Friday, January 8, 2016

Bond Villains Are Forever...

My first hat! A 1940's mink and berry velvet tilt hat - it completely makes me feel part Bond villain and part Anna Karenina! Wearing my Besame "Red Velvet", a Christmas gift from my Bear <3
 I don't believe in making New Year resolutions. I believe in the deliberate reinvention of self; the constant and inevitable evolution that we all face. Reinvention and personal evolution have been two of the main themes in my life. I find it thrilling to think of all of the possibilities that are at my fingertips. I relish knowing that I am in control of my image. I know that many people think that style is frivolous and inconsequential; I strongly disagree. The style that you develop can give you a transformative and even a deeply religious experience. There are few things that make a statement about who you are like your style does. Our style is like a window into our own mad little secret worlds. A deeply personal sense of style is incredibly empowering - and there are few things as satisfying. 

I am constantly inspired by women like Valerie Von Sobel, Beatrix Ost, and Carmen Dell'Orefice who reject the notion that being beautiful and stylish is to be enjoyed exclusively during youth; and I am constantly inspired by so-called "unconventional" beauties such as Rossy de Palma, and Catherine Baba for their blatant rejection of the modern beauty standards that perpetuate the myth that a small nose is a pretty nose, that pillowy lips are the sexiest, and that contouring is your best friend.  I'm growing tired and bored of seeing eyebrows on "fleek" (can we just get rid of that word altogether, please?), faces contoured into oblivion, and overdrawn lips. It is boring. I long for flaws and imperfection. I long to meet individuals who are unique, eccentric, and interesting...anyone who challenges the norm and doesn't look like a blow-up doll clone.

A glamorous transformation is at your imaginative are you? Be an original! What do you have to lose?

Channeling my inner Bond villain!
I've been thinking a lot lately about signatures - from vocabulary to nail lacquer. I've long since been inspired by vintage James Bond (Vesper Lynd is my spirit animal, forever!), tales of espionage, pulp fiction, film noir, Russian fairy tales, Italian & French New Wave film (Fellini! Visconti! De Sica!), Neorealism, the sepia-tone photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue and explicit photographs of Guy Bourdin... and so much more. I long to express these influences through my style - and I often pick a few references on a daily basis. While I know that I could never stick to that "10 Piece French Classic Wardrobe" ( I have way too many fantasies in my head to live out!) - I do see the appeal of having signatures. I like the idea of having a few steady, foolproof tricks. Here is a list of things that have become my personal signatures:


Black pin-curled hair

Cat-eye in the blackest eyeliner possible!

Red nail lacquer - my favorites are NARS "Chinatown" and Estee Lauder "Envious"

Seamed stockings

"Your Beauty Mark" by Dita Von Teese 
Finally, a beauty book that "gets" me. Because I belong to that tribe of glamorous eccentrics, I have long since come to terms with the ridicule and strange glances. I used to be much more concerned with these things in my early adulthood, even though, for the most part, I didn't let other people affect the way that I wanted to present myself to the world. Sometimes, though, after hearing comments like, "Why do you wear so much makeup?" - "Do you use makeup to hide?" -  "It looks like you're trying too hard" - or "Why are so dressed up?" - I let these snarky remarks sink in a little too deeply and, at times, I would even have to question my own motivation for wearing my signature cat eye (I've been using liquid liner since...ever since I can remember! I think age 13?) and dark lipstick. I remember purchasing my very first nail lacquer in a bright cherry red, and along with it, a cherry scented red roller lip-gloss - I was 11. So to allow myself to feel like an impostor is unfortunate. I've worked very hard to cultivate the qualities that I possess today, both the physical and more intangible elements. It's taken a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to become the woman that I am today. Regardless of how much you try to block out irrelevant comments, however, we will never be completely impervious to them. Dita's book gave me the reassurance of being in good company - and with each turn of the page I was reminded WHY I am the way I am today. Not everyone will understand your journey, but don't let anyone make you question your validity. Some people may think you are insane, other people may thing that you are the most interesting individual on the planet and admire you for your eccentricities. The bottom line is this: never let anyone question your worth. Love yourself. Improve yourself. Invest in yourself. You have a long journey ahead - why not love every moment of it?

George the cat interrupts your regulary scheduled program for cuddles and pets - good night!

Comrade Von Pussycat


  1. Nice photoshoot :)
    Maria V.

    1. Thank you Maria, I deeply appreciate your compliment <3


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