, let’s look inside my bag. I don’t know about you, but I love when people show us what is in their bag that they carry around. It is like a mini portrait of the inside of their life/head/heart or something. You can learn so much about a person. Learn something about one of my favorite writers here.

Sweater by Costco (no, I’m serious. It’s says, “Kirkland” on it), jeans by Levi’s, shoes vintage

All photos by Evan Hartzell

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Miyazaki Moment

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Who loves Miyazaki?? I do!!

I’m trying to remember the first time I saw a Hayao Miyazaki film. I know my boys were pretty young – at tops 5 and 8 years old – based on my memory of where we lived while we watched them. I’m pretty sure we rented a DVD (or VHS, even??) from Vidiots, and that once we watched one, we had to watch EVERY Miyazaki movie that was available at that moment. Well, not Princess Mononoke… yet. A little graphic, that one.

Previous to our discovery of Miyazaki, we had explored everything Disney. The older boy liked to pause Bambi and draw from the stills. We also loved everything Japanese. Japan’s influence was there from the beginning for me because my dad had been stationed in Japan after WWII. My husband and I had both grown up collecting Japanese stickers (how I loved Hello Kitty!) and watching Speed Racer. As parents we had made sure our boys were exposed to everything from the wonders of eel sushi in Little Tokyo to Giant Robot on Sawtelle.

Back to Miyazaki… We started with Panda! Go, Panda! (screenplay by Miyazaki), The Cat Returns (executive producer), and Porco Rosso (director and story). Next, I think we got into Kiki’s Delivery Service (director, producer, writer) and Castle in the Sky (writer and director). We didn’t have access to any more films that we knew of until years later with the American releases of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (my favorite film, period!), and Howl’s Moving Castle.

One of Howl's incarnations with Sophie, as her curse wears off.

One of Howl’s incarnations with Sophie, as her curse wears off.

I could go on FOREVER about my favorite Miyazaki characters, but this Clothes Story is about Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle who I wear so proudly on my shirt above. I’ve read on the internets that many a young girl has fallen in love with the Howl of the novel, Howl’s Moving Castle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true about the movie character. I love this writer’s read of the movie’s metaphors, especially of seeing the moving castle as representing Howl, himself with it’s many faces, baggage, and stealing away to undisclosed locations. I have a similar character in the graphic novel I am working on. Who doesn’t love a complex, dark, love interest who hides his heart behind a shallow-seeming front? They are irresistible – especially when he is a ridiculously handsome wizard with at least three different names, secretly doing good deeds and secretly falling in love with his 90 year old cleaning lady! (Ooh! Another similarity to my project!) I love Howl because he illustrates that our higher self is always within reach, and sometimes it is witnessing another’s acts of love – in this case, Sophie’s –  to move us toward embracing that higher self.

Oh, and Morrissey, “A Heart’s a Heavy Burden” NEEDS to be the title of your next album. Hello, Morrissey? Can you hear me??

T shirt by Hot Topic. Jeans by Joe’s. Similar earrings on Etsy, here and here. Brooch is vintage. Mine are from Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. Denim trench is  vintage. Similar, here.

Photos by Evan Hartzell.

 

Thunderbird

I received a package recently, and in it was this story and a gift…

Here is a birth month story I want to tell you. Once, three days ago or three hundred years from now, there was a beautiful artist who lived in a dry land. This artist sang and wrote and painted about women who could fly, women who rode on cloud-buffalo and stepped over skyscrapers, women who could melt into their ancestors or disappear into daily life, women who could soar above circumstances as though gravity simply did not exist for them.

"Cloud-Buffalo", watercolor on panel, 8" x 8", 2011, collection of Lissa Carter

“Cloud-Buffalo” by me, watercolor on panel, 8″ x 8″, 2011, collection of Lissa Carter

This artist had a friend who had left the dry country and traveled far east, into a land of frozen winters and wet summers. This friend sat beside a fire one thundering, rainy night and watched tongues of lightning flicker through clouds. In the patterns of fire on her eyelids, she thought she saw the shape of the cloud-buffalo woman her friend had painted. Rain fell in sheets and drenched her to the bone as she ran back to her home. 

That night, she dreamt of the artist. The artist was hovering in a night sky filled with stars, and every time she stretched her arms out, rain fell beneath her. “How are you doing that?” called her friend. The artist laughed and said, “The ground needs water so I came up here where it is!”

A few days after she had awakened from that dream, the friend was wandering through a merchant’s trove of junk and treasures. A small box filled with a spill of bright color caught her eye, the colors of rain and rivers and deserts and sunsets. Lifting it into her hands, she saw that it was a Thunderbird, the Navajo icon of rain, power, creativity, and magic. The friend thought of dry land, and art, and women who could fly. She knew this talisman belonged to her friend, the artist, in whose hands it could bring water of many kinds to the thirsty ground. Aho!                                xoxoLissa

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Hat by Roxy. Stone necklace by Nicole. Blouse by Promod. Levi’s jeans altered by me. Sunglasses by Ray Ban. Thunderbird bead necklace is gift from the goddess, Lissa.

How to Make and Use Fashion Spirit Cards

      

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The card I chose with what was written on the back.

The card I chose with what was written on the back.

My FSC's.

My FSC’s.

Okay, I’m telling you what to do again. But, why should you have to suffer if I’ve learned something that can help you? Oh, the reasoning of a Leo!

Three words:  Fashion. Spirit. Cards.

Now, I’ve done my homework, and all the fashion tarot  or fashion oracle cards I am seeing out there function as traditional tarot cards with a fashion theme. My version – which I am calling spirit cards actually tell you what to wear.

We need this. Obviously. I mean, if someone like me who spends an unusual amount of time looking at and thinking about style, has moments where I don’t know what to wear, just think about what it’s like for people who don’t. You know who you are, surgeons, administrators, people with three jobs, and parents of more than two children!

And the best part? You can easily use things you have lying around to make your own! Now, I’m going to explain how to make and use your own cards, using my three outfits above as examples. These were all based on the Georgia Okeeffe art card I drew one particular day.

How to Make and Use Your Own Fashion Spirit Deck of Cards

  1.  Make/Select Your Images  My FSC’s were put together by grabbing a bunch of my favorite postcards I had stacked near my closet. Some were sent to me, others I collected. You can do the same, or you can collect a bunch of images from old calendars, magazines, or print them off Pinterest. The point is that your cards have variety. For example, they can be very literal and represent sporty you, bohemian you, classic you, etc. or you can choose images like your favorite artworks or landscape photos that leave it more open to how you want to interpret the card. I prefer this last idea because I love the freedom and possibilities inherent in interpretation.  Try to have a selection of at least ten cards.
  2. Will This Card Inspire Your Day or Your Whole Week?  Good question, right? I tried fashion spirit cards on a day when I needed to pack a few days worth of outfits. So, you can use it for a day or a week or it can be a good tool when you are packing for a trip and want all the outfits to kind of go together or at least share accessories with each other.
  3. Draw a Card  Without looking, take a deep breath, and really concentrate on using your indigo chakra – yes, I said chakra. Ask yourself a question such as “Who am I on this day?” or “What do I need today?” or “What message do I want to put out there today?” It’s up to you. Clothing choice is totally spiritual. Don’t disagree; just go with it for now. Look at your card, accept it, have fun with it. If you are looking for direction in your wardrobe, now you have it.
  4. What Qualities Does that Card Represent for You?  I chose a Georgia O’keeffe card from, like I said, a stack of my favorite postcards. If your cards include more open-ended images like this, think about what the image you chose represents for you. For me, Georgia represents elegance, determination, independence, earthiness, and a connection between sight and sound. Images abound of Georgia in the 30’s through the mid 80’s and she is always dressed in a way that exudes confidence, strength, and femininity at the same time. With the Victorian like lace top I was trying to hark back to her early days where she had to assert her own voice in a culture that was not used to the idea of a happening female artist. I can imagine her taking a feminine top like that and doing something unexpected with it, like pairing it with dark jeans and silver manly shoes.
  5. Does this Card Inspire a Color Palette? If you are a color obsessed person like me, then let color by your guide. With the last outfit, the warm hues of the southwest landscape where Georgia spent most of her life definitely dictated which shirt I chose, whereas the black and white dress reminded me of her days in NYC where she starred in Steiglitz’ black and white photography. So, you might take direct inspiration by looking at the colors on the card or go deeper by making other associations. Lastly, remember that every color palette expresses emotion. Maybe the emotion you are expressing is how you feel or maybe it is how you want to feel.
  6. Power/Capabilites Are we talking Pokemon cards now? Not quite, but zero in on what you are capable of in an outfit inspired by this card. With the bottom outfit, I am definitely capable of hiking that gorgeous desert landscape with ease. Long sleeve shirts protect my arms from the sun. On the other hand, in the top outfit, I wear a dress in which I can conquer any art opening in New York City with charisma and grace.
  7. Look for Shapes In 2000, Molly Bang came out with a book called, Picture This: How Pictures Work. My children’s very artistic kindergarten teacher used this book to teach children about the power of shapes and colors in telling a story. Take a moment to study the card you drew and see how the shapes might dictate your outfit. Jagged lines in a print or pointy lapels in a jacket might express precision. Soft shapes might express dreaminess. See how fun this can be?

And with bringing it back to FUN, I remind you to not take yourself and your outfit too seriously. Try something new, experiment, think playfulness. If you are not in a position where you feel like you can take big risks with your outfit, start by taking small ones, or take them on the weekend. If you do try this, be sure to share in the comments. We’d all love to hear how it went for you. It would be so… encouraging.

Again, try something new… Fashion Spirit Cards!

Top outfit: Boots by Teva, dress by Hale Bob – similar here, rebozo worn as scarf from La Tienda at the Mexican Museum, San Francisco – similar here jacket is thrift store find, necklace from Taxco – similar here, Mexico, bag by Escama Studio.

Second from top outfit:  lace top by Marc for Marc Jacobs, jeans by Levi’s, shoes are thrift store find.

Bottom outfit:  Shirt by Patagonia, tank by American Apparel, jeans by Levi’s, jewelry vintage.

Top two outfits photographed by Evan Hartzell. Bottom outfit photographed by Aristotle Hartzell

London, Waiting for the Night Bus.

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 photos by Laura E. Alvarez
Lucky. Lucky, I tell you.

The quest for the coat had spanned thirteen months (at least I think that is when we started watching Sherlock), and several continents (via Ebay). I had little hope of finding it, to be quite honest. Little hope. First of all, it needed to be wool, but not too heavy. This is Los Angeles after all. Second of all, it needed to fit a lean, but not short 13 year old. “Ha!” you laugh, “It could never be done.” And lastly, it had to have attitude. “Oh, no. Now that’s really, really, really asking too, too much.” Yes, it is. I agree… but the Artist, he persisted in his quest. He entered giant Good Wills, and not-nice-smelling Salvation Armies, he withstood Ebay after Ebay disappointment across the Atlantic and back, he fingered impossibly large coats everywhere, and scoffed at sad cotton coats I tried to persuade him to be happy with. He even considered moving to a colder climate where he might have more of a chance to come across said coat.

It was on one of those searching days that we ended up at a National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop. The moment we walked in, the Artist expressed that he felt aligned with this establishment. On top of the love we felt, the expert curation, the aesthetically pleasing gray walls, and organization by color, the prices were wonderful. But still, after a time the expansiveness of the store made our eyes grow tired. Our arms could not pull another coat off a rack. Ready to abandon the site, suddenly, it appeared… the perfect coat… and, one hundred percent finest Merino wool, no less. Here, I ask the Artist some questions about his purchase.

Clothes Stories:  Can you tell me what drove you to embark on a search for such a coat? What are you inspired by?

The Artist:  I was inspired by the BBC show, Sherlock, and the coat Sherlock Holmes wears in the show. It represents him.

CS:  What are you capable of while wearing this coat?

The Artist: I am capable of being very warm… obviously. Look at it. I’m in L.A. for goodness sake.  I am capable of trying to act like Sherlock Holmes, trying to do the Matrix, being very serious, being a wizard, being an OP wizard, and uh, being a time lord.

CS:  What do these photographs evoke for you?

The Artist: It makes me feel like the person in the picture is waiting for something like the Night Bus or perhaps the Tardis to take him away on an adventure. Also, it makes me feel like the pocket watch is magic. I mean it’s got all that bloody writing on it. It must be special. Also, it makes it feel like the character is very serious when he needs to be. He’s an OP wizard.

CS:  Does this outfit have any special powers?

The Artist: Ah, yes, yes. Um, uh, let’s see. It’s bullet proof. It’s spell proof, too just in case I get hit by any of them. It makes my invisibility spells more powerful when I magic them at myself. The cane is like a light saber. It blocks spells and can perform spells. The pocket watch can tell me the time in any time zone I want it to tell me, and also I can store my powers in it and become mortal if I want to. When I throw my top hat it can cut unfriendly demon’s heads off. The top of it flattens and the brim lets out blades, so I can throw it like a frisbee.

CS:  What is your favorite detail of this outfit?

The Artist: I like the pocket watch because it has that amazing Gallifreyan writing on it, and also because it lights up in the dark when you need to tell the time. And also because the photograph of it is my favorite shot in this post. I really like it.

CS:  If this coat belonged in a particular city, which city would it live in?

The Artist: Ah, let me think. Ah, somewhere in England. Yes, London.

Look out for two more posts about the two other coats purchased by the Artist on that same day at the NCJW Thrift Shop.
Coat by Calvin Klein, belt by Levi’s, pocket watch by Dr. Who, cane & top hat – EBay.